One of the biggest sore spots in America's technology landscape is the lack of accurate broadband mapping. Past FCC efforts to identify which areas of the country have access to broadband and which ones don't been widely criticized as inadequate. Well, things are about to change.
At their August 1st meeting, the FCC ordered a significant change to how ISP's will report their service areas moving forward. Under the previous mapping regime, ISP's would report which census blocks they offered service. Even if only one premise in a large census block had service available, the entire block would be considered "served" by the FCC. This means that many areas without broadband access are then ineligible to receive buildout funding.
Under the new mapping plan, ISP's must report their service areas not in terms of census blocks but by drawing geospatial polygons that more clearly define where service is currently available or could be provided within 10 business days of a request. The result of this change is that have-nots should no longer be identified as have's on the FCC's broadband maps, making those areas potentially eligible for funding.
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June 16, 2021
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