Jonathan Spalter

USTelecom Mapping Project: Our Commitment to Connectivity

Under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC has made an enduring commitment to improving broadband service in rural America and bridging the digital divide. USTelecom and our members nationwide share this commitment to connectivity.

More than a decade ago, the first attempt at the FCC to catalogue broadband service led to the so-called “Form 477” census block-data collection process. This “one-served/all-served” methodology was designed for another era and no longer offers policymakers or broadband providers the information required to finish the job of connecting the nation.

Toward this end, in 2017, the FCC launched a rulemaking to increase the granularity of information it collects on broadband availability. This week a cross section of American broadband providers – led by USTelecom – answered Chairman Pai’s challenge to improve our national broadband maps with a first-of-its-kind data driven methodology capable of mapping every home and business able to receive broadband in a geographic area.

Because of our collective effort, it is now possible to precisely map where broadband is available and more importantly, where it is not. We are proud to deliver this groundbreaking project to our government partners to ensure agencies, policymakers, providers and the public are empowered with good data and to ensure every single dollar of federal broadband support reaches the communities that need it most urgently.

As Chairman Pai said when we launched our mapping project, “By improving our understanding of the connectivity gaps in our country, we can improve our ability to close those gaps and achieve our overriding goal: bringing digital opportunity to all Americans.”

We couldn’t agree more.