One of the most significant challenges to expanding broadband connectivity is determining which parts of the country remain unconnected. Getting this information would help states and local communities – and the providers they work with -- more accurately understand where new infrastructure is needed.
Last year, Congress asked NTIA to develop a National Broadband Availability Map to address this problem. Working with an initial group of eight states, we’ve released a pilot version of the map, a geographic information system platform that allows for the visualization of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. The map will be made available exclusively to state and federal partners, as it includes non-public data that may be business sensitive or have licensing restrictions.
The eight partner states include California, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Utah. These states participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, and have active broadband plans or programs. As the pilot moves forward, NTIA will test the map's functionality and expand it to other states, and add data from additional partners, federal agencies, industry and accessible commercial datasets.
The National Broadband Availability Map also includes data that the Federal Communications Commission collects twice a year, as well as other federal and non-federal datasets that can inform broadband planning and policy-making.