WASHINGTON - Legislation to help target the deployment of high-speed Internet services to areas that need it most, the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, was approved by both houses of Congress today and is headed to the White House for the president's signature.
Also referred to as the "broadband mapping bill," S. 1492 would identify gaps in high-speed Internet availability and enable public-private partnerships to construct unique deployment plans in states and localities.
Supporters of the measure point to its likely positive effects on jobs and economic growth.
"Greater broadband deployment and usage means more jobs and economic growth," said Peter Davidson, Verizon senior vice president of federal government relations. "So we're pleased with the bipartisan action in Congress.
"There is no single entity or one-size-fits-all formula to get broadband to everyone," Davidson said. "Building upon robust private sector investments by Verizon and others, this legislation recognizes that fact by creating a roadmap for public-private partnerships between governments, business, labor, educators, consumer groups and other non-profit organizations.
"Once we determine where the broadband gaps are, these groups can work together to fill them, and get everyone online," he said.
A study released by Connected Nation found a seven percent increase in broadband adoption would create 2.4 million U.S. jobs, save $662 million in health-care costs and $6.4 billion in vehicle mileage, and have an annual positive economic impact of $134 billion.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.