Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the first draft of its new National Broadband Map, a comprehensive, location-by-location view of high-speed Internet availability across the nation. The map is a more detailed and precise reflection of the availability of fixed and mobile broadband services in Maryland and across the country.
Unlike its previous census block-based maps, this updated map is built on a location-based model developed through the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection process. The map will be continuously updated with each filing period’s data set, with the next cycle expected to span from December 31-March 1. Each filing window will then take place every six months.
Counties have an opportunity to ensure the new maps are as accurate as possible, which will result in historic investments in our nation’s broadband infrastructure and enhance connectivity for all residents. The FCC encourages counties to review and validate the data and determine whether to submit a challenge. If your county determines a challenge is needed, the FCC has provided steps to follow here.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) will host a national webinar on the FCC’s broadband availability maps at the end of November. Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.