For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

Consumer Groups Call for FCC Action on Data Collection

WASHINGTON - Today, six consumer and public interest groups sent a letter to FCC
Chair Julius Genachowski presenting a list of priorities for policy
changes in broadband data collection. The letter calls for the
completion of an open proceeding that would expand collection of
broadband availability data and for the coordination of data-collection
efforts between the NTIA broadband grant programs and the FCC.

The letter commended Genachowski's recent commitments to bring a
fact-based and data-driven focus to the FCC and offered three key
recommendations for the agency to make good on its promise:

  • Issue a Report and Order Revising Form 477.
    The Commission should require all providers to report census
    block-level broadband availability data. This data is necessary for
    effective broadband policy at the FCC and aligns with the data
    collection plans at the NTIA.
  • Coordinate with the NTIA on Data Collection.
    The FCC should coordinate with the NTIA to access the data submitted to
    the NTIA's mapping program, as authorized under the American Recovery
    and Reinvestment Act. This data will be valuable for formulating the
    National Broadband Plan and other policy work at the FCC in the coming
    months. The FCC should also collaborate with the NTIA to address any
    problems relating to uniformity and standardization of data collection
    by NTIA state grantees.
  • Conduct a Wide Review of Broadband Data Collection.
    In addition to broadband availability, the FCC should look at other
    critical broadband data such as speed, price, cost, revenue, location,
    capacity and middle-mile data. This data can be used to produce a
    complete picture of the nation's information infrastructure, market
    competition and consumers' online experience.

The groups that signed on to the letter include Free Press, Consumer
Federation of America, New America Foundation, Media Access Project,
Public Knowledge and Consumers Union.

"The FCC needs a short-term plan of action for broadband data collection," said Ben Scott,
policy director at Free Press. "We are offering these policy changes as
priorities for the public interest. We applaud the agency for its focus
on data collection and look forward to working with the Commission on
these issues."

Read Free Press' letter to the FCC:



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