John Kahan, vice president and chief data analytics officer at Microsoft, has said the Federal Communications Commission must build on a recently passed internet access visualization law to fund areas in need of broadband services.
Kahan wrote in a blog post published Monday that the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act would help the FCC improve its mapping data to identify underserved locations and support populations in need of broadband access to meet telework demands.
Signed into law in March, the Broadband DATA Act mandates the FCC to collate and share granular data on broadband service availability through mapping technologies.
The FCC must also create the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric, which will serve as a geocoded database containing information on all locations with broadband services.
In addition, the law directs the FCC to use the database for reporting procedures and conduct audits of provider-submitted information.
According to Kahan, the FCC must now work to stand up the mapping system and implement it “as soon as possible” to help rural communities keep up with the pace of the digital landscape.
Microsoft commends Congress for including allocations for broadband services in the COVID-19 stimulus package that President Trump signed this week, Kahan noted.