recommended reading

GOP lawmakers knock FCC broadband testing

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., was one of the letter's authors.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., was one of the letter's authors. // Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP file photo

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are complaining that federal officials spent about $1 million to pay a British company to test American broadband speeds.

SamKnows, a company based in the United Kingdom that the Federal Communications Commission tapped to help measure broadband speeds, was the recipient of that $1 million, which came from $4.7 billion in stimulus funds set aside for broadband development.

"That stimulus funding, meant to help here at home, was sent abroad to U.K. company SamKnows and - according to the Recovery.Gov website - created no jobs," Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., wrote in a letter to the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. "What was the rationale for sending Americans' hard earned money overseas for a project that didn't put any Americans to work, especially in the current fiscal climate?"

FCC spokesman Neil Grace said the agency is "mystified by this attack on transparency and consumer empowerment."

"The Measuring Broadband America initiative is a powerful example of the pro-market, pro-competition benefits of information disclosure: Low performers in the first year's report responded by investing in significant network upgrades, driving major improvements in performance and faster speeds for millions of Americans, and creating jobs both directly and indirectly," he said in an e-mail to Tech Daily Dose.

That testing, the FCC says, will help improve adoption and development of high-speed Internet service.

The four GOP lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee aren't so sure. They criticized FCC plans to expand broadband testing.

"Assertions that the study was necessary as a matter of broadband policy are dubious." they wrote. "Such speech information is already available from a number of sources without expenditure of additional taxpayer dollars."

According to the FCC, the expansion of the testing comes at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.