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

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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