Testimony From NTCA Member at House Committee on Small Business Hearing Emphasizes the Need to Develop a Better Broadband Mapping Process

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carolyn Just, 703-351-2015, cjust@ntca.org 

Arlington, Va. (June 25, 2019)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association member Beth Osler, Director of Customer and Industry Relations for UniTel, Inc. (Unity, ME) testified today before the House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting & Infrastructure during the hearing, “Broadband Mapping: Small Carrier Perspectives on a Path Forward” in Washington, DC. Osler discussed the unique challenges of providing high-speed broadband in rural territories, including the role broadband mapping plays in the distribution of critical resources needed to build and sustain broadband in rural America. She advocated for a better mapping process that ensures accuracy through validation and presented three essential components that are key to any mapping-related initiatives.  

Osler told the House Committee on Small Business, “First, there should be a movement toward more granular maps through shapefiles in the near term with the objective of implementing location or address-based maps in the longer-run. Taking this step would help to minimize, if not eliminate, the errors that arise from census block-based reporting. Next, policy makers should develop standards for reporting by various platforms; this is particularly important in the case of spectrum-based offerings (such as fixed wireless services) in order to more realistically capture what they can and cannot do in coverage, rather than once again just drawing large circles around antennas and calling that entire area “served.” Finally, there must be challenge and other data validation processes regardless of what mapping solution is adopted.” 

The full text of Osler’s submitted testimony is available online.