Working to Provide a Better National Broadband Map

Thu, February 20, 2014 by Anne Neville, Director, State Broadband Initiative
Anne Neville, Director, State Broadband Initiative

Since its launch in 2011, the National Broadband Map, a joint project of NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been providing key data on where broadband is available throughout the country and who is providing it. Today, we’re rolling out the seventh edition of the map. In addition to providing updated data, the latest version of the broadband map includes some enhancements such as a more detailed summary page for each state as well as additional information about broadband providers and their subsidiaries.

The latest data, from June 30, 2013, shows the country continues to make steady progress in expanding access to broadband. Most Americans have access to wired broadband (93 percent), while 98 percent have access to wireless broadband at the most basic broadband speed, defined at 3 Megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 768 kilobits per second (kbps) up. The data also show that 99 percent of the U.S. population has access to this basic broadband through either a wired or wireless service. Here are other highlights from the latest data:

• 98 percent of Americans have access to broadband at combined speeds of 6 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream – a slight boost from the December 2012 figure of 96 percent.
• 83 percent of the population has access to broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps – a big jump from the 50 percent of the population who had access to broadband at this speed when we began collecting data in June 2010.
• 57 percent of the population has access to broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or more, compared with only 10 percent in June 2010.
• 8.9 percent of the population has access to 1 Gigabit per second service, as of June 2013, compared with only 1 percent in June 2010. A number of 1 gigabit services are primarily intended for businesses.
• A large majority – 87 percent – have access to cable providers for broadband, while a quarter of the country can access broadband through a fiber connection.
• Despite increases in access, rural areas and tribal lands still lag significantly behind urban communities in broadband availability. Nearly all Americans living in urban areas have access to broadband service with a download speed of at least 10 Mbps compared to rural areas where broadband service is available to only 89 percent. On tribal lands, basic wired broadband is available to 54 percent of the population, which is an increase from 45 percent in June 2011.

As we’ve noted previously, our data provides granular information about where broadband is located, who provides it and the maximum speeds they advertise at that location. It does not include information about data caps, price or contract terms or other variables that a consumer or small business may consider before determining if a broadband package meets their needs. We encourage anyone interested in combining this information with other data points or interesting variables to use or download the data.

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