In a move sure to keep cable and telco execs stocking up on Mylanta, Congress is pushing through a new broadband bill designed to improve speed, access and reporting of availability. The bill borrows from the successful Connect Kentucky program to invest more money in bringing broadband to rural and underserved areas. It also authorizes the FCC to define a Broadband 2.0 standard for connections capable of reliably delivering full-motion high-definition video and collect broadband availability data based on the more granular ZIP+4 rather than ZIP Code alone. Under the old data collection standard, even one broadband subscriber was enough to qualify the whole ZIP Code, hardly representative of availability as a whole. A consortium of tech companies has praised the bill as essential to economic growth, particularly in their industry.
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