The Wall Street Journal: In $16 Billion Push to Expand Broadband, America Is Flying Through a Fog

EXCERPT: “Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, federal policy makers are pushing to spend billions of dollars to close gaps in America’s high-speed internet network. There is one big obstacle: Government officials say they don’t have a clear picture of where service gaps exist, meaning parts of the country will be left out when it is time to distribute the funds. While the Federal Communications Commission estimates more than 94% of Americans—or about 309 million people—have access to high-speed internet services, it acknowledges that number is based on flawed data from internet-service providers. The FCC requires these companies to report that they serve a census block if they can reach even a single home or business there. That means if one of your neighbors has a broadband connection, the FCC might count your house as having broadband, too—even if the local internet-service provider can’t reach you. Citing concerns about the data, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants to delay plans to auction $16 billion to internet-service providers this October to upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural areas. ‘You don’t manage problems you cannot measure,’ Ms. Rosenworcel said in an interview. She wants the auction delayed until the FCC has accurate maps of existing service areas.” FULL STORY: