The Great Broadband Mapping Distraction

It’s unfortunate that the issue of broadband mapping is taking up any time and energy, much less about $350 million in stimulus money. Discussion of mapping takes away from discussion of the real issue – deployment, and why large companies have to be begged to provide service to some areas while they go to court and to state legislatures to prevent others from filling the gap.

The whole point of a legitimate broadband mapping exercise is for the public and policymakers to see where the service is being offered, at what speeds and price and, as importantly, where it isn’t. The “why” it isn’t being offered is a separate question the map can’t answer. The whole strategy of the telecom industry is to keep any mapping from revealing embarrassing information, like low speeds, high prices and spotty coverage and to keep anyone else from verifying the information it does put forward.

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