Legislative update broadband data improvement act
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Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act. Drew Clark Executive Director BroadbandCensus.com FCC-NARUC Joint Summit, November 6, 2008. Presentation Outline What is BroadbandCensus.com? What is the background and political context for S. 1492, the Broadband Data Improvement Act?

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Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act

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Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act

Drew ClarkExecutive Director

BroadbandCensus.com

FCC-NARUC Joint Summit, November 6, 2008


  • Presentation Outline

    • What is BroadbandCensus.com?

    • What is the background and political context for S. 1492, the Broadband Data Improvement Act?

    • What is included in S. 1492?

    • What is not included in S. 1492?

    • What will happen with broadband data in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama?


  • About Broadband Census

    • Launched in January 2008 by Drew Clark: telecom, media and technology journalist in Washington

    • BroadbandCensus.com is a consumer-focused rating service for business and internet end-users

    • Core mission of the Broadband Census:

      • Public information and news about broadband

      • Events and conferences, e.g. Broadband Breakfast Club

      • Research about broadband, e.g. Pew Internet Project

      • Best-practice broadband Wiki (under development)


  • Key Partners of BroadbandCensus.com

    • The Pew Internet and American Life Project contracted with Broadband Census to gather information about internet users' broadband experiences for a Pew report about actual internet speeds.

    • The Benton Foundation has provided financial support.

    • Internet2 provided technical direction about deploying a speed test.

    • The eCorridors Program atVirginia Tech provided technical advice.

    • The Network Policy Council of EDUCAUSE provided technical advice.

    • National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) is helping to collect and verify county-based broadband data.

    • Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech and the Consortium for School Networking co-sponsored the Broadband Census for America Conference on September 26, 2008.


  • Background for Broadband Data Legislation

    • Criticism of FCC broadband data by Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, agency commissioners

    • Government Accountability Office Report on broadband data, June 2006

    • Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit by Center for Public Integrity to get broadband data, Sept. 2006

    • Perceived value to broadband carriers to aggregating demand, if confidentiality is assured

    • A National Broadband Strategy?


  • Freedom of Information Act lawsuit

    • “Disclosure could allow competitors to free ride on the efforts of the first new entrant to identify areas where competition is more likely to be successful.”

      • Defendant Federal Communications Commission’s Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment, Center for Public Integrity v. FCC, U.S. District Court for District of Columbia, May 15, 2007


  • Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (cont.)

    • Standard under FOIA Exemption 4

      • “likely to cause competitive harm”

    • “Plaintiff should be provided, at most, the information it now seeks, and nothing more: the names of competitors serving customers in specific zip codes.”

      • Counsel for AT&T, Verizon and the United States Telecom Association, August 2007

    • Judge Huvelle Rules for FCC: Aug. 2007, Oct. 2007


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Purpose:

      • The measure “will give us the baseline statistics we need in order to eventually achieve the successful deployment of broadband…to all Americans.”

        • Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, September 16, 2008

      • Nearly identical measure, by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., originally included in, but later stripped from, farm bill.

      • Note: FCC Data Collection Order issued March 2008, and released in modified form in June 2008.


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • As passed:

      • FCC must make ‘annual’ broadband report to Congress.

        • FCC must compare U.S. to 75 cities abroad; and conduct periodic public surveys of technologies, speeds and prices.

      • Census Bureau shall expand American Community Survey to include broadband subscriber information

      • GAO to submit a report comparing U.S. broadband availability, speeds, prices and quality internationally

      • Small Business Administration to conduct study of speeds, prices and availability of broadband


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • As passed (cont.):

      • FCC “shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by [broadband providers and] determine, for each such unserved area—

        • ‘‘(1) the population;

        • ‘‘(2) the population density; and

        • ‘‘(3) the average per capita income.’’

      • Prior to FCC redefinition of broadband from 200 Kilobits per second to 768 Kbps, this was a very small area indeed. (Look for green in the next slide.)


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • As passed (cont.):

      • Encourages state initiatives to improve broadband

      • Secretary of Commerce to award grants “for the development and implementation of statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each State.”

      • Must contribute “matching Non-Federal funds” of at least 20 percent of the project

      • No federal funds included. (It had been $40 million.)


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Requirements for state initiatives to improve broadband:

      • Baseline assessment of broadband

      • Areas of low deployment, adoption, possible suppliers

      • Identify supply- and demand-barriers to adoption

      • Identify speeds of broadband connections, using new FCC data as a minimum baseline

      • Create “technology planning teams”


  • S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Requirements for state initiatives (cont.)

      • Work with broadband service providers and tech companies to encourage in unserved areas

      • Establish programs for improved computer ownership

      • Collect and analyze detailed market data concerning the use and demand for broadband service

      • Facilitate information exchange regarding broadband demand between public and private sectors

      • Create state-wide geographic inventory maps of where service is and where there are gaps


  • Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Alternative legislation, “Broadband Census of America Act,” H.R. 3919, passed House Nov. 2007

      • National Telecommunications and Information Administration to create a national broadband map

      • Disclosure of the names of carrier-by-carrier on a ZIP+4 code basis

      • No funding for state-level initiatives


  • Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said he wanted a nationwide map of broadband infrastructure and “remains hopeful we can work towards that goal as the legislation is implemented.”

    • Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he “wish[ed] the Senate bill contained the more rigorous data collection and disclosure” of the Broadband Census of America Act.


  • Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Under Broadband Census of America Act:

      • (a) the NTIA shall develop and maintain a broadband inventory map of the United States that identifies and depicts the geographic extent to which broadband service capability is deployed and available from a commercial provider or public provider throughout each State.


  • Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act

    • Under Broadband Census of America Act (cont.)

      • (b) The broadband inventory map developed and maintained pursuant to this section shall be capable of identifying and depicting…—

        • (1) each area encompassed by a United States postal zip code of 9 digit level, census tract level, or functional equivalent in which broadband service capability is deployed at that time, including—

          • (A) each commercial or public provider of broadband service capability within such area….


  • What will happed with broadband data in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama?

  • Reviving a National Broadband Map at the NTIA?

  • Disclosure of carrier-by-carrier information?

    • “The Secretary of Commerce should create a website through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) depicting broadband inventory maps of all the States as outlined in the House-passed bill.”

      • Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman


  • Looking at Broadband Data Globally

    • Not Just Availability/Adoption, but Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability & Competition (SPARC)

    • Existing Mapping Efforts

      • State initiatives, e.g. California Broadband Task Force; Massachusetts Broadband Initiative

      • Virginia Tech’s eCorridors

      • Ireland’s Broadband Information web site

      • Connected Nation

      • BroadbandCensus.com


Information and News on BroadbandCensus.com

  • Data about local broadband service, organized by ZIP code, city, county, state and nation.

  • User-generated comments about the quality of individual carriers.

  • Published under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License, allowing researchers and governments to freely take and reuse data.

  • Washington-based reporting on core matters of broadband policy and deployment.


The Broadband Census ‘SPARC’

  • Understanding local availability (A) is one important facet of broadband.

  • Also needed:

    • Broadband Speeds (S)

    • Prices (P)

    • Reliability (R) of service

    • Competition (C) in marketplace

  • The Broadband Census ‘SPARC’


Broadband Census


  • Events and Conferences by Broadband Census:

    • ‘Broadband Census for America,’ September 2008

    • Broadband Breakfast Club:

      • Inaugural event on October 14, 2008

      • Except for holidays, held on the Second Tuesday of each month, at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington

      • Coming events on broadband investment, applications, universal deployment, wireless and competition

    • ‘Broadband Census for America: The New Administration,’ March 2009 Conference


Broadband Census in the States


State-by-State Articles


State-by-State Wikis


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