Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Biden's rural broadband expansion proposal hinges on success of FCC initiatives

President Biden's $100 billion proposal to expand rural broadband "would hinge largely on the government’s ability to dole out the funding accurately and efficiently — a monumental task that federal officials are beginning in earnest this year," Daniel Moore reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Officials at the Federal Communications Commission face challenges with data gaps in the country’s broadband coverage maps that underpin decisions on what places should receive money, which already has begun flowing."

Essentially, the FCC relies largely on self-reported data from telecommunications companies. Such companies have an incentive to overstate their rural reach to obtain more rural broadband funding, so it's unclear which rural areas truly have broadband access.

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