Aug 6, 2021 - Technology

FCC unveils new mobile service maps

screenshot of FCC map showing mobile broadband availability in Crested Butte, Colorado

Verizon 4G mobile service availability near Crested Butte, Colorado.

The Federal Communications Commission released a new set of maps Friday showing mobile service coverage and availability as reported by the major wireless providers.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars are about to be spent on boosting broadband access for underserved Americans. The better the data that directs that spending is, the more effective the dollars will be.

  • The FCC says these new maps represent a step towards complying with a 2020 law that mandated better public reporting of broadband and wireless service information.
  • The maps use a new data specification that will "improve the uniformity and consistency of broadband availability data," according to an FCC release.

The big picture: The FCC's previous broadband availability mapping efforts have long faced criticism for overstating the services available to consumers.

  • In June, the Biden White House released its own maps in an effort to demonstrate the broad need for better service in underserved areas.
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