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Cable providers push back against Biden’s new broadband need map

Cable broadband operators represented by NCTA – the Internet & Television Association are no fans of the Biden Administration’s new “Indicators of Broadband Need” mapping tool recently unveiled by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA). NCTA reiterated its longstanding support of federal efforts to create broadband mapping tools, but said that the NTIA’s new map takes from unreliable and inaccurate data sources. In particular, NCTA singled out Microsoft’s M-Lab data used in the tool as providing inaccurate information on the speeds delivered by cable operators. Richard Bennett, founder of High Tech Forum agreed with NCTA and stated that the data doesn’t answer questions of how to reach communities with limited interest or ability to use broadband, not because it is a bad map but because the data is already out of date. Bennett claims that the digital divide is actually two divides: a civil engineering problem which causes a lack of high quality broadband in unserved areas, and a lack of infrastructure for unconnected people who could not buy service even if they wanted to. Benton

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