Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Interactive Map Released that Documents US Digital Divide


On June 17, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a first-ever interactive map which “displays key indicators of broadband needs across the country [the United States]. This is the first interactive, public map that allows users to explore different datasets about where people do not have quality Internet access.”


Data from public and private sources include:

·      Usage:  75% or more devices in area connect with download speeds below 25 Mbps (county level)

·      Speed tests:  Median download speeds in area below 25/3 Mpbs (county and census tract level)

·      American community survey:  25% or more households in area report no internet access (census tract level)

·      American community survey:  25% or more households in area report no computer, smartphone or table (census tract level)

·      FCC Form 477:  No provider reports broadband services at 25/3 Mbps (census block level)


The data on the map can be viewed according to several different spatial boundaries:

·      County

·      Census tract

·      Census block

·      Minority serving institutions (NTIA MSIs)

·      American community survey high poverty communities (20% or more households below poverty level)

·      Tribal lands


The NTIA Administrator said this information will be used by federal and state governments to “make more informed decisions on expanding broadband access.”  The interactive map can also be used by non-profits and individual donors to target donations.



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