FCC promises broadband maps draft to arrive November 18

Nov. 14, 2022
The maps will provide the FCC’s estimation of broadband availability throughout the U.S. as of June 30, 2022, based on input from service providers delivered earlier this year.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed late last week that it plans to release what it called “a pre-production draft” of broadband accessibility maps on November 18, 2022. The maps will provide the FCC’s estimation of broadband availability throughout the U.S. as of June 30, 2022, based on input from service providers delivered earlier this year. Among other uses, the map will provide guidance to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as it allocates funds to states from the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program (see "U.S. House passes Infrastructure Bill with $65 billion for broadband").

The map will contain location level information on broadband availability across the U.S. The map will be searchable by address; there is a mechanism by which the accuracy of the information for each address can be disputed. In addition to giving individuals the ability to correct potential errors, the FCC also will accept bulk challenges to the reported data from state and tribal governments as well as what it called “other entities.”

The information presented in map November 18 map will have been checked against the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric, a database that the FCC says contains all of the locations for which fixed internet access either is or can be installed. The Fabric has already endured a round of challenges that began in September. The FCC says that further challenges to the Fabric based on the broadband map data will be possible via the map interface.

Given the importance of the maps to the BEAD effort and for other purposes, it seems likely that such challenges have only begun. Nevertheless, the NTIA estimates that it will provide BEAD allocation notifications by June 20, 2023.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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