FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks criticized the FCC’s 2019 Broadband Deployment Report. The report concluded that broadband deployment has been reasonable and timely throughout the United States, despite more than 21 million Americans lacking broadband access. The report’s conclusion is an affront to these unserved Americans.
“By determining that under the law broadband deployment is reasonable and timely for all Americans, we not only fall short of our statutory responsibility, we show a cruel disregard for those who the digital age has left behind,” said Rosenworcel.
In her dissent, Commissioner Rosenworcel criticizes the FCC’s reliance on inaccurate carrier-provided data and its failure to set high broadband standards, including speeds of 100 megabytes per second.
The final report corrects for overstated coverage data submitted by the Barrier Communications Corporation. The company claimed coverage for every census block in the states where it offered service to any census block and exaggerated its deliverable speeds.
“The fact that such a huge error was not flagged but instead was baked into the FCC’s data underlying this report – the same data underlying much of the FCC’s frequently criticized broadband mapping efforts – demonstrates the fundamental problems with the FCC’s data analysis capabilities,” said Starks.
Broadband Deployment Report: Digital Divide Narrowing Substantially (FCC, May 28, 2019)