On June 17, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) released an “Indicators of Broadband Need” tool that puts on one map, for the first time, data from both public and private sources. It contains data aggregated at the county, census tract, and census block level from the American Community Survey collected by the U.S. Census, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Measurement Lab (M-Lab), Ookla and Microsoft. Speed-test data provided by M-Lab and Ookla help to illustrate the reality that communities experience when going online, with many parts of the country reporting speeds that fall below the FCC’s current benchmark for fixed broadband service of 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload. This is the first map that allows users to graphically compare and contrast these different data sources.

Most importantly, this interactive mapping result in made generally available to the public at large. NTIA also offers to state governments and federal partners a geographic information system (GIS) platform called the National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) that provides more complex tools for analyzing broadband access, such as the ability to upload GIS files to compare proposed projects.

On August 3, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, please join Heather Burnett Gold as she interviews NTIA’s Sarah Bleau, who will review all the capabilities of the new map and offer a demo of the tool.