McMorris Rodgers’ broadband data bill becomes law

Portions of the bipartisan Broadband Data Improvement Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), became law as part of a larger broadband bill on March 23.

Provisions from McMorris Rodgers’ H.R. 3162 are included in the bipartisan Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, or Broadband DATA Act, S.1822, which requires the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules for the collection of data on the availability of broadband services.

“Everywhere I go in Eastern Washington, the number one concern I hear is about rural broadband, especially at a time like this when people rely on reliable internet at home during the coronavirus response,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said. “It is basic infrastructure in our 21st Century economy, but yet we still face challenges in getting federal broadband resources to the places that need them most.”

The congresswoman said that the elements of H.R. 3162 included in the new law “will revamp the federal mapping process so that we have accurate data about where improvements are needed most and improve access in communities that I represent.”

McMorris Rodgers sponsored H.R 3162 in June 2019 with five original cosponsors, including U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ). The measure ultimately gained 47 more cosponsors before inclusion in S. 1822.