Earlier today I posted about the impact of broadband maps built from the top down (getting info from providers and/or government) versus maps built from the bottom, with actual households verifying the information. Broadband Now estimates that the FCC maps under-represented the unserved count in the US because of their top-down, high level approach.
Funny enough, just last week I got a demonstration of NEO’s latest iteration of their software that helps plan and deploy broadband networks. Here is what they do..
NEO is proud to introduce a turnkey crowdsource system suitable for smaller communities. The system is designed to manage township or county data, as the community chooses. The reporting from the system can be shown as a map, or all relevant data can be dumped to a csv file which can be presented to any grant issuing agency for review. The collection of crowdsourced data takes into account multiple factors to maximize accuracy and has provisions for reluctant citizens to still provide valuable location and performance data. We can provide you, or the grant agency, with academic research that validates what we do. Our approach is evidentiary, and factual, and devoid of politics or vendor bias.
The trick is then promoting the mapping to folks in your area and getting them to test their connection. But once created the maps and data are useful for grant applications and network planning. I’d say a map created with residential input that highlighted specific areas of underserved interest would be more appealing to a provider than going to them without a map.