State Broadband Expansion Center
Resources for developing a State Broadband Program
Broadband mapping in your state
No matter how large or small the organization is, all who are expanding broadband access will need an accurate state broadband map identifying the exact geographic placement of locations where broadband is not available or not at a sufficient speed threshold (under 100 Mbps download/20 Mbps upload speeds and sufficient latency). Broadband availability is about making connections, but organizations must know exactly where a structure is and have an accurate representation of broadband availability, in order to provide that link.
Mapping broadband availability across your state is the ﬁrst major effort where you’ll need to determine, per the broadband definition, which areas are considered served, underserved, and unserved with broadband service. Building a granular view of this (ideally at the location level) into your map is a critical step in establishing a baseline in your map to work from. This begins the process of narrowing down which areas of the state should be eligible for funding.
Take your time with this step, optimizing for data cleanliness and a clear understanding of the logic behind how the data is being used is critical.
A common question(s) at this stage: How accurate is our foundational data (of serviceable locations)? Which areas are eligible under BEAD that we want to bid on? Do we want to remove areas funded by RDOF (or another program)? What datasets are we missing? Who will build/maintain our map?
Precise mapping comes in handy when targeting billions in broadband funding
Developing a broadband map that precisely locates virtually every structure where a broadband connection can be installed in your area, has been found as the most accurate and extensive method to ensure expanding broadband access is done effectively and efficiently.
Again, expanding broadband access is about connecting the areas in most need of service, but providers must know precisely where those structures are in order to provide a broadband connection.
This is why it’s important for you to develop geospatial maps at the location level or also called, the structure level, to ensure critical decisions are derived from a truly representative foundation of locations. For example, with an accurate base of reliable location information, you can add more precision to:
- Service availability reports
- Funding assessments and determination amounts
- Network plans and designs
- Cost/Financial models – account for how much labor, material, maintenance
- Report broadband availability accurately and meet federal requirements from the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection
Obtaining accurate location data will not only benefit those locations left out due to potential data misrepresentations, but will also benefit organizations as they develop long-term grant plans. Ensuring what they see in their broadband maps is actually what they will get when it comes time for network build-out.
A properly cleaned and categorized map of locations needing and are capable of receiving broadband service in your state becomes the foundation for expanding broadband service and allocating funding to the areas that need it the most.
Need help with broadband mapping?
BroadbandFabric Data Suites
Broadband data to make broadband expansion easy.
Using CostQuest’s core Broadband Serviceable Location data tied directly to federal broadband initiatives, CostQuest created the BroadbandFabric Data Suites to continue supporting governments and the communications industry with their broadband expansion projects. The BroadbandFabric Data Suites are a collection of datasets first of their kind with broadband-specific data to help you guide your broadband deployment, business planning, and policy decisions. Each dataset contains Broadband Serviceable Locations at the coordinate level and universally ties with critical data such as broadband service availability, funding eligibility, cost, demand, and MORE to help decision-makers achieve success through the lifecycle of their broadband projects. Especially for those applying for grants from federal funding programs such as the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program.
Receive broadband-specific data that loads easily into your GIS or other visualization software to view the exact structures that have access to broadband service, and most importantly, those that do not. Determine which areas are worth building to faster by starting from a baseline of which areas are served, underserved, and unserved.