This was an important week for the millions of American families and small businesses still waiting for access to high-speed internet. Charter completed its mission early to provide the FCC with location-specific fixed broadband data about the homes it serves across its 41-state footprint. This data will be combined with data from other internet service providers (ISPs) over the next weeks to form an improved, dynamic broadband availability map known as a “Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric” (Fabric).
It may sound simple, but achieving 100% connectivity will be impossible until we can accurately identify unserved locations, and the Fabric was developed to deliver just that.
Under the leadership of Chairwoman Rosenworcel, the FCC has worked diligently to improve broadband availability data and maps so that limited federal and state subsidy funds can be used to reach the unserved areas that need it most.
One of the FCC’s most important innovations is that the Fabric can and will be continually updated to accurately reflect served and unserved locations. For example, if the Fabric is missing a home that an ISP serves, the ISP will provide proof that the home exists and the Fabric will be updated. Similarly, if an unserved area is mistakenly identified as having broadband availability, anyone can submit a challenge that will trigger an update to the Fabric. These updates will happen quickly to produce more accurate maps, as both the FCC and ISPs are laser focused on getting this right as soon as possible so the maps can inform broadband subsidy decisions very soon.
As a company with a proven commitment to connecting unserved homes and small businesses in urban and rural America, Charter knows first-hand the importance of quality data to closing the digital divide and we’ve worked with the FCC to develop and trial this new Fabric. Having accurate maps will help us continue to connect more communities to broadband – but the real value of quality maps will come when unserved areas get online, opening doors to opportunity and transforming lives.