Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Broadband Data Improvement Act Passes Congress

Adapted from

"Broadband Data Improvement Act -
Section 3 -
Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to: (1) revise the definitions of advanced telecommunications capability, or broadband; (2) identify tiers of broadband service in which most connections can reliably transmit full-motion, high definition video; and (3) revise certain provider reporting requirements to enable the FCC to identify actual numbers of broadband connections by customer type and geographic area. Requires the FCC to determine certain demographic data for geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability. Requires expansion of the American Community Survey to elicit information to determine whether persons subscribe to Internet service and, if so, by dial-up or broadband.
Section 4 -
Requires the Comptroller General to conduct a study to evaluate additional broadband metrics or standards that may be used to provide users with more accurate information about the cost and capability of their broadband connection and to better compare the deployment and penetration of broadband in the United States with other countries. Requires a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Section 5 -
Requires the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy to conduct a study on the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.
Section 6 -
Provides for grants to develop and implement statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each state. Requires that the FCC provide eligible entities (nonprofit organizations selected by states to work in partnership with state agencies and private sector partners in identifying and tracking the availability and adoption of broadband services in each state) electronic access to aggregate data collected by the FCC from broadband service providers. Authorizes appropriations."