The Broadband Availability Map Is Tied To Federal Broadband Infrastructure Funding
The Inaccurate Maps Released By The FCC Will Affect Nevada’s Ability To Receive Its Fair Share Of Funding
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) sent a letter with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the agency to fix its broadband map of Nevada which fails to provide an accurate and reliable depiction of broadband availability across the state. This mapping plays a major role in decisions about the distribution of broadband infrastructure funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“Despite a clear mandate from Congress, the draft maps are deeply flawed. As Senators representing Nevada, we are seriously concerned about the Nevada map’s accuracy and potential negative impacts on broadband infrastructure funding for our state,” wrote the lawmakers.
“These clear discrepancies may result in our state losing millions of dollars in federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are critical to ensuring we are providing essential broadband service to Nevadans, as well as limiting the areas OSIT can invest federal dollars,” the lawmakers continued. “In addition, our State Broadband Office has concerns with the current challenge process, through which states can challenge the draft maps, as it is based on assumptions that put the onus on consumers to proactively engage with providers, rather than practical access to high-speed internet for consumers or technological realities.”
The full letter can be found here.
Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto have leaders in the fight to fix these problematic broadband maps and ensure Nevada gets its fair share of federal funding. Last month, Senator Rosen led a bipartisan letter to the FCC Chairwoman pushing the agency to fix these inaccurate broadband maps. Senator Rosen also raised the alarm on this flawed broadband mapping during a recent Senate hearing and called for immediate improvements to protect broadband investments in rural Nevada. Senator Rosen helped secure this funding as one of the authors of the broadband section of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. As part of her Innovation State Initiative, Senator Cortez Masto has worked to improve broadband access, including in Tribal communities, and strengthen Nevada’s economy. Last Congress, she advocated for provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to invest in broadband. In 2020, she passed her bipartisan ACCESS BROADBAND Act to foster the development and growth of broadband resources for businesses, as well as underserved urban and rural communities in Nevada, through improved access and transparency of federal broadband.