About » Technical Overview

The National Broadband Map (NBM) is a searchable and interactive website that allows users to view broadband availability across every neighborhood in the United States. The NBM was created by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and in partnership with 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. The NBM will be updated approximately every six months and was first published on February 17, 2011.

Each grantee's data gathering process began by contacting the potential broadband providers within a state. Although participation is voluntary, most providers chose to support this effort. The success of this program rests, in part, on that support, and we appreciate their efforts to participate in this program. In sum, grantees identified and contacted more than 4,600 potential broadband providers nationwide and collected data for approximately 3,400 actual providers operating across the country. When rolled up into parent companies for the national dataset, this work resulted in data for more than 1,650 broadband providers. Every grantee provided a spreadsheet detailing its outreach efforts. These can be found here.

Broadband providers submitted data in a variety of formats, and in a number of cases, the grantees also conducted technical assistance to support the efforts of smaller providers to participate in this effort. Grantees performed many different types of analysis and verification methods, from drive testing wireless broadband service across their highways to meeting with community leaders to receive feedback. Many met with broadband providers, large and small, to confirm data, or suggest changes to service areas. In areas where they needed more information, a number of grantees also went into the field looking for infrastructure to validate service offerings. The descriptions of each grantee's methodology are available here.

Before submitting data to NTIA, grantees integrate the data from each provider into a single dataset using a Data Model. NTIA and the FCC then integrate each of these datasets into the single National Broadband Map dataset.

After integration we review each grantee's process and also review each NBM record by comparing it to other government and third-party datasets. Comparisons to other existing datasets help to identify the extent to which the data collected under this effort matches availability and speed information that have been collected elsewhere. Multiple matches can help solidify confidence in a given result, but because data this granular has never been collected before, non-matches do not indicate that the information is inaccurate.

Using the data above, we designed, developed and implemented a website for the NBM that is searchable and interactive. It displays broadband data at multiple levels of geography and in multiple formats. All of the data on the NBM is also made available for download.

For more information about the technical process involved please visit the following:

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