Building a better broadband map


Source: IndyWeek.com
Author: Fiona Morgan

Windows on the World e-Community Development Corporation (WOW e-CDC), based in Roper (NC), worked with Elizabeth City State University to produce a study of broadband availability in 21 northeastern counties in North Carolina, surveying residents and checking utility poles and switching stations instead of relying on the data provided by Internet service companies. WOW Executive Director Bunny Sanders said the $30,000 study, funded with state money, showed 10 percent to 20 percent more households did not have broadband access than were reported by e-NC which makes its maps based on the data shared by Internet service providers. Many of those private companies are willing to share that data only under conditions of confidentiality—they say they need to keep the data out of the hands of competitors. That leaves gaps in the maps.

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