HomeTechnologyInternetYou Can Finally Spot Internet Coverage Gaps on FCC's Broadband Maps

You Can Finally Spot Internet Coverage Gaps on FCC’s Broadband Maps

Not sure if your neighborhood has broadband internet or 5G? Today the Federal Communications Commission new broadband cards released shows where high speed internet access and 5G mobile service is available in the US.

The FCC is in favour coverage maps were inaccurate, showing that Americans should have been able to get online at faster speeds if they weren’t covered by ISPs. Or if they were, they fell well below the 25 Mbps download speed threshold set by the FCC to be considered broadband Internet. These new maps allow Americans to see internet speeds they can get at any street address in the country.

“These maps provide the best picture available to date of where broadband is and isn’t available across the country, and the maps will only get better from here,” said FCC President Jessica Rosenworcel in a release on Friday.

The maps are an important tool for bridging the digital divide, helping government, businesses and consumers better pinpoint and address gaps in coverage. The lack of equal access to internet services is a problem the US has been grappling with for years, one that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Thanks to Broadband Data Act, which is allocating $65 billion to improve Americans’ broadband access, the FCC must release maps showing where Americans can get wired Internet access. They are updated approximately every six months with new data from ISPs and providers, and individuals can submit corrections if they are denied access.

These maps also show mobile network availability from different carriers at different speed levels: download speeds of 5 Mbps for 4G LTE, along with 7 Mbps and 35 Mbps for 5G. The FCC has requested data from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Dish on where their services will deliver these speeds 90% of the time, and formalized them into coverage maps for comparison.

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These are also useful for mobile plan subscribers to compare these maps with coverage maps created by the carriers themselves, which vary in speed and availability. For example, T-Mobile offers coverage maps that show where subscribers will get at least 2 Mbps download speeds 85% of the time, though T-Mobile found very little difference in coverage between their availability and the FCC’s 90% availability maps.

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