Bennet Statement on FCC’s 2020 Broadband Deployment Report

Denver — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 2020 Broadband Deployment Report:

“The conclusions of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Report defy the evidence all around us that we’ve made far too little progress in closing the digital divide. It is hard to accept the FCC’s conclusion that broadband is being deployed ‘on a timely and reasonable basis’ when students are sitting in Wal-Mart parking lots to do their homework online. The pandemic has made it painfully clear that millions of Americans remain locked out of the benefits of distance learning, modern telehealth, and remote work because we have failed to grapple with reality and do what was required. Reports like this, which pronounce progress on the basis of wildly inaccurate mapping data and outdated standards, do not help. There is a bipartisan consensus within Congress and the Commission that the FCC’s Form 477 data is inaccurate and misleading, yet this report wields it to inflate progress and undercount the millions of Americans who still lack access to broadband. The Commission’s broadband download standard of 25 megabits per second perhaps made sense a decade ago, but it’s of little use to keeping America competitive in the 21st century of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G. America’s progress in closing the digital divide is not ‘timely and reasonable’, and the Commission’s job is to be honest about that reality, not cover it up.”