Next Century Cities Broadband Mapping Resources

For Help With Challenges

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the FCC Maps translate to funding for communities?

NTIA will use the FCC’s map to make BEAD funding allocations based on the number of unserved locations in each state. Unserved locations are those that don’t have access to 25/3 Mbps service. If unserved locations aren’t listed on the FCC’s map, the state will not get funding for that location. The FCC’s map will also help inform federal and state funding programs. 


FCC FAQ for Government Entities

How can localities use state and federal data to identify where they are lacking service?

Federal Broadband Availability Data

Local leaders can view the Federal Communications Commission (FCC’s) current map. The FCC and many state maps focus on broadband availability, rather than broadband adoption. Oftentimes, availability is reported by providers. Some states have implemented speed tests and other measures to understand broadband performance, but the FCC’s data focus on service advertised by providers, rather than the service experienced by users. Local and state efforts play an important role in improving the FCC’s location and availability data.

Measuring Broadband Adoption

The US Census Bureau publishes statistics on computer and Internet use collected through the American Community Survey. These statistics have helped show that government efforts to connect residents during the pandemic helped improve broadband adoption.

Improving Broadband Data 

Significant gaps remain, including granular price information, device breakdowns, and robust demographic information. Researchers and nonprofit advocates are pushing for more accurate federal data about broadband adoption. Accurate data helps bolster grant applications, guide policy decisions, and understand and improve broadband programs’ impact. 

What policy efforts are aiming to improve broadband mapping?
Additional Resources

Tufts University’s Digital Planet Initiative 


Pew Charitable Trusts 


Institute for Local Self Reliance

#ShowMeYourMaps Report