Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (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.
“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.