WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus, reintroduced the Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act to help improve connectivity across the country. The bipartisan legislation would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis in consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Technology to conduct a study of the effects of broadband deployment and the digital economy on the adoption on the U.S. economy.
“Improving connectivity in West Virginia and other states can create so much opportunity—especially when it comes to creating jobs and fueling economic growth,” Senator Capito said. “This legislation is an important step toward bridging the digital divide because it will provide the data necessary to help us as policymakers make decisions regarding broadband investment and accessibility. I’m proud to join Senator Klobuchar once again in introducing this legislation that will provide us with another valuable tool to better connect our communities.”
“In the 21st century economy, broadband is a critical force for creating jobs, leveling the playing field, and increasing opportunity,” Senator Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that we have more reliable, publicly available economic data in order to make informed decisions about expanding broadband, connecting our communities, and keeping us competitive in an increasingly digital world.”
While the federal government measures the economic impact of many industries, it does not produce current, reliable statistics on the economic impact of broadband on the U.S. economy. Accurate, reliable data on the economic impact of broadband and the digital economy is a valuable tool for policymakers and business leaders; and many research institutions, state broadband offices, and trade associations have highlighted the need for this data.
In conducting the analysis required by the Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act, the secretary will consider broadband deployment and adoption of digital-enabling infrastructure, e-commerce and platform-enabled peer-to-peer commerce, and the production and consumption of digital media. The secretary may consult representatives of business, including rural and urban internet service providers and telecommunications infrastructure providers; state, local, and Tribal government agencies; and consumer and community organizations.
Other original co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), who are also co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus, and Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).
The legislation is endorsed by Connected Nation, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, WIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, ITTA – The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers, and CCIA.
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