On November 18, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shared its new, draft National Broadband Map, created as a result of legislation in 2020. The new map shows broadband availability at a more granular level, compared with the FCC’s prior map that was based on the Census block level.
What regional and local organizations can do: Review the National Broadband Map for accuracy in your organization’s service area, share it with regional stakeholders, and submit challenges to the data by January 13, 2023, if necessary.
Internet service providers provided the broadband availability data to the FCC. However, users’ experience in accessing broadband might not match the map. The public can submit challenges (PDF) to the service areas shown on the map for individual locations, and governmental entities and others can submit bulk challenges to identify larger groups of incorrect locations.
Although the FCC will make ongoing updates to the National Broadband Map, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommends that challenges be submitted as early as possible. NTIA will use this broadband availability data to allocate funding for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, authorized in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Funding through this program may be available in summer 2023.
For more information, read about the FCC’s draft map from the publications Governing and Route Fifty. The National Association of Counties shared a webinar recording from a recent event covering the map and challenge process.
For resources on how regional development organizations can support broadband planning and deployment, visit the NADO Research Foundation RDO Broadband Resource page.