This week, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), both members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the introduction of their Broadband Parity Act, bipartisan legislation that would bring all federal broadband programs to the current definition of what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines as high-speed internet (currently 25/3 Mbps).
This bill would ensure that all communities receiving federal broadband support have access to internet service that is actually at “broadband” speeds. Currently, there are over twenty federal broadband programs promoting access to fixed broadband service. However, some programs define an area as “served” when service is at 25/3 Mbps speeds, while others define being served as having access to much slower 10/1 Mbps speeds. This discrepancy in bandwidth speeds means that the federal government is often investing in inadequate broadband services. This bill will remove such inconsistencies in service and improve broadband access for rural America.