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New law aims to improve internet access

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A bill just signed into law will help identify places that don't have high-quality internet access, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, announced Monday, March 30.

Klobuchar said her bipartisan legislation will improve the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband availability maps. These maps had been criticized for failing to accurately depict who has good internet access and who doesn't, particularly in rural areas.

Called the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, it directs the FCC to collect this information in greater detail and to create maps available to the public.

It also creates a process for consumers, state, local, and tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data, and requires that process not to be overly burdensome on challengers.

“Broadband is key to keeping rural America competitive in the 21st century and beyond,” Klobuchar said. “Now that the Broadband DATA Act has been signed into law, we are one step closer to closing the digital divide. The law will improve the broadband data collection process to create more accurate maps so that we can bring high-speed internet to every family, regardless of their zip code.”

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It is the latest of Klobuchar's efforts to expand broadband access. It was signed into law by President Trump.

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