US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released updated broadband maps showing where 5G and internet services are accessible in a move to provide users with more accurate information about pricing, speeds and availability.
While the latest maps provide the most detailed information to date, the FCC acknowledged they are a work in progress.
Previous maps displayed areas where consumers supposedly could get access, despite some not actually being covered by service providers.
The maps display location-specific information about the broadband services available instead of relying on census block level data previously collected. The updates also offer detail on data rates by street.
There will also be a key role for the updated maps in government broadband funding projects to bridge the digital divide in rural and underserved areas.
“Our pre-production draft maps are a first step in a long-term effort to continuously improve our data as consumers, providers and others share information with us,” FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel stated.
She added improving the accuracy of broadband coverage information will enable local and national government to “better work together to ensure no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide”.
The FCC is required to update mobile and fixed maps as part of the Broadband DATA Act, with funding for the effort coming from a $1.2 trillion government pot. It plans to update the details with new information from service providers around every six months, with consumers able to report if fixed-line services shown are not available.
Map users will also be able correct and add location information. The draft maps will also allow users to view the wireless coverage reported by mobile operators.
The FCC also launched an updated version of its mobile network performance app, enabling consumers to challenge operators’ claimed coverage.