National Governors Association urges states to improve broadband maps

A report by the National Governors Association urges states to create their own broadband coverage maps and identify unserved and underserved areas. A 2018 Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative could provide a blueprint for other states. The initiative mapped residential-level broadband availability more comprehensively than currently done by the FCC and identified more areas of the state that lacked broadband coverage.

“More accurate maps of the availability, quality and cost of broadband services in each state and territory provide governors with an important tool to better inform residents and measure the progress of state programs,” the report said.

CWA has long argued that the FCC’s Form 477 broadband deployment data likely understates the number of households without access to high-speed Internet. By the FCC’s measurement method, if one subscriber in an area has broadband service, the entire area is considered covered. For example, FCC data showed 100 percent broadband access in Ferry County, WA. However, Microsoft estimates that same county’s coverage at 2 percent. A study by BroadbandNow puts the number of Americans without broadband access at 42.8 million, more than twice the FCC’s estimates.

Links:

To expand broadband, states should figure out where it isn't available (Route Fifty, Nov. 25, 2020)

Microsoft study: Almost half of Americans lack access to broadband Internet (Speed Matters, Dec. 6, 2018)

CWA to FCC: Broadband is not being deployed in a timely fashion (Speed Matters, Dec. 16, 2019)