Ambitious broadband funding has key impediment: an outdated map

 

Source: Cat Zakrzewski & Chris Alcantara, Washington Post ( Paid Registration )

The federal government is slated to pump a record amount of funding into projects to expand Internet access and affordability. But Edmonston’s experience highlights a critical obstacle to the historic investment: a dearth of accurate data about which Americans actually have access to Internet service.

Telecommunications experts, lawmakers and even the FCC's commissioners acknowledge that the maps overestimate the number of Americans who have reliable Internet connections. Because the maps are based on census data, if even one household in a census block — a statistical area that conveys population data — has broadband available, then the agency considers the entire group served. In rural areas, one block could cover dozens of square miles, creating an inaccurate picture.

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