The FCC on Thursday launched an updated National Broadband Map that provides more detailed information on fixed broadband deployments across the country.
The map, which is a revamped version of one launched seven years ago by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, lists data as of December 2016 and boasts new interactive features. The FCC took over the map in 2015, but the previous data set hadn’t been updated since 2014. Going forward deployment data will be updated twice a year.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said that while the map is a good start, she criticized certain shortcomings, pointing to the fact that the availability of mobile broadband services is not incorporated.
“I think it does the country a disservice to have a National Broadband map with only half the picture,” Rosenworcel said.
Data on mobile services, however, is available on separate maps.
Rosenworcel also asserted the map has errors. “How do I know?” she asked. “I looked up my house and can tell you with good authority it lists service that is not available at my location.”
She suggested using crowdsourcing to help improve the accuracy of the map, encouraging citizens to report what kind of services are actually available, or those that have been promised but not deployed. Rosenworcel said the public can help build the “first citizens broadband map.”
The map features deployment summaries for seven different geographical types: nation, state, county, congressional district, city or town, Tribal area, and Core-based Statistical Area (such as New York- Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA). It provides broadband availability and provider counts for fiber, DSL, cable, satellite, fixed wireless, as well as a category titled ‘other’, as well as seven speeds. The map also features deployment comparisons between geographic areas, and graphs that show what fraction of an area’s population has access to broadband at a given speed.