WISPA Applauds President's Signing of Bipartisan DATA Act

Washington, DC, March 24, 2020 – WISPA congratulates President Donald Trump for signing into law the Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act – a bipartisan piece of legislation which seeks to fix our broken broadband maps.  With better maps, the DATA Act will focus limited government support to areas that truly lack broadband, guaranteeing that more Americans can access the Internet through broadband.
“Good policy and its outcomes demand good information,” noted Christina Mason, VP of Government Affairs for WISPA.  “The DATA Act will help the FCC mine, organize and map that information so that policymakers and marketplace participants know who has and who doesn’t have broadband, better targeting areas where it is absent.”  Mason added, “Armed with accurate maps, the FCC can say to providers ‘Here’s where you should compete for limited universal service support,’ simultaneously getting more for each universal service dollar spent, and, ultimately, getting broadband to the right Americans.”  
WISPA has been heavily involved in better preserving universal service support for broadband deployment.  Working with a small coalition of other associations, WISPA created the so-called broadband serviceable location fabric, which gives a hyper-accurate level of mapping detail to see the extent of and attack the digital divide.  The FCC is presently looking at our approach, as well as others’, to make broadband maps more accurate.  The DATA Act calls on many of these same concepts and guidelines to ensure that our broadband maps are better built.
“The DATA Act will help the FCC meet congressional policy prerogatives of making sure all Americans are online no matter where they live, which is a tremendous thing for the approximately 20 million rural Americans who do not have broadband,” said Mason.  
WISPA’s approximately 850 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 6 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.
Mike Wendy