The FCC announced that it will unveil a pre-production draft of new broadband maps on November 18. This version is the first release of the map required by the Broadband DATA Act and will begin an ongoing, iterative process that will improve the data submitted by providers by incorporating challenges from individuals and other stakeholders. Broadband availability will be based on data submitted by providers during the initial Broadband Data Collection filing window and will reflect services available as of June 30, 2022. When published, the draft maps will display location level information on broadband availability throughout the country and will allow people to search for their address, and review and dispute the services reported by providers at their location.
The FCC will also accept bulk challenges to the reported availability data from state and Tribal governments and other entities. As a result, this map will continually improve and refine the broadband availability data relied upon by the FCC, other government agencies, and the public. The pre-production draft map release is an important first step forward in building more accurate, more granular broadband maps, which are long overdue and mandated by Congress. Historically, the FCC’s maps have been based on broadband availability data collected at just the census block level rather than the location level, which kept unserved locations hidden if they were in partially served census blocks.
To generate this version of the map, providers’ availability data has been matched to the location information contained in the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric. The Fabric is a common dataset of all locations in the United States where fixed broadband internet access service is or can be installed. To improve the accuracy of the FCC maps, the FCC began accepting challenges to Fabric information from providers, states, local and Tribal governments starting in September. Once the draft maps launch, individuals will also be able to submit challenges, or request corrections, to Fabric locations directly through the map interface. They will also be able to request missing locations be added. Information from those challenges will be incorporated in future versions of the Fabric.
For more information about the BDC, please visit the Broadband Data Collection website.