Broadband Data Beyond the Map

It’s been a month since NTIA launched the National Broadband Map and the response has been stunning. The map gets thousands of visitors every day, with almost half a million unique visitors since the launch.

Beyond the interactive map features, we have also made the underlying data available for use by all stakeholders, including consumers, policymakers, and researchers. Although it consists of a huge amount of information – over 25 million records – it has been downloaded by hundreds of users so far. Among those who have been studying the map most closely are a group of academics and other researchers who sought and received permission to begin analyzing the underlying data even before the map itself was released. I am pleased to be speaking at a forum next Tuesday, hosted by TechNet at the National Press Club here in Washington, where many of these researchers will be among the first to offer subjective analyses of what the data tell us about broadband practices and deployment across the nation. (See TechNet’s agenda here ).

The availability of the National Broadband Map and underlying data follows President Obama’s directive that federal agencies operate transparently and collaboratively with the private sector and the American public, using the most advanced technological tools. Consistent with this commitment to data transparency, we expect to see the broadband map and data put to a variety of uses, with the most recent example being the Department of Education’s new map showing broadband availability at schools and colleges throughout the nation ( http://maps.ed.gov/broadband).

We look forward to next week’s panel, which will continue a very open dialogue about America’s broadband challenges and opportunities.

Tom Power
Chief of Staff
National Telecommunications and Information Administration

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