WASHINGTON, D.C. -Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced the bipartisan Broadband Mapping After Scrutiny (MAPS) Act. This legislation would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a challenge process to verify fixed and mobile broadband service coverage data. Current FCC broadband maps are inaccurate, showing coverage where it doesn’t exist. This leaves consumers without access to broadband and directs funding to the wrong areas. Click here to read the bill text.
“Our communities know better than a map if they have access to fast, reliable broadband,” said Congressman Latta. “After all, rural families and business owners rely on this access to do their jobs, finish their homework, and stay connected to friends and family. While we know these broadband maps are inaccurate, there currently isn’t a way for local governments to challenge them -- the Broadband MAPS Act would change that, making it easier for unserved and underserved communities to make their case to the FCC. Better maps mean better broadband availability.”
“It is essential that broadband maps accurately depict broadband deployment, especially in rural areas,” said Congressman Welch. “The first step in solving a problem is admitting there is one. Broadband coverage maps are a mess and must be fixed. In the interest of creating accurate maps, local organizations should be permitted to challenge flawed data. Our bill will allow local input which will improve the accuracy of these maps.”
“For several years, communities across the country have been using their limited resources in attempt to disprove obvious inaccuracies in the FCC broadband maps,” said Defiance County Commissioner Ryan Mack. “The time and money spent collecting true local data can only help improve broadband availability, particularly in more rural parts of the country, if there is a process to challenge these flawed maps. The Broadband MAPS Act will help local leaders in Northwest Ohio and across the nation show the broadband needs in their communities and will allow funding to be directed to the right areas.”