I get email from people pretty regularly asking me about the State Broadband Maps. Most often it’s because they live in an area that shows up on the map as being better served than their experience would confirm. It’s the nature of broadband maps everywhere.
The answer to making maps better is using the provider data and getting feedback from users on the ground. The Office of Broadband Development is always open to getting calls to improve the maps but that’s a very onsie-twosie approach. From the communities, we’ve seen some awesome work trying to get more info from/on the ground. St. Louis County has been leading the way to create a different set of broadband maps based to date on approximately 7,000 broadband speed tests submitted by area residents and businesses. Now Koochiching and Itasca and getting into it too.
GEO (formerly NEO) Partners has been responsible for several of the speed tests happening in Minnesota. Blandin and a number of other organizations have been toying with the idea of working on a statewide speed test and mapping. GEO Partners is interested. And today there was a call of broadband-thinkers talking about how/if/why/when to make that happen.
There is definitely interest – they are just working on funding and a organization to spearhead the effort. It sounds like there will be follow up call next week. Stay tuned for more info – or let me know if you want to be invited (comment below).
Here are the slides from today: