Have you ever wondered how your school’s internet connection speed stacks up? What about your home’s broadband speed? Thanks to the newly released (today!) National Broadband Map, you can easily see how fast those Facebook status updates are actually going in your area. Want to move somewhere where Netflix loads faster? Now it’s easier to find a better area!
The map is part of an initiative to facilitate the integration of broadband into state and local economies. It shows where broadband Internet service is available, the technology used to provide the service, the maximum advertised speeds of the service and the names of the service providers. The data that powers it comes from more than 1,650 unique broadband companies. If you have a t1 service provider or other connection you can read online about enhancing those connections locally.
You can even see a live view of the most popular location searches to find out who is using the map while you do. Very cool.
As you can see from the map below, the northeast and parts of the central area of the U.S. seem to be the best spots for speedy broadband access. Meanwhile, a Census survey revealed that 5% to 10% of the U.S. population lacks access to broadband that supports even basic applications like downloading web pages, photos and videos. That’s just crazy.
You can check out how your local Internet stacks up by visiting the Map’s homepage.
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 is a project of NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative. The NBM will be updated approximately every six months and was first published on February 17, 2011.
The State Broadband Initiative was created by the NTIA, to encourage economic growth by facilitating the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies. In addition to the NBM, the State Broadband Initiative accomplishes this goal through the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) Program. Through SBDD, NTIA has awarded a total of $293 million to 56 grantees, one each from the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, or their designees. Grantees are using this funding to support the efficient and creative use of broadband technology to better compete in the digital economy. These state-created efforts vary depending on local needs but include programs to assist small businesses and community institutions in using technology more effectively, research to investigate barriers to broadband adoption, innovative applications that increase access to government services and information, and state and local task forces to expand broadband access and adoption.