FCC releases wireless broadband map
- By Shourjya Mookerjee
- Aug 10, 2021
The Federal Communications Commission last week released what it called “the first ever standardized look” at mobile broadband coverage from the U.S.’s largest wireless providers. The map previews the kind of granular, standardized mobile data the FCC will collect and map as part of its Broadband Data Collection.
Aggregating data from the nation’s four largest mobile carriers, the interactive map was created by the FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force. It displays 4G LTE broadband data and mobile voice coverage that was voluntarily submitted by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, UScellular and Verizon.
The map shows each carrier’s broadband and voice coverage. Highlighted areas signify “where customers can expect to receive 4G LTE broadband service at a minimum user download speed of five megabits per second (5 Mbps) and a user upload speed of one megabit per second (1 Mbps) based on propagation modeling,” a news release said. The FCC noted that the map does not show home internet availability, 5G coverage or specific data speeds.
The 2020 Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act required the FCC to improve and update its broadband maps. Bridging the digital divide has been a priority of President Joe Biden, who made it a key part of his infrastructure plan.
“A good map is one that changes over time. Today’s new map represents progress in our efforts to implement the Broadband DATA Act and build next-generation broadband maps that can help to connect 100 percent of Americans,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “Using improved systems and data, we can provide better information about where broadband service is and is not across the country.”
Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.