The Biden administration Thursday unveiled a new mapping tool that shows much greater gaps in use of high-speed internet service across the U.S. than the government’s previous maps reported. From a report: The White House is pushing for big spending to provide more, better broadband service to underserved areas after the pandemic made Americans more dependent than ever on their internet connections. The new, zoomable map draws on a wider pool of data than existing maps by the Federal Communications Commission, which relied exclusively on industry-provided data that overstated broadband penetration.
The map raises questions about the gap between internet availability and actual usage, with usage reports indicating wide swaths of the country are not making a home broadband connection. The new “Indicators of Broadband Need” map, developed by the White House and the telecommunications branch of the Commerce Department, pulls together different data sets from Ookla, M-Lab, Microsoft, the Federal Communications Commission and the Census Bureau. The overlapping data points are meant to paint a picture of the areas that need more, better broadband. The map also includes data on places that reported a lack of connection by computer, smartphone or tablet and information on broadband usage in high-poverty communities.
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