updated 12:50 am EDT, Wed October 1, 2008
Broadband bill approval
A bill pertaining to accelerating growth of broadband service was recently passed through both the Senate and the House, and is currently undergoing its final approval at the Senate and the President. PC Mag writes that measure S. 1492 seeks to ensure underserved communities are provided with proper service, as well as updating the government's definition of what broadband service is. The FCC considers 200 Kilobits per second to be broadband, which is not concurrent with modern technology.
The bill gives the FCC 120 days to provide the revised definition, use nine-digit zip codes for broadband access reporting, as well as formulate a $40 million grant program for ISPs, which will be available for five years.
Representative Edward Markey initially introduced the bill to modernize the US' broadband infrastructure, bringing further advances to pricing, coverage, and speed. Markey feels that the country is running behind, and hopes the revised bill will demonstrate that to the Senate.
"Our current broadband data collection system has had serious problems for years," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. "The absence of accurate information about the price, speed and availability of high-speed broadband has crippled our government's ability to advance innovative technology policies. In the last year, the FCC has taken some very important steps toward solving these problems. This bill gives more momentum to that progress."