Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008

Law Details

This legislation has been signed into law. The details of the law are displayed below. Further down the page you can view the original legislation information.

Passage Date: 
October 10, 2008
Summary: 

Update: NTIA Unveils Program to Help States Map Internet Infrastructure

The following summary was written by the Congressional Research Service (read the full text here):

Broadband Data Improvement Act

Section 103
Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):

1) to compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability (high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications);

2) when census data is available, to determine the population, population density, and average per capita income for each area; and

3) to make certain international comparisons.

Requires the FCC to conduct and make public periodic surveys of consumers in urban, suburban, and rural areas in the large business, small business, and residential consumer markets to evaluate the national characteristics of broadband service capability.
Requires expansion of the American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census to elicit information, including for native lands, to determine what households own or use a computer, if they subscribe to Internet service and, if so, by dial-up or broadband.

Section 104
Requires the Comptroller General to report to specified congressional committees on additional broadband metrics or standards that may be used by industry or the federal government to provide users with more accurate information about the cost and capability of their broadband connection and to better compare the deployment and penetration of broadband in the United States with other countries.

Section 105
Requires the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, subject to appropriations, to report to specified congressional committees on the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.

Section 106
Directs the Secretary of Commerce to:

1) make competitive grants to develop and implement statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each state; and

2) create a web page on the Department of Commerce website that aggregates relevant information made available to the public by grant recipients, including hypertext links to any geographic inventory maps created by grant recipients.

Requires that the FCC provide eligible entities electronic access to aggregate data (subject to exception) collected by the FCC from broadband service providers. Defines "eligible entity" as an entity that is:

1) either an agency or instrumentality of a state (or a state's subdivision), a nonprofit organization, or certain independent agencies; and

2) the single eligible entity designated by the state to receive such a grant.

Enactment Issues: 

Update: NTIA Unveils Program to Help States Map Internet Infrastructure

  • On March 31, 2009, the FCC requested public comment on how it should implement the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA). The FCC asks that commenters file comments on or before April 10; reply comments are due April 17, 2009.
  • On February 23, 2009, the FCC released a revised form for collecting data about broadband connections and phone service, and extended its deadline for filing the forms from March 2 to March 16. The data will help the FCC map broadband deployment.

    The original bill authorized a 5-year, $40 million per year program that would provide matching grants to State non-profit, public-private partnerships in support of efforts to more accurately identify barriers to broadband adoption throughout the State. This language was stripped before passage and funding was not authorized until passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Legislation Details

The original legislation data is included below.

Original Bill Title: 
Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008
Procedure Step: 
Signed into law
Summary: 

The Broadband Data Improvement Act seeks to improve the quality of federal broadband data collection and encourages state initiatives that promote broadband deployment.

Update: NTIA Unveils Program to Help States Map Internet Infrastructure

Supporters: 

Sponsor: Sen Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Co-sponsors:
Sen Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) - 5/24/2007
Sen Dorgan, Byron L. (D-ND) - 5/24/2007
Sen Kerry, John F. (D-MA) - 5/24/2007
Sen Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) - 5/24/2007
Sen Nelson, Bill (D-FL) - 5/25/2007
Sen Obama, Barack (D-IL) - 5/25/2007
Sen Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR) - 5/24/2007
Sen Carper, Thomas R. [DE] - 6/12/2007
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 6/20/2007
Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV] - 7/17/2007
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 7/24/2007
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 11/6/2007
Sen Webb, Jim [VA] - 12/10/2007
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 6/6/2008
Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] - 6/16/2008
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 6/26/2008
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 7/15/2008

Free Press
Public Knowledge

National Organization of Women "High Speed Internet is a Feminist Issue"

Communications Workers of America, AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Connected Nation, Cox Communications, Embarq, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, Qwest, Time Warner Cable, the U.S. Telecom Association and Verizon

Legislation Date: 
May 24, 2007