Why updated maps are thought to be key to getting fast internet to more people
The FCC opened a new system for broadband in June that allowed providers and local broadband leaders to provide maps and data to the commission. It also incorporated new parameters that require broadband providers to give geocoded locations in order to improve the mapping of broadband access in rural areas.
While all of these changes sound like an improvement over Form 477-based analysis, the product will still need to be judged. “It’s hard to know how reliable the first version due this fall will be,” Jonathan Cannon, tech and innovation policy counsel at the R Street Institute, told the Washington Examiner. “States such as Alaska have already raised concerns about the accuracy of the maps. So the new maps may require revisions and stakeholder engagement to ensure they are granular, current, and reliable.” Several states have expressed concerns about map accuracy before the release of the final product and are making their own maps in preparation to challenge the FCC’s data in the next few months.