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Texas Marks National Broadband Map 2-Year Anniversary

February 17, 2013, marked the two-year anniversary of the National Broadband Map (NBM), a tool to search, analyze, and map broadband availability across the United States. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) created and maintains the NBM, populating it with broadband datasets collected and submitted by states and territories for the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has also been contributing to the development and update of the NBM.

The continued update and use of the NBM for economic development, federal policy, broadband expansion, as well as local community projects and getting individual households to adopt broadband, have proven the tremendous worth of the map, especially considering that it was the first comprehensive map of broadband services across the country.

“In the two years since we launched the National Broadband Map, we and our grantees in every state have continued expanding and refining data, building the most comprehensive dataset of broadband access and Community Anchor Institution adoption available,” said Anne Neville, Director, State Broadband Initiative, NTIA. “Data is now used to support local and regional planning efforts, defining priorities for broadband investment. We have made our data open and accessible from the beginning, and this allows both the public and private sectors to use it for business and policy decisions.

The FCC continues to use the data collected from the SBI grant program to impact federal policy, especially the reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF) that is targeting subsidies to support high-speed broadband across unserved and remote parts of the country. Data from the NBM is used by the FCC to analyze areas that will be eligible for the next phase of Connect America Fund (CAF) subsidies.

Connected Nation has also completed additional analysis based on the datasets released by the FCC on the areas potentially eligible for CAF subsidies.

While federal policies are being enhanced by the SBI broadband datasets, states and local communities are also reaping the benefits of having these datasets. Connected Nation has developed a technology assessment and planning model, known as the Connected Community Engagement Program, that helps communities of all sizes assess their technology needs and find solutions. This community-driven strategy tackles the challenges associated with broadband access, adoption, and use, where SBI datasets help communities assess their current broadband landscape to identify the gaps and implement solutions.

Connected Nation has also recently released broadband growth maps, showing the changes in broadband coverage from October 2010 to October 2012. These maps indicate 1) where new coverage has been deployed in already served areas, 2) where new coverage has been deployed in previously unserved areas, and 3) where coverage has been removed, due to decommission of equipment, broadband service corrections, etc. These maps are a great analysis tool for stakeholders to be able to demonstrate where the largest strides have occurred and where broadband expansion is still needed. To view the broadband growth maps, visit the broadband landscape page.

Another great tool for stakeholders, broadband providers, and the general public is My ConnectView. Connected Nation recently published upgrades to the interactive mapping applications, creating additional tools and enhancements to increase the user experience on the site. My ConnectView now has a permanent link button that allows users to copy a link of the current display and active data layers and send that link to another user to view the same display; the new user can then interact with My ConnectView from that link. To see additional features of My ConnectView, visit the interactive map page.

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