Exploring The Data Behind BroadbandNow
Where our data comes from, how we process it, and why it’s the best on the web.
When we set out to build a comprehensive tool that helps consumers compare broadband providers in their area, we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.
However, we also knew that it was an important mission — that’s why we created our own National Broadband Map when the FCC was no longer funded to maintain its own. Internet access is critical for basic needs like work, education, and communication. We believe that expanding reliable internet access is vital to the U.S., both economically and socially. To date, we’ve crunched billions of rows of data in our mission to make broadband easy to access for all Americans.
But where does our data come from?
What makes our data the best: Combining Public and Private Records
The datasets we pull directly from the FCC and Census Bureau are critical to our work and form the basis for the data we display on BroadbandNow. However, the FCC only releases data twice a year (and on a year and a half delay), so providers’ evolving coverage isn’t always fully reflected using the FCC 477 alone. Proprietary data, including submissions to us directly from ISPs, acts as a corrective lens for viewing national broadband data on our sites, as well as our yearly manual reviews of provider coverage to calibrate FCC over-reporting. We also have a dedicated team who checks the plans and prices of thousands of ISPs to make sure our site is current with the provider’s plans and pricing of the moment.
Making Data Public is a National Effort
With all that in mind, we couldn’t have created these tools without the hard work of all the dedicated researchers, data scientists, and engineers in the industry who share our belief in the importance of broadband and work hard to make connectivity data available to everyone. We are proud to collaborate with organizations such as Microsoft, the Open Data Institute, Facebook, Non-Profits, Think Tanks, and local government agencies. Our latest efforts to source and publish robust public datasets are available on our Github.
Our data has been central to thousands of local, national, and international news stories. Here are a few places we have been referenced: