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NTIA Updates State Leaders on National Broadband Availability Map Progress

Tue, October 27, 2020

In mid-September, BroadbandUSA’s State Broadband Leaders Network (SBLN) held its semiannual Summit to discuss broadband issues and policy at the state level. NTIA provided an update on its National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) and introduced BroadbandUSA’s new State Broadband Mapping Cohort.

The NBAM is a powerful, flexible, and secure geographic information system (GIS) platform for the visualization and comparison of federal, state, and commercially available broadband data sets to better inform broadband projects and funding decisions. NBAM’s partners include 22 states as well as USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. During the presentation, NTIA showcased the wide variety of available datasets and highlighted how NBAM users can harness this data. For example, comparing Ookla crowd sourced speed test data with the FCC Form 477 Broadband Deployment Data allows users to highlight potential gaps in broadband availability.

To further ensure that the views of the states are incorporated as NTIA’s broadband mapping platform evolves, the SBLN and NBAM teams introduced BroadbandUSA’s State Broadband Mapping Cohort. At monthly meetings of this cohort, NBAM users will be able to hone their knowledge of the platform through webinars with interactive training tutorials. The meetings will provide “hands-on” support with NBAM tools and data analysis that can be used for policymaking and funding decisions at the state level. These meetings also will offer opportunities to share best practices and resources related to broadband data and mapping.

To find out if your state is participating in the NBAM consult the updated NBAM section of the BroadbandUSA website. To learn how to participate in the NBAM effort or find information on the upcoming State Broadband Mapping Cohort, please email NBAM@ntia.gov.