KXRA radio, the Voice of Alexandria, reports…
On Thursday, Sen. Smith—in a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing—also pressed Sec. Perdue to prioritize broadband mapping to accurately reflect broadband availability across the nation, and work to develop a consumer challenge process.
“One issue related to rural broadband—which is a core economic issue of course all over the country and in rural Minnesota—is the basic data about where we have coverage and where we don’t have coverage. I hear from a lot of people in Minnesota that the maps often look as though ‘I’m covered but I don’t have coverage.’ So can you tell me what the USDA can do to help make sure that people aren’t overlooked because of inaccuracies in these maps?” Sen. Smith asked Perdue.
Perdue responded by agreeing that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps are often inaccurate. Sec. Perdue said that in response, the USDA is conducting their own data collection and developing partnerships in state rural broadband departments to find out where to deploy broadband in unserved areas.