FCC unveils new broadband map, offering more data on US internet access

The National Broadband Map's first update in years will provide more relevant information for consumers, businesses, and ISPs.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The FCC updated the National Broadband Map with more relevant access data and new features for consumers and businesses.
  • The new map will help prevent ISPs from over-covering an area, and could help businesses with their expansion plans.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has updated the National Broadband Map to include more relevant coverage data and new features that will make it more usable for consumers and businesses, the FCC said in a press release.

The map is focused on fixed broadband deployments, and contains data from December 2016, as reported by Broadcasting & Cable. The map will show each area in a different color depending on the average number of available providers in that area. The map also lists the average broadband speed for the area.

According to the press release, the FCC intends for the map to be used in its efforts to "close the digital divide." As such, it will be a source for policymakers, researchers, and others. And graphs will show the user what fraction of a given population does or does not have access to broadband at a certain speed.

SEE: Internet and Email usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

The map will help ISPs as they continue to build out their networks, as they will have a more accurate picture of completed infrastructure and available coverage. Businesses can use the map when relocation or building out a satellite office, being more careful to choose a region with a high average internet speed.

Users can also use a comparison tool on the map to plug into multiple areas and see their speed and provider list side-by-side.

The previous map of broadband deployments "had not been updated in years," the release said. This new map is cloud-based, and will be updated much more frequently.

Users can see deployment data for nation, state, county, congressional district, city or town (census place), Tribal area, and Core -based Statistical Area (such as New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA), the release said. Additionally, this data can be downloaded for other research and projects.

For additional context, satellite image data can be overlaid to show the roads, buildings, and other infrastructure in a given area.

Also see

Image: FCC

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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