The FCC’s broadband data is deeply flawed. The data overstates availability by relying on provider-reported, un-audited data. Not only does the data represent advertised speeds, as opposed to actual speeds, but availability is determined at the census block level. This means that if a single home could receive broadband in a census block, the FCC reports that that entire census block has access to the service.
This drastic overrepresentation of access to broadband harms communities when it is used to determine eligibility for federal assistance. It is not uncommon for a community that is underserved to be deemed ineligible to participate in a federal program because FCC data has determined they have access to service that in fact does not exist.
Finally, the cost of broadband is an integral factor in determining accessibility. A comprehensive broadband map must include price of service.
→ Support a reform in the ways in which we collect broadband availability data
→ Support a framework for auditing data
→ Support the inclusion of price data in broadband mapping initiatives