On November 18, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will release the first draft of its new National Broadband Map, a comprehensive, location-by-location view of high-speed Internet availability across the nation. The map is a more detailed and precise reflection of the availability of fixed and mobile broadband services in all 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs.
The new map can be accessed here.
Unlike its previous census block-based maps, this updated map is built on a location-based model developed through the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection process. The map will be continuously updated with each filing period's set of data, with the next cycle expected to span from December 31-March 1. Each filing window will then take place six months thereafter.
The new National Broadband Map and its future iterations are expected to be instrumental in determining the flow of funds for billions of dollars for broadband deployment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
This includes the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which will provide over $42 billion to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs in all 50 states and Washington D.C. NTIA has required states to conduct local coordination in order to receive these funds, and NACo encourages counties to contact their state broadband office to begin this process.
Counties are encouraged to review and validate the availability data presented on the map to determine whether to submit a challenge. If your county determines that a challenge is needed, the FCC has provided steps to follow here.
NACo will be conducting a national webinar on the FCC's broadband availability maps at the end of November. Additional information will be provided soon.
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