Wicker Notches Another Win to Advance Rural Broadband

Senate Passes Legislation Authored by Miss. Senator to Identify Coverage Gaps

March 1, 2018

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the “Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017,” authored by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss. The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a consistent methodology for collecting wireless broadband coverage data.  This improved data would ensure that funds provided for expanding broadband infrastructure are applied equitably between rural and urban areas.

“Unless we have accurate information about where the coverage gaps actually are, we cannot put a solution in place that improves the high-speed internet service of consumers in rural areas,” Wicker said. “This legislation is designed to help the FCC achieve that goal, bringing us one step closer to closing the digital divide.”

Last August, the FCC took steps to improve data collection regarding mobile and broadband service, in addition to providing $2 billion to the Connect America Fund over the next 10 years.

Wicker is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.