FCC hopes to fix its broadband maps with more precise data
On top of this, the FCC is implementing a process to gather public input on the accuracy of internet providers’ maps. This includes a crowdsourcing portal that will take feedback directly from customers as well as local governments. Proposals could also bring in “additional technical standards” for more precise maps as well as the collection of mobile data and voice coverage.
The mapping order comes alongside a proposed $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund that would focus on improving internet access in areas with at least 4 million homes and small businesses that don’t have “modern” broadband service. In theory, the fund would both increase the number of areas eligible for support and demand a minimum of 25Mbps, up from the 10Mbps of the Connect America Fund. In some cases, rural dwellers could expect data “up to gigabit speeds.” It would use a reverse auction to spur competitive pricing, and take a two-part approach that starts with unserved areas and uses the new maps to boost coverage in partially served areas.
Not surprisingly, some of the FCC commissioners weren’t completely happy with either measure. Both Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks objected to the FCC proposing the rural fund without the better maps in place — it’s not ensuring the money wil