FCC Broadband Maps Improving, Says Chairwoman

The FCC’s broadband maps have come a long way and the agency is on-track to release the next version this spring. So says FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in an update.

The Commission released pre-production versions of the maps in November, Inside Towers reported. At the time, Rosenworcel said work would continue and there would be more improvements. In the meantime, the FCC invited government, groups and individuals to submit challenges to the maps so they could be fixed. 

Rosenworcel says the feedback from state, local and Tribal governments and consumers has been “growing,” and this feedback has been incorporated. “In the past four months, our mapping team has processed challenges to availability data for over four million locations. In other words, on average, we are addressing availability challenges to tens of thousands of locations every single day,” says Rosenworcel. “Every two weeks, our public map is updated to reflect all availability challenges that have been resolved.”  

She calls the new working challenge process to hold internet providers accountable for their availability data a “sea-change” improvement from the FCC’s old broadband maps in which the agency simply reported what the carriers said on a census block basis. Now, the maps reflect broadband availability “at the physical location level,” according to the Chairwoman.

The new maps reflect over 114 million broadband-serviceable locations, a net increase of 1.04 million. It subtracted 1.92 million locations. More sophisticated tools now help it remove structures like garages and sheds from the total count. ISPs and carriers provided new location information as of March 1. 

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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