What the Tech: Broadband map

It’s worth checking out.
It’s worth checking out.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 2:18 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The federal government is making it easier for everyone to find out if they’re getting the best deal and fastest speed on their home internet.

For the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has gathered information to update a little-known tool for homeowners to find out which company has the fastest internet speeds in their neighborhoods.

Not that long ago, most people had just one or two companies providing internet to their street. In some areas now, they may have three or four, or six. Verizon and T-Mobile now offer wireless home internet from these 5G cell towers. Those speeds can vary dramatically from street to house or house.

During the pandemic, the FCC began updating the nation’s broadband map and just released valuable information on the website, broadbandmap.fcc.gov. It’s simple to use, just enter your home address. The blue octagons are where broadband is available. The white areas have no internet signal, and light blue means internet service is low or spotty. according to the FCC.

The map shows, for that specific address, all of the internet providers available and their speeds. And it’s sometimes shocking to see the difference between one company and another.

At one house, the fastest speed is from Comcast at 1200 Mbps, and three houses down, AT&T has 5 gig fiber internet. This is for home-fixed broadband. The map also reveals speeds from mobile broadband. This shows which wireless carrier offers 5G to that address. Valuable information if your cell signal isn’t solid.

You can test the speeds you’re getting and what you should be getting. If it isn’t as fast as it should be, contact your internet provider. The FCC continues to update the maps by gathering information from providers, and from people who test their speeds using the Speed Test app.

The broadband map will also be used to decide where some of the $42 billion infrastructure money will be used to improve internet access across the country.

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