FCC has obtained detailed broadband maps from ISPs for the first time ever


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Aug 17, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission has collected precise broadband availability information from Internet service providers for the first time and aims to release a first draft of a new broadband map in November, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote Friday.

The FCC last week "completed the first filing window for submitting data on where broadband service is and is not available," a milestone in the years-long process of creating an accurate US broadband map, she wrote. "For the first time ever, we have collected extensive location-by-location data on precisely where broadband services are available, and now we are ready to get to work and start developing new and improved broadband maps."

The resulting map should show whether fixed broadband service is available at each residence or business location. The FCC's inaccurate broadband maps have long made it difficult to distribute deployment grants where they're needed most.

Current maps are based on the Form 477 data-collection program in which ISPs report whether they offer service in each census block, which essentially lets ISPs count an entire census block as served even if it can serve just one home in the area. The new, more accurate maps will be used to help distribute $42.45 billion from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program created by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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