Информационные технологии

FCC can now update America’s broadband maps

But, today, we know its impacts better than ever. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, millions of people today aren’t just being left behind, they’re being left out of everyday life. While many can work from home, use telehealth or educate their kids remotely, huge swaths of the country are forced to drive long distances to pick up schoolwork or camp out in public library parking lots to access Wi-Fi. It doesn’t have to be this way.

We often say that we can’t solve a problem we don’t fully understand. Accurate maps are absolutely necessary to help regulators effectively target funding where it is most needed and understand how effectively their funding is being applied to connect those without broadband access.

Fortunately, Congress passed the Broadband DATA Act earlier last year (2020), which would improve the FCC’s mapping data. And Microsoft commends Congress for providing broadband funding in the latest Covid-19 stimulus bill signed into law this week, which would begin setting up the new mapping solution. We particularly want to thank Senators Wicker, Thune, Cantwell, Klobuchar and Peters, as well as Representatives Pallone, Loebsack, McEachin, Walden, Latta and Long for their work in including this vital funding in the bill.

But the work doesn’t end there. The FCC must now move forward with standing up the new mapping solution as soon as possible. If they fail to rapidly implement this new accurate mapping solution, rural America will be left in the digital dust. We can’t let that happen. But if they move with the urgency the issue deserves, the FCC can change millions of lives for the better.

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