Broadband: FCC is Taking Steps to Accurately Map Locations That Lack Access, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Highlights: "Broadband is critical for commercial, educational, and social functions. While most Americans have access to broadband, many still do not--a gap known as the digital divide. To help close this divide, federal programs provide funding to support broadband deployment in unserved areas. According to FCC [Federal Communications Commission], these programs rely on data FCC collects from broadband providers to identify which areas are and are not served to target their limited funds. However, GAO [Government Accountability Office] has raised concerns about FCC's data for lacking accuracy and overstating service. FCC has been measuring broadband deployment by counting an entire census block as served if a provider reports that it offers service to at least one location in the census block. This method can overstate the extent of broadband deployment if the data show that a census block has broadband but not all locations in the census block are actually served. FCC began an effort in 2017 to improve its broadband data, and, in 2020, the Broadband DATA [Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability] Act required FCC to develop a location fabric. The Broadband DATA Act included a provision for GAO to assess key data sources that may be used to develop a location fabric. This report (1) describes FCC's progress in developing a location fabric; and (2) describes challenges stakeholders identified that FCC faces in developing a location fabric."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/