FCC Announces What’s Next to Improve the Accuracy of the National Broadband Map

The FCC announced in a recent Public Notice that the Broadband Data Collection filing window is now closed, when the Challenge Process will begin, and what to expect in the process to improve the accuracy of the National Broadband Map.

The FCC first mentioned that closing the Broadband Data Collection filing window is the first big step toward improving the FCC’s National Broadband Map reflecting broadband availability across the U.S. This is the first time ever, that the FCC has collected extensive location-by-location data on precisely where broadband services are available.

However, the work doesn’t stop there, and the FCC Chairwoman reminds everyone the effort to create a more accurate broadband map is far from over. There is more work and processes in place by law from the BroadbandDATA Act, still to implement to keep improving the granularity and accuracy of the underlying data in the FCC’s broadband map. The FCC Chairwoman states, “that’s because these maps are iterative. They are designed to be updated, refined, and improved over time.”

*Important*

Here’s what’s next in the FCC’s process to create a more accurate broadband map:

  • On September 12th, the Fabric challenge process will begin.

  • State, local, and Tribal governments, service providers, and other entities will then be able to access the Fabric data to file bulk challenges to the data in the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.

  • The FCC will release the first draft of the National Broadband Map in November 2022.

  • When the map is released, the public and other stakeholders can challenge the Fabric locations directly through the map interface.

Key reminders about the new broadband map

  • It is very important to keep in mind that the “first draft of the National Broadband Map will provide a far more accurate picture of broadband availability in the United States than the old maps ever did. The FCC’s work will in no way be done. That’s because these maps are iterative. They are designed to be updated, refined, and improved over time.”

  • “The Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric is the first-ever national dataset capturing individual locations that represent fixed broadband services available for the entire U.S.”

  • The FCC is and will continue to improve the Fabric through “additional data sources such as LIDAR data, the new satellite and aerial imagery sources, and data from the upcoming challenge process.”

Data accuracy in the National Broadband Map will improve over time

As networks are expanded and new structures are built, the FCC has set up a process to reflect the changes in their maps to “yield more precise data over time”, and get direct feedback from the public and other stakeholders to continually improve the data over time.

With the help of the public, service providers, state, local and Tribal governments, and other key stakeholders, all parties will play an integral role in creating better broadband maps to help close the broadband Digital Divide.

Read the full Public Notice from the FCC for more information.

Disclaimer

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not responsible for the information or views in this communication and is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of such information or views.

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