Minnesota Recognizes importance of broadband mapping

Telecompetitor writes about the less-than-perfect FCC maps…

Since its initial release last year, the FCC National Broadband Map has faced criticism from a variety of fronts, with complaints ranging from missing locations to doubts about the accuracy of the broadband availability data.

Most recently, a number of senators have proposed legislation to ‘fix’ the maps that would add 7 months to the challenge process for states and other parties.

They recognize Minnesota as one of the states that have taken on mapping…

In response, several states have created their own broadband availability maps to complement or improve upon the FCC’s data. Some examples of state maps include:

And it sounds like we’re ahead of the curve…

The upcoming phase of the BEAD timeline will force states to decide whether or not they will use the FCC’s national map or their own mapping data for distributing broadband funds -or a mix of both. This decision will have major implications for resource allocation and the effectiveness of broadband development in underserved communities.

Minnesota has done their own mapping for many years in part because the Border to Border grant eligibility has relied on the maps. The maps are not perfect, the data is supplied by the providers, tested by the mappers (more spot checked that thorough sweep) and I think the Office of Broadband Development does a good job following up with residents who challenge the map. Minnesota communities have also used crowdsourced maps created by Geo Partners, which is created by folks taking speed tests from their locations. In 2021, Blandin hosted an interesting conversation on mapping and speed tests with local experts: Glenn Fishbine (Geo Partners), Travis Carter (USI) Steve Howard (Paul Bunyan) and Diane Wells (Office of Broadband Development).

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

About Ann Treacy

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

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