Senators push for broadband study

Senators push for broadband study

Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R-W.Va.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate MORE (D-Minn.) are pushing for the federal government to start measuring the impact of broadband on the economy.

The two co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to study the economic effects of broadband deployment and adoption.

“Broadband is a great equalizing force for creating jobs, leveling the playing field, and increasing opportunity,” Klobuchar said in a statement, adding that the bill would give lawmakers the data necessary to make informed policy decisions on broadband.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Broadband connectivity has the power to unleash jobs and fuel economic growth throughout the country, especially in rural areas like West Virginia. This legislation will provide the data needed to measure the benefits of broadband accessibility and the importance of investing in critical broadband infrastructure," Capito added in a statement.

Under the bill, the Commerce Department bureau would survey businesses, local governments and community groups to determine how broadband affects the economy. The senators pointed out that the agency regularly conducts similar studies on other industries, but that there is a dearth of information available when it comes to broadband.