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Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act Drew Clark Executive Director BroadbandCensus.com FCC-NARUC Joint Summit, November 6, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act Drew Clark Executive Director BroadbandCensus.com FCC-NARUC Joint Summit, November 6, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legislative Update: Broadband Data Improvement Act Drew Clark Executive Director BroadbandCensus.com FCC-NARUC Joint Summit, November 6, 2008

2 Presentation Outline 1.What is BroadbandCensus.com? 2.What is the background and political context for S. 1492, the Broadband Data Improvement Act? 3.What is included in S. 1492? 4.What is not included in S. 1492? 5.What will happen with broadband data in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama?

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4 About Broadband Census – Launched in January 2008 by Drew Clark: telecom, media and technology journalist in Washington – BroadbandCensus.com is a consumer-focused rating service for business and internet end-users – Core mission of the Broadband Census: Public information and news about broadband Events and conferences, e.g. Broadband Breakfast Club Research about broadband, e.g. Pew Internet Project Best-practice broadband Wiki (under development)

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7 Key Partners of BroadbandCensus.com – The Pew Internet and American Life Project contracted with Broadband Census to gather information about internet users' broadband experiences for a Pew report about actual internet speeds. – The Benton Foundation has provided financial support. – Internet2 provided technical direction about deploying a speed test. – The eCorridors Program at Virginia Tech provided technical advice. – The Network Policy Council of EDUCAUSE provided technical advice. – National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) is helping to collect and verify county-based broadband data. – Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech and the Consortium for School Networking co-sponsored the Broadband Census for America Conference on September 26, 2008.

8 Background for Broadband Data Legislation – Criticism of FCC broadband data by Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, agency commissioners – Government Accountability Office Report on broadband data, June 2006 – Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit by Center for Public Integrity to get broadband data, Sept – Perceived value to broadband carriers to aggregating demand, if confidentiality is assured – A National Broadband Strategy?

9 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit – “Disclosure could allow competitors to free ride on the efforts of the first new entrant to identify areas where competition is more likely to be successful.” » Defendant Federal Communications Commission’s Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment, Center for Public Integrity v. FCC, U.S. District Court for District of Columbia, May 15, 2007

10 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (cont.) – Standard under FOIA Exemption 4 “likely to cause competitive harm” – “Plaintiff should be provided, at most, the information it now seeks, and nothing more: the names of competitors serving customers in specific zip codes.” Counsel for AT&T, Verizon and the United States Telecom Association, August 2007 – Judge Huvelle Rules for FCC: Aug. 2007, Oct. 2007

11 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – Purpose: The measure “will give us the baseline statistics we need in order to eventually achieve the successful deployment of broadband…to all Americans.” – Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D- Hawaii, September 16, 2008 Nearly identical measure, by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., originally included in, but later stripped from, farm bill. Note: FCC Data Collection Order issued March 2008, and released in modified form in June 2008.

12 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – As passed: FCC must make ‘annual’ broadband report to Congress. – FCC must compare U.S. to 75 cities abroad; and conduct periodic public surveys of technologies, speeds and prices. Census Bureau shall expand American Community Survey to include broadband subscriber information GAO to submit a report comparing U.S. broadband availability, speeds, prices and quality internationally Small Business Administration to conduct study of speeds, prices and availability of broadband

13 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – As passed (cont.): FCC “shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by [broadband providers and] determine, for each such unserved area— – ‘‘(1) the population; – ‘‘(2) the population density; and – ‘‘(3) the average per capita income.’’ Prior to FCC redefinition of broadband from 200 Kilobits per second to 768 Kbps, this was a very small area indeed. (Look for green in the next slide.)

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15 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – As passed (cont.): Encourages state initiatives to improve broadband Secretary of Commerce to award grants “for the development and implementation of statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each State.” Must contribute “matching Non-Federal funds” of at least 20 percent of the project No federal funds included. (It had been $40 million.)

16 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – Requirements for state initiatives to improve broadband: 1.Baseline assessment of broadband 2.Areas of low deployment, adoption, possible suppliers 3.Identify supply- and demand-barriers to adoption 4.Identify speeds of broadband connections, using new FCC data as a minimum baseline 5.Create “technology planning teams”

17 S. 1492, Broadband Data Improvement Act – Requirements for state initiatives (cont.) 6.Work with broadband service providers and tech companies to encourage in unserved areas 7.Establish programs for improved computer ownership 8.Collect and analyze detailed market data concerning the use and demand for broadband service 9.Facilitate information exchange regarding broadband demand between public and private sectors 10.Create state-wide geographic inventory maps of where service is and where there are gaps

18 Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act – Alternative legislation, “Broadband Census of America Act,” H.R. 3919, passed House Nov National Telecommunications and Information Administration to create a national broadband map Disclosure of the names of carrier-by-carrier on a ZIP+4 code basis No funding for state-level initiatives

19 Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said he wanted a nationwide map of broadband infrastructure and “remains hopeful we can work towards that goal as the legislation is implemented.” – Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he “wish[ed] the Senate bill contained the more rigorous data collection and disclosure” of the Broadband Census of America Act.

20 Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act – Under Broadband Census of America Act: (a) the NTIA shall develop and maintain a broadband inventory map of the United States that identifies and depicts the geographic extent to which broadband service capability is deployed and available from a commercial provider or public provider throughout each State.

21 Missing in Broadband Data Improvement Act – Under Broadband Census of America Act (cont.) (b) The broadband inventory map developed and maintained pursuant to this section shall be capable of identifying and depicting…— – (1) each area encompassed by a United States postal zip code of 9 digit level, census tract level, or functional equivalent in which broadband service capability is deployed at that time, including— » (A) each commercial or public provider of broadband service capability within such area….

22 What will happed with broadband data in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama? – Reviving a National Broadband Map at the NTIA? – Disclosure of carrier-by-carrier information? “The Secretary of Commerce should create a website through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) depicting broadband inventory maps of all the States as outlined in the House-passed bill.” – Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman

23 Looking at Broadband Data Globally – Not Just Availability/Adoption, but Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability & Competition (SPARC) – Existing Mapping Efforts State initiatives, e.g. California Broadband Task Force; Massachusetts Broadband Initiative Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Ireland’s Broadband Information web site Connected Nation BroadbandCensus.com

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30 Information and News on BroadbandCensus.com – Data about local broadband service, organized by ZIP code, city, county, state and nation. – User-generated comments about the quality of individual carriers. – Published under Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License, allowing researchers and governments to freely take and reuse data. – Washington-based reporting on core matters of broadband policy and deployment.

31 The Broadband Census ‘SPARC’ Understanding local availability (A) is one important facet of broadband. Also needed: – Broadband Speeds (S) – Prices (P) – Reliability (R) of service – Competition (C) in marketplace The Broadband Census ‘S P A R C’

32 Availability, Reliability Competition Speeds Prices Broadband Census

33 Events and Conferences by Broadband Census: – ‘Broadband Census for America,’ September 2008 – Broadband Breakfast Club: Inaugural event on October 14, 2008 Except for holidays, held on the Second Tuesday of each month, at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington Coming events on broadband investment, applications, universal deployment, wireless and competition – ‘Broadband Census for America: The New Administration,’ March 2009 Conference

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36 Broadband Census in the States

37 State-by-State Articles

38 State-by-State Wikis

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