Data & Mapping

US Affordable Connectivity Program is Closing the Digital Divide

In the wake of the Biden Administration’s request for a $6 billion extension of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), some in Congress question the program’s true impact on bringing broadband access to new users.

We need better data to truly unlock technological neutrality in broadband deployment

Every year by law the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to “determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” If not, the FCC “shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.” While broadband data is in better shape, there are still critical gaps that mean we don’t have enough data to fully answer the question.

Fixed wireless expands the overall broadband market

The telecommunications industry has been adding fixed wireless access (FWA) subscribers at a clip of between 900,000 and 1 million per quarter over the past five quarters, according to New Street Research. And the analysts say, “We expect similar results over the next two quarters, with T-Mobile targeting around 500,000 per quarter and Verizon targeting 375,000-400,000 per quarter.” FWA has claimed more than 80% of industry broadband adds in the U.S.

New FCC Broadband Map, version 3

The Federal Communications Commission's new version of the National Broadband Map includes a dramatic decrease in the number of Unserved and Underserved locations. We now have 7.1 million unserved locations and 3.0 million underserved location. The total of 10.1 million locations is a decrease of 16% from the 11.9 million locations that were unserved and underserved six months earlier. As Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a blog post, I’m sure we’re seeing some of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund projects start to light up.

National Broadband Map 3.0: Thankful for Continued Improvements

Everyone associates this time of year with Thanksgiving, but, for those of us who occasionally visit, there’s another reason for anticipation when the calendar turns to November: new broadband maps. The third iteration of the National Broadband Map is now publicly available. Notable highlights include:

Envisioning a Connected, Interconnected Alabama

The Alabama Digital Expansion Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) has released a draft of the state's Digital Opportunity Plan, which details Alabama's vision of a connected, interconnected future.

Over Half of America Now Has Access To Fiber

Tracking fiber penetration across the U.S. broadband market provides valuable insights into technological adoption and accessibility. This study is our attempt to solve this issue. Key Findings:

Three Challenges for 2024

State policymakers face a big test—how to best spend the almost $272 million the Commerce Department allocated from its Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program as well as the funding the state receives under the Digital Equity Act. Today I want to look ahead to 2024 and talk about three challenges that all states, including Maine, will face. I also want to suggest how states can meet these challenges to ensure that this once-in-a-lifetime funding secures fast, affordable and reliable broadband Internet access for every US household. 

FCC broadband data: Poorer Cuyahoga neighborhoods are still likeliest to get old, slow AT&T service

An analysis of data collected for the FCC's newest Broadband Map shows that Cuyahoga County’s (OH) lowest-income neighborhoods are still far more likely than others to be stuck with old, slow, home “broadband” service from AT&T. Using December 2022 information provided by AT&T, together with Census tract household income data from the American Community Survey, Connect Your Community determined that for nearly half (48%) of all its serviceable locations in Cuyahoga County tracts with median annual household incomes below $35,000, AT&T reported maximum speeds below 25 Mbps down a

House Communications Subcommittee Witnesses Disagree on AI for Broadband Maps

Experts disagreed on the potential for artificial intelligence to aid broadband mapping efforts at a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing. Courtney Lang, a vice president at tech industry trade group ITI, said AI could be used to improve the quality of current broadband maps. A machine learning model could do that by using past data to identify buildings that are likely to be accurately marked as having adequate broadband, according to Lang. But Nicol Turner Lee, director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, urged caution.