Hoeven-Cosponsored Legislation to Help Ensure Comprehensive Broadband Deployment Signed into Law

Senator Worked to Support More Accurate Broadband Maps, Help Advance Precision Agriculture Technologies

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the president signed into law theBroadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to improve the accuracy of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) broadband mapping. Specifically, the new law will:

  • Make the data more granular.
  • Include more state, local and tribal government data.
  • Establish a challenge process to ensure the accuracy of data provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
  • Allow the public to provide information about the availability of broadband.

Hoeven previously led the state’s congressional delegation inurging FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to advance similar reforms. The senator also raised this issue during a roundtable with Pai in North Dakota last year. 

“Broadband is critical to the future of our economy, and in order to ensure our communities are adequately served, we need accurate information from the FCC,” said Hoeven. “This law, combined with our other efforts to build out our broadband infrastructure, like the ReConnect Program, will help maintain our nation’s competitive edge and support the continued growth of our tech industry. That has benefits across sectors, including for our farmers and ranchers, who will be better able to implement precision agriculture technologies.”

The Broadband DATA Act comes as part of Hoeven’s efforts as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee to advance the deployment of rural broadband, which will support the state’s technology sector, the third wave in its economic growth, as well as the implementation of precision agriculture. To this end, Hoeven has:  

  • Secured more than $1.6 billion across fiscal years 2018-2020 for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program.
  • Cosponsored the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, which passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill to ensure adequate broadband connectivity in rural areas.
    • Seth Arndorfer, CEO of the Dakota Carrier Network, was appointed as a member of the task force created under this legislation.
  • Supported efforts to improve the FCC’s High-Cost Programunder the Universal Service Fund (USF) and worked with Pai to ensure the program is fully funded.