The Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO) has created a comprehensive address-level map depicting broadband availability data for the state of Texas. The Texas Broadband Development Map will be used to better understand regional needs and make decisions in establishing programs to expand broadband access.
The map features addresses of all types, including homes, businesses, schools, government entities and tribal areas. It shows which areas in the state are eligible for financial assistance. Eligible areas have less than 80 percent of addresses with access to broadband services (25/3 Mbps) and no current broadband-related funding from the federal government.
Interested parties may enter their addresses or business names to confirm they are properly represented as served or unserved and view broadband availability statistics in selected areas. Zoom in to see coverage information.
The BDO selected data company LightBox (LBX) to assist in the development of the map. LBX, which provides a geospatial mapping service, leveraged its SmartFabric™ Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL) data and geographic information system (GIS) expertise to create the Broadband Development Map.
The BDO and LBX directly contacted a number of entities and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and invited them to provide availability data to BDO. Those that responded are eligible for funding in the first round.
We will continue to work with interested parties to add new data to the map, which will be updated every six months.
The discrepancy occurs because some locations have data present in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Layer, and others do not. The pop-up experience in the map is a drill-down approach through the different layers, but the order in which the layers are returned first in the pop-up card deck varies. The federal funding data are not available for every location and are only displayed for locations where they have been reported.
The map uses ArcGIS software. The layers in ArcGIS are collections of geographic data. Layers reference a data source, and when ArcGIS interprets data as spatial, the data's properties and attributes specify how the layer draws on a map, scene or layout. Data gathered in a layer are represented with points, lines, shapes (polygons) or surfaces. Symbols, text, graphics and images allow users to easily visualize the data.
For the Texas Broadband Development Map, the generated locations layer was calculated by summing the number of internet service providers (ISPs) that submitted data to the Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO) as part of the initial Texas ISP engagement and data collection process in October 2022. For areas with no participating ISP data for the Texas ISP engagement, FCC data were used. It is unknown how the FCC populated the number of providers in its data. Any provider information in the “FCC USAC” layer is taken directly from that data source.
The BDO requests service data from the state’s broadband service providers twice per year during its ISP engagement and data collection process; the office then uses this data to develop the map. Providers who do not submit their data will not have their service areas indicated on the map and cannot participate in the map challenge process. The BDO strives to ensure every provider submits up-to-date data; however, locations with no submitted data could be missing internet service information on the map. Please see the list of data providers.
Only a broadband service provider or political subdivision Government Code Section 490I.0105(n) may petition the BDO to reclassify a broadband serviceable location on the map as eligible or ineligible.
Yes, but only for certain challenges. The FCC allows two types of challenges to its maps: availability challenges and location challenges. If you believe that the services listed on the FCC map are not available or contain inaccurate information, you can submit an availability challenge directly to the FCC. Availability challenges require specific data that usually only individual locations or broadband service providers can obtain. The BDO, which also follows the current mapping methodology of the FCC, will not have unique data available and has no plans to participate in availability challenges.
Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL) challenges allow users to claim discrepancies on FCC’s Address Fabric. A BSL is a location that can be served with or currently is served with fixed broadband service.
Governmental entities, service providers and other third parties may submit bulk challenges to the fabric to help identify missing and incorrect BSLs. The BDO submitted a bulk challenge to the FCC on Feb. 15, 2023. The submission included 176,165 locations for review.
No. The map was developed using location information from ISPs (shapefiles) and proprietary information from a third-party mapping vendor; therefore, users cannot download data for their own analysis. You may request any public data layers used by our mapping vendor directly from the source.
The initial map was developed using advertised speed data voluntarily submitted by ISPs; however, ISP advertised speeds may not match test speeds on the ground (i.e., actual speeds) for various reasons, including differences in how and where the test speed is conducted. For example, test speeds will generally be lower if a computer is connected to wireless internet rather than connected directly to a modem. This is a prime example of the flaws apparent in the federal mapping process and in the definition of broadband service.
The Texas Broadband Development Map does not indicate which ISPs submitted data at specific locations; therefore, the BDO encourages users to cross reference its map with the FCC’s National Broadband Map, which indicates specific ISPs and their advertised speeds at each location. If you notice an ISP that incorrectly claims to provide broadband service in your location at advertised speeds, the BDO recommends you challenge the FCC map. Please see Individual Availability Challenge for information on how to submit a challenge.
You also may contact your broadband service provider to request information and feedback about why its on-site internet speed does not match their ISP-submitted advertised speed data.
Finally, the BDO anticipates updating the map twice per year. Each time the map is updated, your local government or ISP may submit a challenge to ensure that designated areas are properly represented on the map. If you believe the map is not accurate, the BDO encourages you to contact your local representatives or ISPs to ensure they provide updated information to reflect actual broadband availability in your area.
Yes. To be eligible to receive funding under the Broadband Development Program, a designated location must be “unserved.” A broadband serviceable location is considered unserved if the location does not have access to reliable broadband services that meet or exceed threshold speeds of 25/3 Mbps. If the map indicates that zero percent of the county is unserved, all broadband serviceable locations within the county are considered served and therefore ineligible for funding.
If the data on the map are believed to be inaccurate, broadband service providers or political subdivisions may petition the BDO to reclassify locations on the map as eligible or ineligible.
BDO is making changes to the Texas Broadband Development Program due to the recent passage of Senate Bill 1238. Among notable changes from the legislation, the Texas Broadband Development Map will no longer depict area eligibility. It will instead display broadband serviceable location (address) eligibility, allowing the program to target all unserved and underserved locations throughout the state.
Earlier this year, the Comptroller accepted challenges from internet service providers and political subdivisions to reclassify designated areas of the map as eligible or ineligible; however, because of newly passed legislation and the need for a reformatted map, the Comptroller’s office announced that challenges to the map published in January were unactionable. While the data provided may not have created the expected changes challengers were hoping for, the information did allow the BDO to inform legislative offices about the inaccuracies of the map and recommend changes that improve the office’s ability to close the digital divide.
The updated map depicting served, underserved and unserved locations will be published after the next refresh. Internet service providers and political subdivisions that submit their data will have the opportunity to petition the classification of locations on the map if they deem them inaccurate.
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