For Immediate Release


Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490, x22 or (703) 517-6273

Free Press

Senate Approves Broadband Data Bill

WASHINGTON - Last week, the Senate passed the "Broadband Data Improvement Act"
(S. 1492), legislation that would improve the information gathered at
the federal and state level on the availability, speed and value of
high-speed Internet service.

The bill's approval follows similar legislation -- the "Broadband
Census of America Act" (H.R. 3919), sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey
(D-Mass.) -- which passed in the House last fall.

Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, issued the following statement:

"With this legislation, the Senate has taken a crucial step toward a
national broadband policy. The data collected would lay the foundation
for policies in the next Congress to promote universal, affordable
high-speed Internet access for all Americans.

"Our current broadband data collection system has had serious
problems for years. The absence of accurate information about the
price, speed and availability of high-speed broadband has crippled our
government's ability to advance innovative technology policies. In the
last year, the FCC has taken some very important steps toward solving
these problems. This bill gives more momentum to that progress.

"The Bush administration promised universal, affordable broadband
access by 2007. Nearly a year past that deadline, we are still a long
way from that goal. As high-speed Internet access becomes an economic
and social necessity, closing the digital divide must be a national
priority. We hope to see Congress pass this legislation without delay."

Read Senate release:



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