On January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama, in a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, directed Federal departments and agencies to promote public trust through transparency, public participation and collaboration. One of our goals in launching the National Broadband Map (NBM) is to effectively embody those three principles.
Here are some of the ways we are doing so:
The National Broadband Map is transparent. For example, we provide information on the source of each part of the dataset and how the data were collected. We take a soup-to-nuts approach towards publishing this “data lineage,” beginning with access to the methodologies that each state grantee developed to describe its data collection and validation processes. We include lists of the broadband providers that volunteered data in each state and those that are still working on it. The National Broadband Map also provides information detailing how NTIA and the FCC integrated, evaluated, and mapped the individual state datasets. Finally, the data described above come alive on the website itself through features such as search/find, rank, summarize and map. And if you want the data for yourself, are all available via API or direct download.
The National Broadband Map is participatory. In fact, we are actively seeking your participation. When you search for information by address, we want you to tell us whether you have access to the specific broadband providers and/or maximum advertised speeds listed (feature coming soon). If your provider isn’t listed, we encourage you to let us know. More importantly, every bit of crowdsourced information, positive and negative, will be available to the state grantees that are collecting and updating the data. Grantees will be able to use your feedback to expand and improve their next dataset, which will be updated every six months.
The National Broadband Map is collaborative. Thanks to an unprecedented partnership among NTIA, the FCC, all 50 states, 5 territories, the District of Columbia, and more than 1650 unique broadband providers, the National Broadband Map is the most comprehensive telecommunications dataset ever released by the government — and we’re just getting started. This Federal-State partnership isn’t solely intended to produce the map, however; the map is part of the State Broadband Initiative designed to create capacity and facilitate the expansion of broadband throughout the country. We’ll continue to highlight the work of these efforts to plan, coordinate, and accelerate broadband deployment and adoption across each state, and encourage you to get involved.
So what really makes the National Broadband Map #gov20? You do.
Program Officer, State Broadband Initiative
National Telecommunications and Information Administration