Government Technology

NTIA Updates National Broadband Map

February 4, 2013 By

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released an updated map of broadband availability across the United States, according to information posted by Anne Neville, director of the State Broadband Initiative.

According to the latest data collection, current as of June 30, 2012, 98 percent of Americans have access to wired or wireless broadband with download speeds of at least 3 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 768 kbps. Wireless speeds of at least 6 Mbps are available to 81 percent of the country.

Both federal and state government participated in the project, as well as the voluntary participation of broadband Internet providers. Each state located broadband availability by census block, which includes an average population of 28 people and divided the country into more than 11 million distinct areas to check for broadband availability.

Users can search for specific communities on and analyze the data by comparing different regions or providers.

NTIA, part of the United States Department of Commerce, launched the National Broadband Map two years ago and has updated it every six months.

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Hologram    |    Commented February 5, 2013

There is more to accessibility than simply having wires, cables, or satellites connecting an area. With the severe financial hits many people have taken over the last five years, many people cannot afford internet connections due to their prohibitive monthly connection costs. Even dial-up requires a phone line that can be too expensive for many families and individuals. The costs of quality connections need to come down significantly so more people can really access the internet at home instead of having to use a library, internet cafe or other public location to go online.

Deb    |    Commented February 5, 2013

This is a bunch of hooey. I just checked my address in their database. It says that I have an average of 10Mb available and that my house is 3Mb. It also listed a service provider, as of 6/12, who hasn't actually been the service provider for home or business telecom in this area for 3 years. The reality is, I live in a rural area. I cannot get 10Mb. I can ONLY get DSL and since I am at the end of the line 3Mb is what I pay for, not what I get. Our local library in the center of town cannot get 10 MB wireless. A DSL line now costs $60.00 a month and there is no guarantee that you will actually get the amount of access that you pay for - if you are at the beginning of the line you get it, if you are at the end of the circuit you don't - but you pay the same. And the DSL price just increased 40% per line. But, if they shout the lie loud enough, the digital divide will continue and rural areas will never get service, affordable or otherwise. Meanwhile, the republicans are passing laws in the states that prevent local communities from addressing the problem and require them to go through these same telecoms who are currently gouging customers and not delivering service.

Jim Barclay    |    Commented February 5, 2013

The overstating of broadband availability is a bit disturbing because it will keep us from access to the funds needed. We went to the effort of going door-to-door to gather the information for each and every home, but the map apparently used some other data source. As Emergency Management Director this is very concerning since we also do not have cell coverage and in our densest population area they have extremely unreliable wire-line phones! It is extremely difficult for our residents and visitors to gain access to any means of communication but this map would make it appear we are about 90% covered.

Hologram    |    Commented February 5, 2013

In Michigan, as well as other locations, state law does not require communications companies to service all geographic locations within a community for which they are granted a franchise agreement. Communities need the clout to force companies wanting franchises not to "cherry pick" and service only the most profitable areas, but require as a condition of doing business that all locations are served at least at a certain minimum level for affordable costs for at least 90% of the residents. Until this occurs, the situation will not change to adequately serve most people in the USA. The map is totally out of date and misleading. Internet is really still a luxury item in most locales, even though business is making the case that now it is a "necessity." Good luck with that. I don't see anywhere near proper cover for at least another 10 years if not longer.

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