Saturday, May 26, 2007

Federal legislation calls for 9-digit Zip code broadband survey

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and four co-sponsors this week introduced the Broadband Data Improvement Act, S. 1492. It would require broadband providers to report broadband availability within 9-digit Zip code areas. That's a better unit of measurement than 5-digit Zip codes and even census tracts since the spotty nature of broadband access leaves holes within 5-digit Zips and as well as census tracts.

“The first step in an improved broadband policy is ensuring that we have better data on which to build our efforts,” said Inouye. “In a digital age, the world will not wait for us. It is imperative that we get our broadband house in order and our communications policy right. But we cannot manage what we do not measure.”

The measure also directs the Census Bureau to assess levels of residential computer use and dial-up versus broadband Internet subscribership and would have the Government Accountability Office (GAO) develop broadband metrics that may be used to provide consumers with broadband availability and cost.

In addition to mapping broadband availability geographically, the bill also sets a capacity standard for “second generation broadband,” which would have to be capable of carrying high-definition video , i.e. about 9mbs. That's more than four times faster than the average broadband connection available to most Americans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We've heard this before. Who wants to take bets on when it gets shot down?

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