5th Data Submission Complete: Updated Information on Providers, Speeds Available
More Illinoisans than ever have access to high-speed (broadband) Internet and carriers are continuing to expand their service areas, according to new data collected by the non-profit Partnership for a Connected Illinois. The organization, also known by its Broadband Illinois website, is responsible to the state and the federal government to collect and publish information from providers of high-speed Internet service.
The data, which includes information on broadband coverage areas and local broadband centers, is part of the fifth semi-annual submission to the U.S Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The information from State Broadband Initiative entities like the Partnership for a Connected Illinois is used to update the National Broadband Map, which has been available online since February 2011 at http://broadbandmap.gov.
“The new data from Internet providers is live on the Broadband Illinois web site, showing progress in ensuring that all residents of our state have access to Better Broadband and Better Lives,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois.
“Our team of geographic information systems analysts and eTeam officials contact each Illinois broadband provider,” said Clark. “We have left no stone unturned in our effort to document new infrastructure, upgraded speeds and expanded service territory.”
In this round, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois completed map updates for 57 of the 128 carriers who provided data, including information from twelve new providers. Analysts compiled the data from providers, verified whether regions indeed had access to broadband service, and coordinated with new carriers to create user-friendly maps of their coverage areas and available speeds.
The Partnership for a Connected Illinois also submitted a 36-page narrative that details the data collection process, carrier outreach process, methods for generating census block level datasets as requested by the NTIA, five methods of data verification the organization uses to ensure accuracy, and how data is used and published on the Broadband Illinois website. The Data Narrative can be downloaded as a PDF at the bottom of this article.
Additionally, Broadband Illinois has launched an interactive “Find Broadband Near You” widget . The widget, utilizing the fresh data, allows users to identify available carriers in their area, view and verify advertised upload and download speeds, and find community centers that offer broadband, such as libraries or schools, in their region. This new feature also includes a broadband request tool for users who do not have or are unsatisfied with their service.
Download the Round 5 Data Narrative here