The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unveiled the third version of its broadband location map.
Its latest National Broadband Map reflects coverage data submitted by ISPs as of June 30, 2023.
The map shows broadband availability for consumers and businesses across the country, with the FCC launching its first draft of the map last November.
The number of unserved homes and businesses has gone down, from 8.3 million locations to just over 7.2 million, said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a blog post.
"The digital divide is still significant, but it’s narrowing," said Rosenworcel, who confirmed the reliability of the map has also improved. "Robust participation in the challenge processes continues to play a valuable role in correcting data shown on the Map.
"To be specific, the results of 4.8 million challenges to provider reported availability information and over 1.5 million accepted location challenges. Since our last release, we’ve initiated mobile coverage audits in a number of states. We’ve also seen hundreds of corrections to provider-reported data based on FCC-initiated verification efforts."
The maps are updated every six months and were used by the NTIA to determine how to allocate state funds under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Broadband maps have been sought after for some time. Prior maps were based on Form 477 which was criticized for providing inaccurate data as it allows ISPs to count an entire census block even if only a fraction of this area is served by the ISP.
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