If your business or your customers depend on high-speed Internet, there’s a new map you should look at if you’re thinking about pulling up stakes and moving. The National Broadband Map, which was launched yesterday (Feb. 17) by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will quickly let you see if wired or wireless high-speed Internet will be available in the new location.
The National Broadband Map is a searchable database with more than 25 million records from 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia that shows where broadband Internet service is available, the technology used to provide the service, the maximum advertised speeds of the service and the names of local service providers. The data will be updated every six months.
You can search by address, view data on the map or use interactive tools to compare broadband access across different parts of the country. The $200 million map was mandated by the 2009 economic stimulus bill. It was created by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In many parts of the country, connection speed remains a major issue. As many as one in ten Americans lack broadband access, according to the map’s data.
Department of Commerce officials hope that the information can help spur new business and help businesses decide if they want to relocate.
“The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy ,” Larry Strickling, the NTIA’s assistant secretary, said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the increase in broadband adoption last year, particularly in light if the difficult economic environment, but a digital divide remains.”
“The release of the National Broadband Map, the first of its kind in the nation, is a significant milestone,” said Julius Genachowski, the FCC chairman. “This cutting-edge tool will continue to evolve with the help of new data and user feedback. It will provide consumers, companies and policymakers with a wealth of information about broadband availability, speeds, competition and technology, and help Americans make better informed choices about their broadband services.”
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.