The Federal Communications Commission has achieved its first milestone toward collecting accurate data regarding broadband in the US.
The US Government has been working to close the “digital divide,” or the difference in internet access available in urban and rural communities. In order to tackle the problem, the FCC has been working to develop an accurate map of existing internet coverage in the US.
According to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the first milestone toward that goal has finally been reached.
“On June 30, the Federal Communications Commission opened the first ever window to collect information from broadband providers in every state and territory about precisely where they provide broadband services,” Rosenworcel writes. “I announced the opening of the window with a Note to put this milestone in context and to explain in detail the Commission’s work over the previous 18 months to update and improve our broadband maps. Today marks the close of this first data collection window—the next important step forward in our efforts to build more accurate broadband maps, which are much-needed, long overdue, and mandated by Congress.”
The first draft of the map will be released around November 2022, after which the agency will continue to improve the accuracy of the maps.
“Looking ahead, there’s one more important thing to note about the new maps,” Rosenworcel adds. “When the first draft is released, it will provide a far more accurate picture of broadband availability in the United States than our old maps ever did. That’s worth celebrating. But our work will in no way be done. That’s because these maps are iterative. They are designed to updated, refined, and improved over time.”