Senator Hassan Announces FCC Public Meeting in Concord on Mobile Broadband Mapping
WASHINGTON – As part of her efforts to expand access to broadband in New Hampshire and close the urban-rural digital divide, Senator Maggie Hassan today announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host a public meeting on Tuesday, May 22 at 10 am at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission in Concord regarding the FCC’s flawed maps suggesting that most of New Hampshire already has adequate mobile broadband coverage. For more information on the meeting, click here.
The FCC recently released a map claiming that most of New Hampshire has mobile broadband coverage, and therefore will be ineligible for federal funding through the Universal Service program’s Mobility Fund. Senator Hassan has deep concerns that the maps do not accurately reflect areas in New Hampshire and across the country that lack adequate coverage, especially in rural areas. She asked the FCC to come to New Hampshire to explain the process by which entities in the state can help fix errors in the maps to ensure that they more accurately reflect the areas that should be prioritized for mobile broadband expansion efforts. Accurate maps are crucial because the FCC will use the maps to determine where to invest federal dollars to enhance mobile voice and broadband coverage.
“Granite Staters cannot compete in the 21st century economy without access to broadband, and ensuring that the federal government has accurate data about the areas that should be prioritized in broadband expansion efforts is vital,” Senator Hassan said. “Unfortunately, right now, the FCC’s maps do not accurately reflect where New Hampshire lacks mobile broadband coverage, posing a challenge to our efforts to ensure that all of our people – regardless of their zip code – have access to broadband necessary to help them compete. I will continue pushing the FCC to ensure that New Hampshire is appropriately prioritized in broadband expansion efforts."
As a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Senator Hassan has spoken out about the flaws in broadband mapping in New Hampshire and across the country. As part of those efforts, Senator Hassan sent a letter to the FCC regarding their recently released map for New Hampshire.
“As someone who spends a lot of time traveling across New Hampshire, I know firsthand that many of our rural communities lack adequate mobile and broadband coverage,” Senator Hassan said. “The FCC maps need to reflect the real gaps in coverage in our state – and we will need the help of community leaders across New Hampshire to demonstrate those gaps.”
Last fall, Senator Hassan convened a field hearing in Keene, highlighting the importance of expanding broadband infrastructure in New Hampshire, and has introduced legislation to help close the urban-rural digital divide and expand access to broadband, including the bipartisan Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Act of 2018 and the bipartisan AIRWAVES Act to create a spectrum pipeline to avoid “spectrum crunch,” as well as to leverage the success of spectrum auctions to expand broadband technologies in rural areas.
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