August 20, 2019
Beginning with a pilot program in Virginia and Missouri, the USTelecom Broadband Mapping Initiative will provide the most sophisticated and detailed map of broadband availability in the nation, arming policymakers with granular data to identify where broadband service is lacking and better target scarce funding.
The results are of the pilot: the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric concept is workable, scalable, cost effective and time efficient, with no barriers for nationwide rollout.
- The Pilot was a Success.
Using state of the art technology and a combination of public and commercial datasets, it is now possible to identify and precisely locate virtually every structure in a geographic area that is capable of receiving broadband. Developing the Fabric for two states shows it is possible to do so for the entire country.
- Pinpointing Service Availability.
Creating the Fabric revealed that in just two states over 450,000 homes and businesses exist that are counted as “served” under current 477 reporting that are not receiving service from participating providers. While not every broadband provider chose to participate in this Pilot – so the actual number of unserved may be lower – that still leaves the potential for substantial misrepresentations about service availability.
- The Counts Count.
We measured broadband availability by locations in a census block. The Fabric revealed that 48% of the location counts in rural census blocks are different from current estimates, in many cases significantly different.