Capito, Klobuchar Legislation to Improve Broadband Connectivity Passes Senate
Bipartisan bill would call for a study of the effects of broadband deployment, adoption on the U.S. economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus, announced that their legislation to improve broadband connectivity has passed the Senate. The Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act 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 the digital economy and the adoption of broadband deployment on the U.S. economy.
“This legislation will provide meaningful economic insights as lawmakers work to close the digital divide in West Virginia and across the country,” Senator Capito said. “As co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, Senator Klobuchar and I have worked to prioritize broadband legislation that will improve connectivity in our rural communities, and I’m proud our Senate colleagues have helped move this bill forward.”
“Every family in America should have access to broadband internet connection, no matter their zip code” Senator Klobuchar said. “The purpose of this legislation is to use accurate and reliable data to prove how critical broadband deployment is to our economy. I look forward to this bill being signed into law soon and getting one step closer to bridging the digital divide.”
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 cosponsors of the bill include Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), who are the other 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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