The Washington St Journal ran an article on the Connected Nation maps. The big sticking point is that Connected Nation has ties to big telecommunications providers. There have been problems with their maps. Small providers claim they aren’t represented on the maps. Communities claim that their broadband access is overstated.
Mostly I avoid the debate – because I’m used to working with the hand I’m dealt and Minnesota has been dealt Connected Nations maps. Last fall, Connected Nation was hired to map broadband access in the state. They came out with preliminary reports in February indicating that 92 percent of the state has broadband.
It was interesting to see how often the CN maps came up in the paragraphs written by Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force members. Some questioned their results; other quoted them. At the end of the day, I think the legislators will pay attention to the report, because they’ve paid for it.
I did find it interesting (in the WSJ article) that Kentucky seems to have become less and less enamored with CN.
Also while referring to the Kentucky report, WSJ said that, “Connect Kentucky says its maps include data from more than 300 Internet providers and disputes it left smaller carriers off its maps.” I spoke to CN last winter and they told me that there were about 100 providers in Kentucky. So, 300 seems strange. I remember the number because they were expecting to talk to 225 providers in Minnesota – that number was changed to about 100 – the reason being that apparently once they looked at the list many ISP were merely resellers, subsidiaries or different names for other companies. So I understood that change – but I don’t understand this discrepancy.