Last year, Congress asked NTIA to develop a National Broadband Availability Map to address this problem. Working with an initial group of eight states, we’ve released a pilot version of the map, a geographic information system platform that allows for the visualization of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. The map will be made available exclusively to state and federal partners, as it includes non-public data that may be business sensitive or have licensing restrictions.
The eight partner states include California, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Utah. These states participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, and have active broadband plans or programs. As the pilot moves forward, NTIA will test the map’s functionality and expand it to other states, and add data from additional partners, federal agencies, industry and accessible commercial datasets.
I’m glad this resource is available. BUT I wish it were open to more people. We’re to a point where public private partnerships are needed to make deployment possible in unserved areas. That partnership often includes a provider, the possibility of state (or federal) funding and community support through some form of local tax. I’ve seen successful efforts start from the providers but also from community leaders – it might be helpful for them to see the maps too.