On Jan. 1, 2023, the Broadband Development Office (BDO) created the state’s first public-facing broadband availability map, which includes a location fabric of all broadband serviceable locations (BSLs) in the state and indicates eligible vs. ineligible areas for financial assistance. Since then, new state legislation changed how the map will display information. Moving forward, the map will identify BSLs as unserved, underserved or served. These designations will allow us to make informed decisions on future funding opportunities for broadband infrastructure projects.
To accurately map broadband availability and display service gaps, the BDO has requested updated internet access and service speed data directly from internet service providers (ISPs).
Every ISP that provides service in Texas is encouraged to participate. Accurate and timely data submission by ISPs is critical for directing infrastructure project funding to communities in need.
The BDO identified ISPs that had previously filed their serviceability data to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We then sought to identify relevant points of contact for each company through FCC filer information, state resources, third-party services and sign-up lists at broadband events. We added additional companies and points of contact to the BDO ISP database as new information became available.
In August 2023, the BDO informed ISPs of the initiative to update the broadband availability map. We invited each company to participate in the submission of broadband service availability data and provided them with the following resources:
Outreach will be ongoing to establish company contacts and facilitate roundtable discussions, press releases and social media postings. During prior submission periods, companies that did not submit requested data by the reporting deadline received follow-up emails and phone calls to identify barriers to participation. The BDO is working to overcome these barriers, because timely data submissions from every ISP in Texas is our goal.
The data collected will be de-identified, aggregated and incorporated into the first public broadband availability map, which the BDO will publish no later than Jan. 1, 2024. Individual ISP-level data remain confidential and are not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code. Communities, government officials and members of the public may use the map to identify areas in need of broadband access and conduct detailed regional analyses. Applicants for the broadband development program will use the map data to identify locations in a proposed project area. The BDO will use the map to strategically address the needs of all Texans.
For technical assistance regarding map data submissions, please email TexasISPCoordinator@lightboxre.com.
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