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Phone Industry Association Applauds House Passage of Broadband Census Act

November 13, 2007

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Broadband Census of America Act 2007.

The Act, known as H.R. 3919, would create a Commission empowered to: "conduct an assessment and publish a report on the deployment, by bandwidth service tiers and types of technology, of broadband service capability throughout the States."

Also, according to the Act: The Commission shall designate bandwidth service tiers by identifying tiers of increasing data transmission speeds of broadband service capability that will provide useful, informative information about the nature and extent of deployment of broadband service capability. At a minimum, the tiers in the aggregate shall encompass all data transmission speeds deployed, and shall consist of multiple combinations of upstream and downstream data transmission speeds. Each tier shall be designated, to the extent possible, to correspond to the ability to support qualitatively different applications and services, which the Commission shall also identify.

The Act also directs the Commission "to collect information from all commercial and public providers of broadband service capability under its jurisdiction in each State. Such information shall include, for each area encompassed by a United States postal zip code of the 5 digit level--

    (A) information concerning deployment of the types of technology used to provide broadband service capability;

    (B) the actual number of residential subscribers, small business subscribers, and large business subscribers in each such area, and for each tier designated under paragraph (2); and

    (C) the advertised data transmission speeds of broadband service capability offered in each such area

Just a little while ago, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) issued a statement in favor of the Act's passage.

“We applaud the House of Representatives for taking this action today and congratulate the bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for coming together to make the necessary changes to allow this bill to move swiftly and with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert.  “This bill demonstrably improves the ability of consumers, industry and policymakers to make decisions that will help increase broadband deployment and subscription rates.”

In its statement, the TIA added it "believes the Broadband Census of America Act gives jurisdictions throughout the U.S. greater tools to stimulate"market forces" to push for broadband deployment.

 “With passage of this bill, we will soon have the tools to generate a comprehensive, accurate map of the nation's broadband infrastructure and states will have the mechanism to take a more active role in the planning of broadband investment,” Seiffert said.  “The success of similar programs like Connect Kentucky clearly demonstrates that these tools can yield very positive results for broadband consumers in rural and underserved areas.”

The U.S. Senate will consider the measure.

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