Data & Mapping

COVID-19 has only intensified the broadband gap

Broadband already powers much of our modern lives, but COVID-19 has acted as an accelerant, a fuel of sorts that has driven many essential activities online. The most significant way to move the dial for Americans without broadband is by changing policy at the federal, state and local level, not only for more funding but to remove roadblocks so that broadband can reach rural and underserved Americans faster.

Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America: A Trusted Model For The Internet Era

This report illustrates the remarkable progress cooperatives have made in deploying fiber optic Internet access across the country. It features updated maps that show areas already covered by cooperative fiber networks, areas where cooperative fiber networks expanded between June 2018 and June 2019, and areas where cooperatives are currently building out new infrastructure. A few important takeaways: 

‘We need to stop screwing around’

An interview with House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR).

Sen Manchin, FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel Encourage Lewis County High School to Submit Speed Tests During COIVD-19 Pandemic

Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel encouraged Lewis County High School students to submit broadband speed tests while they are learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ILSR Challenges Frontier's Attempt to Block Rural Broadband Upgrades

After Frontier Communications claimed that it now offers broadband in 17,000 rural census blocks in an effort to remove those areas from the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming rural broadband funding program, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance filed comments with the FCC to draw attention to Frontier’s questionable claims. “We are concerned that Frontier may have overstated its capacity to actually deliver the claimed services in many areas,” the comments read.

FCC shouldn't delay broadband upgrades for better data, industry tells lawmakers

Efforts from the Federal Communications Commission to expand both fixed-wireless and mobile broadband across rural America will require more granular data to reach their full potential, but deployment efforts shouldn’t be delayed any longer, according to industry stakeholders and legislators testifying at a Senate hearing. The FCC has acknowledged that its data-collection processes are fundamentally flawed as carriers have overstated coverage in their self-reported map data.

To Close the Digital Divide, Congress Must Care About All Americans

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught the technology and communications policy world anything, it is that policymakers have utterly failed to meet the mission of the National Broadband Plan. Although the National Broadband Plan provided a road map and initially tracked progress, we have seen a relatively nonpartisan tech policy space abandon consensus views on the technicalities of the network and the importance of universal service principles.

Did the FCC Get the Right Answers on Broadband Deployment?

In October 2019, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI), launching its annual review to determine if broadband is reaching all Americans in a timely fashion. Back then, we examined the questions the FCC was asking and how they might color its decision.

Why Rural America’s Digital Divide Persists

A Q&A with New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang. 

Six Tricks To Claim That Americans Lack Access To Broadband

The Federal Communication Commission released its annual Broadband Deployment report for 2020. It notes the narrowest digital divide to date as more than 85 percent of Americans have a fixed terrestrial broadband service at 250/25 Mbps, a 47% increase since 2017 with many of the biggest gains in rural areas. However, the two Democrat Commissioners rejected the report, saying the data was fundamentally flawed, that as many as 162 million people lack broadband (half the population of the USA!). What’s going on? Here are six sleights of hand used in the debate: