Skip to main content

NTIA National Broadband Map reveals Internet deserts, oases in US

national broadband mapThe National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) released the National Broadband Map today. This $200 million project offers public access to a thorough analysis of national broadband availability, and hopes to increase access, especially to “communities at risk of being left behind.”

The NTIA collaborated with the FCC to extract the data, which revealed that 5 to 10 percent of Americans cannot access Internet speeds that would allow incredibly basic Web functions, including downloading images or video chat capability. Only 36 percent of Americans have access to wireless Internet, most using “3G” speeds. The 2010 US Census revealed a shocking amount of disparity when it comes to Internet accessibility, and it’s become a government focus to amend the situation. Just last year, the NTIA determined that 40 percent of Americans went without home broadband connections.

While some of us have been left in the lurch, the map did prove that more Americans have access to the Internet in general than last year – nearly 5 percent more. And you can research all the improvements for yourself with the interactive map. Users aren’t limited to vague stats about broadband accessibility: It allows you to customize your search. You can browse details like broadband options and specific street addresses. According to the Commerce Department, the map will be updated twice a year to include connectivity improvements.

So how did the NTIA pay for this? A good deal came from the 2009 Recovery Act, which specified funds for a national broadband inventory. After deciding to enact a plan to provide broadband service nationwide, the FCC realized it needed to assess where it was unavailable. Now, the data has been laid at our fingertips and the government is working on improving our Internet connection.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Should you buy the Surface Laptop Studio or wait for the Surface Laptop Studio 2?
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 on a white table.

Announced during the Microsoft September event, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 joins a growing family of Surface devices. Equipped with all the same flexibility we'd expect from the best 2-in-1 laptops, the Studio 2 may look very similar to the previous version, but it's a lot more different than it seems at a glance.

How does the new version compare to Microsoft's original Laptop Studio? Below, we'll take you on a deep dive into these two devices and help you make your pick if you're trying to choose between them.
Pricing and availability

Read more
We found 5 great OLED gaming monitors in the clearance bin
The 45-inch LG UltraGear curved gaming monitor with a game on the screen.

Gamers who want to play on the best screens should consider going for a monitor with OLED technology, for visuals that will give justice to the processing power of the best gaming PCs and the most advanced consoles. They usually don't come cheap, but we've found five OLED gaming monitors with discounts from Best Buy. They still won't be considered budget displays with these price cuts, but they're worth every single penny. You're going to have to choose what to buy quickly though, as the bargains may no longer be available as soon as tomorrow.

What to buy in Best Buy's OLED gaming monitor sale
Among the five options in Best Buy's OLED gaming monitor sale, the cheapest is the

Read more
Dell sale drops the price of Full HD and 4K monitors, from just $100
A curved gaming monitor from Alienware with stand.

If you've been planning to upgrade your monitor but you haven't come across monitor deals that match your needs and budget, you should check out Dell's sale. You'll be able to choose from more than 20 displays with either Full HD or 4K Ultra HD resolution, with prices as low as $100. You're going to have to choose from the offers quickly though, as we're not sure how much time you've got left before you miss out on the discounts.

What to buy in Dell's monitor sale

Read more