Bipartisan Senate Bill Targets Rural-Urban Wireless Coverage Parity

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Senator Maggie W. Hassan (D-NH) has introduced into the U.S. Senate a bill that would direct the FCC to develop regulations that would establish a national standard for determining whether mobile service, mobile data service, and broadband Internet service in rural areas are reasonably comparable to the services provided in urban areas. Specifically, the proposed legislation, which is officially titled the Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act of 2018 (S.2418), would direct the FCC to gather data about the average signal strengths and speeds of mobile services from the 20 most-populated urban areas and then use those figures as a benchmark, so that rural communities which meet or exceed the benchmark would be deemed reasonably comparable to urban communities. S.2148 has companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, bipartisan support, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for further deliberation.

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