Rural Opportunity Maps include broadband layer

The Center on Rural Innovation has released some cool, interactive maps. They overlay a number of datasets to help create snapshots of rural communities – by county, town and census tract. One of the datasets is access to broadband, which they get from FCC – Form 477 via Broadband Now.

It’s been a while since I checked out Broadband Now. They do provide access to broadband info (by county, city, zip) including:

  • Providers in the area including speeds (and types of broadband available) and coverage by percentage
  • Mapping areas with access to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 5+ providers
  • General info on broadband in given area
  • Publicly funded internet access

The information is useful from community to community. I think the local maps of overlapping provider coverage are particularly interesting.

There are also a number of info layers that might be of interest: investment opportunities, trends in healthcare, hospital closures, local breweries. Being honest, I didn’t find an easy way to combine layers. But I feel like if I were looking for a specific community (smaller than statewide) that I could figure out what I was doing and/or use the raw info and local knowledge to help build a pictures of the local assets and needs.

This entry was posted in Building Broadband Tools, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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