VIDEO: Capito Voices Frustration with Broadband Deployment Progress
Advocates for West Virginia’s broadband needs during Commerce Committee hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today participated in a full committee hearing titled, “Broadband Mapping: Challenges and Solutions.” The hearing focused on examining the current state of the nation’s broadband maps and evaluating ongoing federal and private-sector efforts to collect more accurate broadband coverage data.
“The other excuse on why West Virginia in particular doesn’t have as good deployment of broadband is our terrain … I have a hard time believing that because I believe for decades [we’ve] been able to communicate with people on the moon, and we can’t figure out a way to deploy broadband in a mountainous state. So I think it’s just an excuse—again—as to why we haven’t had deployment into maybe the less profitable areas than more populated areas,” Senator Capito said.
To watch her questions, click here.
More information on the hearing, witness testimony, and an archived webcast are available here.
Making sure communities in West Virginia have reliable, high-speed internet access has been a top priority for Senator Capito since she was first elected to Congress. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, and through other efforts, Senator Capito has been in leader in closing the digital divide.
In addition to today’s hearing, Senator Capito has been involved with several solutions at the congressional level that promote and encourage the collection of accurate data used to improve mobile coverage maps. Examples of previous broadband mapping efforts include:
- The Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2018 directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to update the national broadband availability map using its previously developed state partnerships. Senator Capito helped secure funding in the legislation for this project.
- In February, Senator Capito applauded NTIA’s announcement that West Virginia was selected as one of eight state partners to broaden and update the national broadband availability map.
- In September 2018, Senators Capito and Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai asking the commission to use consumer-reported data to improve their mobile coverage maps.
- As a follow up to the letters sent to the FCC, Senator Capito introduced the Improving Broadband Mapping Accuracy Act, legislation to improve the FCC’s broadband coverage maps.
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