The FCC publishes its first mobile broadband map


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced its own the first mobile broadband coverage map. The tool allows you to compare the LTE and voice coverage area of ​​the four largest mobile operators in the country, showing where you can expect wireless download and upload speeds of at least 5 Mbps and 1 Mbps.

The data you see on the map is accurate as of May 15, 2021, and with the tools you can compare how coverage looks in your area away from the often misleading and confusing maps offered by AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon (parent company of Engadget) . The tool is the result of last year Broadband Data Act, which requires the FCC to collect and publish robust data comparing different providers of wired, fixed, and wireless, satellite, and mobile broadband services. To compile the map, the FCC collected standardized spreading information from the carriers. Also asked the public for help.

“This map provides an overview of what mobile data the FCC collects according to the standards set by the Broadband Data Act will look when mapped,” the agency said. he said. “Never before have maps been created using these new, standardized mobile data specifications, which will improve the uniformity and consistency of the broadband access data collected by the FCC.”

The map is not perfect. For example, you cannot see the range of current 5G versions of each operator. But it is difficult to overestimate how much the improvement of this new tool is compared to what the FCC previously offered. To put things in context. Microsoft estimated this in 2019 163 million Americans could not Internet access at the speed of broadband Internet access or higher. Meanwhile, the FCC has brought that number closer to 25 million.

That difference was a direct result of the way the FCC collected its data at the time. He relied on the submissions of Form 477 of the service providers, which may include errors and exaggerations. FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel says the new mobile broadband map is just the beginning of what the agency has planned in that regard.

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