WASHINGTON – Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO of Connected Nation (CN), issued the following statement regarding today’s launch of the new National Broadband Map by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
“Today’s launch of the new National Broadband Map marks a significant leap forward in our nation’s efforts to close the Digital Divide once and for all. In 2017, we began working with Congress on legislation that eventually led to the passage of the Broadband DATA Act. Accurate and granular broadband mapping that is subject to validation and a robust, ongoing challenge process is essential to pinpointing broadband coverage gaps and directing funding to close them.
“This map is only a first draft, and it is now incumbent upon state broadband offices, working in partnership with organizations like ours, to identify provider misreporting, data processing errors, and issues with the underlying Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric to make the map better with each iteration. The public, too, must play its part in challenging the data—and everyone from elected officials and service providers to consumer groups and the media must get the word out about the challenge process. Only a map that is subject to public scrutiny and refined over time will be truly accurate.
“We encourage the FCC to increase the awareness of the GIS processing support that the organization is required to provide to small service providers (as mandated by the Broadband DATA Act) to ensure that availability data is reported as accurately as possible by service providers, regardless of size or geospatial capability.
“We commend FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, her fellow FCC commissioners, and the FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force led by Jean Kiddoo for its work getting the map to this point. It was truly a monumental effort. But with so much broadband funding on the line, we must not rest now. We stand ready to support our state broadband office partners each step of the way and do the hard work necessary to make this map the resource that it has the potential to be.”
About Connected Nation: The national nonprofit, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is celebrating 20 years of service in 2021. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. Learn more at connectednation.org.