Delgado Urges Action on Rural Broadband

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Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-D) Thursday introduced the Broadband Speed Act and the Community Broadband Mapping Act. The measures are meant to address flawed broadband mapping practices and support communities working to challenge their “served” status. Delgado then spoke on the House floor urging Congress to address broadband needs in upstate New York and take action on his legislation.

 He called access to rural broadband a “crisis in our communities.”

“Over the district work period, I held a Congressional Field Hearing on Rural Broadband with FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks where NY-19 residents shared their stories about the need to improve rural broadband internet in upstate New York,” said Delgado. “The Commissioner heard from educators, health care providers, small business owners all impacted by this issue.” 

As a member of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband, Delgado amended House appropriations legislation to address broadband mapping practices. This legislative package builds on this amendment and is comprised of two bills that empower communities to improve broadband mapping procedures.  

The first, the Broadband Speed Act, would require internet service providers to annually report data to the FCC that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide within seven to ten business days. This will help demonstrate to the agency where broadband service is actually matching the speeds being advertised, and where there are still service gaps. It would also require that new FCC funding awards be built out at speeds of 100 mbps or higher to ensure that they are built to last.

The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act, would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small internet providers to access USDA Rural Utility Service broadband programs for grant funding to make their own broadband maps, to challenge FCC data.

October 23, 2019

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