MAPPING & ANALYSIS
A: Better and more accurate mapping helps policymakers, city planners, politicians, providers, and others understand where and how to reach those families, businesses, farmers, and others who are unserved or underserved by current broadband connections. We believe everyone belongs in a Connected Nation, so our mapping initiatives are designed to inform and advance the understanding and utilization of broadband services in the nation. The maps and analysis that Connected Nation produces for any given state or region are products that are imperative to good policymaking, informed business planning, and smart, effective broadband investment.
A: During the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, Connected Nation solicited, reviewed, verified, and submitted ten rounds of data to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) across 13 jurisdictions every six months from spring 2010 to fall 2014. All told, we received, processed, and submitted to the NTIA records from over 1,200 service providers. The broadband data collected from various mapping entities and state agencies across the 56 states and territories that encompass the United States served as the inputs for the broadband information displayed on the National Broadband Map.
To learn more about Connected Nation’s maps, click here.
- Not all providers have the resources and/or mapping tools necessary to develop the required broadband service areas.
- There are many different agencies and firms that either processed the SBI data (some of which is still in use) or are currently processing the Form 477 data in different ways, leading to inconsistencies across the board.
- All fixed broadband services (non-mobile, non-satellite) are required to be filed as census blocks. Although the census block is the smallest geographic unit maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, some census blocks can be quite large in size, especially in rural areas. If only one or two households have coverage in a census block, the entire block is submitted as having coverage, without any indication as to how much coverage there actually is in the block, leaving those on the periphery of coverage behind.
Connected Nation believes there should be a single national broadband data clearinghouse organization to ensure data collection/processing consistency and independent validation of service areas to refine the maps.