The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program intends to close the digital divide. It provides $42 billion in funding to help more Americans get access to high-speed internet. To advocate for funding, state, local, and tribal authorities need to know where gaps exist.
This interactive map from Lisa Berry at Esri explores internet accessibility and speeds. You can see where households lack access and which blocks are underserved. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers places without at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds underserved.
As you zoom in and out, a clear pattern emerges. Urban areas are often well-served, while outlying and rural places suffer. There are also instances where accessibility is high, but speeds are inadequate. Overall, about 12% of households in the US lack internet access.
The map also includes the locations of existing cellular towers. In many places where access and speeds are lower, there are existing towers nearby. These structures could be used to build out more capacity and accessibility.
The shift to remote learning during the pandemic highlighted the impacts of the digital divide. High-speed internet access is a critical resource in today’s world. Your address shouldn’t limit your ability to learn, communicate, and participate in society.