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6 cool things learned from the National Broadband Map

Brad Reed | Feb. 17, 2011
Now that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has launched its National Broadband Map, it's time to comb through the data to see what we can learn about broadband in the United States.

Four: Wireless looks like the future for rural broadband.  Although there are gaps between urban and rural areas in terms of availability for all times of broadband technologies, the smallest gap exists for wireless technologies.  This gap figures to get even smaller over the next few years as stimulus funds will help build WiMAX networks in rural areas of 22 different states and rural carriers will partner with the big incumbents to bring LTE to areas that aren't currently covered.  In addition to services offered on licensed spectrum, we will also see a proliferation of wireless broadband services that utilize the unlicensed "white spaces" spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission opened up for use in 2008.

Five: New York is the king of the 100Mbps download.  There are only eight counties in the United States in which 99% of the population has access to broadband services that offer advertised download speeds of 100Mbps.  Five of those counties (Nassau, Rockland, Westchester, Suffolk and Bronx) are in New York, while the remaining ones reside in California (San Francisco and Alameda) and New Jersey (Passaic).

Six: Wyoming is not a good place for high-speed Internet.  Sparsely-populated, mountainous terrains aren't typically easy to build high-powered telecommunications networks in and Wyoming is no exception.  Only 53.5% of the population in Wyoming has access to a broadband service that offers advertised speeds of 3Mbps for downloads and 0.7Mbps for uploads.  The good news, however, is that Wyoming is an outlier as 3Mbps-down-0.7Mbps-up connections are available to more than 70% of the population in all the other 49 states, and to more than 90% of the population in 42 other states.  These connection speeds are available to 100% of residents in only the District of Columbia, Delaware and New Jersey.

So those were six interesting factoids I found.  Try going to the Broadband Map website and find some more for yourself!


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