Over the last few months, NTIA’s National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) has added Nevada, Louisiana, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico to its growing roster of participants. To date, the NBAM includes 38 states, two U.S. territories, and five federal agencies: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The NBAM is a geographic information system platform which allows for the visualization and analysis of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. This includes data from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Census Bureau, Universal Service Administrative Company, USDA, Ookla, Measurement Lab, BroadbandNow, White Star, and the state governments. The mapping platform provides users, including administrators from the 40 participating states and territories, with access to the NBAM and its data to better inform broadband projects and funding decisions in their states.
In June 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) also released a publicly available digital map that displays key indicators of broadband needs across the country. The public “Indicators of Broadband Need” (IBN) tool is the first interactive, public map designed to bring multiple third-party data sources together to help the public better understand the digital divide and the connection between poverty and lack of broadband access or use. The IBN is a derivative of NBAM data sets aggregated to demonstrate broadband gaps across the U.S.
With more states joining NBAM, NTIA is another step closer to creating a national platform that can help inform policymakers and expand Internet coverage across the United States.
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