The Computer & Communications Industry Association praised passage of House legislation that promises to dramatically improve the nation’s ability to identify places unserved by high-speed Internet connections.

The Broadband Census of America Act of 2007 (H.R. 3919), sponsored by Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-MA), reflects growing bipartisan consensus on the need for universal availability of affordable broadband access, a basic infrastructure for the 21st century. A similar measure, The Broadband Data Improvement Act (S. 1492), awaits action on the Senate floor.

The House bill would direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop a national, interactive map of broadband availability. The bill would also require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct periodic surveys of broadband adoption, price, speed, and usage as well as assist local communities in increasing broadband access in their jurisdictions.

“This is an important, common-sense step to fixing our lackluster track record on broadband deployment in the United States,” CCIA President & CEO Ed Black said. “Right now, FCC rules specify that any zip code with a single connection of 200 kilobits per second counts as an area with broadband service. If that definition ever made sense, it does not today. Surveys show a dozen or more countries have on average better broadband service than what is commonly available in the United States. National competitiveness and the basic health of our economy demand something much, much better. The Broadband Census will help us get there.”

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