FCC maps cause accuracy concern among providers.
The FCC gathers data leads to obvious misrepresentation. Each year, a survey called “Form 477”, is sent to internet service providers (ISPs) to determine where they are offering broadband access. The most recent report was released in December 2018 but contains data which was gathered in June of 217. As such, the current maps do not include the recent high speed satellite launches which offer service throughout most of the US.
The other challenge is that the data is aggregated by census blocks, and providers are asked if they “do” or “could” serve just one home or business inside that geographic area. If the answer is yes, then everyone inside that given census block is effectively counted as having access to broadband.
The problem is that, particularly in rural areas, a census block can be expansive and just a few hundred yards could mean the difference in coverage or not.This flawed method of collecting broadband data inevitably understates the severity of the rural broadband gap and leaves countless rural communities across the country behind.
Satellite providers are focusing their resources on reaching these consumers and continue to invest and improve the technology to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of high speed broadband.