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.