Essential Broadband Mapping

By Russ Steele

I was looking into a broadband problem for a friend who does not have access in Idaho. I went to the Idaho broadband maps to see what was available in the community where my friends live in Southern Idaho. Studying the maps, I noted the data was current as of June 2014. That was four years ago. The California Broadband maps are current as of December 2016, and will soon be two years out of date.

Worse yet, these maps are base on reports by the providers, rather direct measurements by users. As the public input layers of California Broadband Maps attest, there is a gap between the reported coverage and the real world of broadband reception. In some cases the difference is vast, and it others is less evident.

The California Public Communications Commission has an ongoing program to collect real-time user speed using the CalSpeed App for Cell phones and Laptops. It is essential for users to send in CalSpeed reports. They are working on additional programs to automatically record and transmit network speeds directly to a database for analysis. This program is in beta testing and depending on the result could be available soon for broader use.

In the meantime, I encourage readers to continue to activate the CalSpeed application daily.  If you need the app, see the right-hand column What You Can Do.

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