UPDATE Two months after launching a broadband mapping initiative to more accurately, comprehensively, efficiently and quickly map broadband deployment, USTelecom told the FCC that early data gleaned from pilots, demonstrate the new methodology is working.
In fact, USTelecom claims the project is “superior to other [mapping] proposals.” Pilots in Missouri and Virginia indicate this mapping solution is cost efficient, scalable and rapidly deployable, according to USTelecom, ITTA and WISPA. Individual companies taking part in the project include AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, TDS, Verizon, and Windstream.
USTelecom expects to report pilot results to the FCC as early as July 2019, and estimates it will bring a national broadband map to market in Q3 2020. Total cost for this national map is $10-12 million, according to the association, (versus $350 million originally allocated to the agency for flawed broadband mapping methodology).
USTelecom says it provided the Commission with, “strong evidence that the fabric approach is yielding very accurate and granular information about the actual location of serviceable locations.” The creation of a national broadband map is, “realistic and necessary” to ensure that policymakers have an accurate map of where rural broadband consumers are located.
The program, announced in March, makes use of new digital resources, databases and crowdsourcing platforms, combined with existing provider service address information, to improve understanding of unserved/served areas. The initiative will result in what participants say is the most sophisticated and detailed map of broadband availability in the nation, arming policymakers with granular data to identify where broadband service is lacking and better target scarce funding.
May 31, 2019
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