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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.

Go deeper

New gerrymander weapon

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Partisan map-makers are considering not just voter registration but planning and zoning data to decide how new congressional districts can be drawn to help or hurt their candidates not just now but in the future.

Why it matters: High technology and the "big sort" of like-minded voters grouping together can make gerrymandering less conspicuous this year — even if it still exists.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

2 hours ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.