Senators Introduce Bill to Evenly Define Broadband Speed

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Senate Committee members Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)  introduced the Broadband Parity Act. The bipartisan legislation would standardize all federal broadband programs to match the FCC’s definition of high-speed internet (currently 25/3 Mbps). The bill ensures that all communities and entities receiving federal broadband support have access to internet service that is actually at broadband speeds.

“In 2019, quality broadband internet connections should be readily available to Nevadans across our state,” said Rosen. “This is especially true for those living in rural communities who depend on reliable internet connectivity to access services such as telehealth and to participate fully in our digital economy.” 

“Access to high-speed internet is essential for economic growth, job creation, and an improved quality of life. Unfortunately, in states like West Virginia, many of our rural communities are being left behind as the digital divide grows,” said Capito.

There are over 20 federal broadband programs promoting access to fixed service. However, each program follows its own set of guidelines for bandwidth speed. While some programs define an area as “served” when service is at 25/3 Mbps speeds, others define being served as much slower 10/1 Mbps speeds. The discrepancy in bandwidth speeds means the federal government is often investing in inadequate broadband services, according to the regulators.

November 13, 2019

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