UPDATE Industry associations reacted favorably to a House subcommittee’s advancement of several telecom bills last week. The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Thursday sent measures concerning broadband mapping, supply chain security and efficient spectrum use to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee.
Those are: H.R. 4229, the “Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (Broadband DATA) Act,” H.R. 4227, the “Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services (MAPS) Act,” H.R. 4459, the “Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act,” H.R. 4461, the “Network Security Information Sharing Act of 2019,” the “Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019,” and the “Studying How to Harness Airwave Resources Efficiently (SHARE) Act of 2019.”
Competitive Carriers Association President/CEO Steve Berry said: “CCA members care deeply about network security and consumer safety, and together several of these bills will provide all carriers with guidance to secure their communications networks and resources to replace covered network elements. These provide much-needed clarity on a difficult issue.”
“Fixing flawed broadband data maps is one of CCA’s top priorities and is key to closing the digital divide,” Berry added. “More reliable data is absolutely critical to appropriately directing resources to ensure areas in-need are eligible for support, including Mobility Fund II.”
US Telecom, and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, too, appreciated the vote on broadband mapping data. US Telecom President/CEO Jonathan Spalter said the advancement shows, “we’re getting close” to fixing the issue, calling it, “another step forward for the bipartisan, public private coalition working together to fix America’s obsolete broadband maps.” By advancing H.R. 4227 and 4229, “the subcommittee has added to this mapping momentum on two fronts: ensuring agencies, policymakers and providers have accurate broadband data and better targeting every dollar of federal broadband support to consumers who need it,” Spalter added.
“The bills take several important steps toward improving broadband mapping – including more granular data collection, the establishment of a challenge process, and an authorization of funds to further these efforts. Better maps will help inform policymakers and providers when making important policy and investment decisions related to rural broadband deployment,” said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield.
NTCA’s Bloomfield also praised the supply chain security legislation. “We support more effective steps to manage risks in our nation’s communications networks, but this bill also rightly recognizes the need to ensure providers using equipment subsequently found to present such risks have the resources to remove and replace prohibited equipment.”
November 18, 2019
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