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How awful is broadband availability in the U.S.?

Answer: Pretty awful by the looks of this interactive map.

Broadband fibers
Flickr/Tech Alert.pK
Never, perhaps, has the importance of having fast, reliable Internet access been more evident than in the last year. When COVID-19 forced most of us to retreat into our homes, we found ourselves relying on it more than ever before in order to stay connected with the people we care about and complete our work. But we also learned just how bad the broadband availability picture really is.

A new interactive map from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) literally paints that picture, and it’s not pretty. Dubbed the “Indicators of Broadband Need,” the application draws data from the FCC, U.S. Census Bureau, Microsoft, M-Lab and Ookla. The map has multiple layers, which you can view individually or together in any combination.

If you click through to the map, you’ll notice that most of the country is shaded in red, which indicates that that area doesn’t have broadband speeds as fast as 25 mbps/3 mbps, which is the FCC’s recommended minimum.