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. This may be confusing because the pop-up experience in the map is a drill down approach through the different layers. The order in which the layers are returned first in the pop-up card deck is not configurable. The federal funding data are not available for every location and are only displayed for locations where they have been reported.
The Texas Broadband Development Map is built using a software called ArcGIS. 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 encompassing the number of providers 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 carried out in October 2022. For areas where there were 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 broadband providers in the state twice per year during its ISP engagement and data collection process. These data are then used to develop the Texas Broadband Development Map. Providers who do not submit their data will not have their service areas indicated on the map. They will also not be able to participate in the program until they submit requested data. The BDO strives to ensure every broadband provider submits up-to-date data to the office, but where there are areas with no submitted data, there could be missing internet service information at that location. A list of data providers can be found here.
Per Government Code Section 490I.0105(n), only a broadband service provider or political subdivision may petition the BDO to reclassify a designated area on the map as an eligible area or ineligible area. The BDO will soon publish a map challenge process for which those interested parties may participate.
The FCC allows two types of challenges to its maps: availability 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 providers can obtain. The BDO, which also follows the current mapping methodology of the FCC, will not have unique data on hand and has no plans to participate in availability challenges to the FCC map.
Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL) challenges allow users to claim discrepancies on FCC’s Address Fabric. Governmental entities, service providers and other third parties may submit bulk challenges to the fabric to help identify missing and incorrect BSLs. The BDO intends to submit location challenges to the FCC maps.
A BSL is a location that can be served with or currently is served with fixed broadband service.
The Texas Broadband Development Map was developed using location information (shapefiles) with proprietary information from a third-party mapping vendor and ISPs, and therefore users are not able to download data for their own analysis. For any of the public data that our mapping vendor may have used, you may seek out those layers directly from the source.
The initial Broadband Development Map was developed using advertised speed data voluntarily submitted by internet service providers (ISPs). However, ISP advertised speeds may not match test speeds on the ground (i.e. actual speeds) for various reasons, including how and where the test speed is conducted. For example, test speeds will be generally lower if a computer is connected to the internet by wi-fi instead of connected directly to a modem. This is a prime example of the types of flaws that are now more apparent in the federal mapping process and in the definition of broadband service.
The Broadband Development Map does not indicate which providers submitted data at specific locations. Therefore, to determine which provider has indicated they can provide service to a specific location, the user may want to cross reference with the FCC’s National Broadband Map, which does indicate specific providers and their advertised speeds at each location. If you notice a provider who claims to provide broadband service at your location that does not actually provide service to your location or does not provide broadband service at the advertised speeds, you should challenge the FCC map. Information on how to submit a challenge can be found at our Individual Availability Challenge page.
After determining which ISP provides service to a location, you may also contact your broadband service provider and request information and feedback as to why their on-site internet speed does not match that of their provider-submitted advertised speed data. BDO receives Texas broadband availability data from the broadband providers in Texas, so if subscribers ensure their provider is submitting accurate speed data to the BDO, the Texas Broadband Development Map will be more reflective of actual broadband availability throughout Texas.
Finally, BDO anticipates that it will update its map twice a 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 Texas Broadband Development Map is not accurate, you should contact your local representatives or ISPs to ensure that they provide updated information so that the map can be updated to reflect actual broadband availability in your area.
Yes. To be eligible to receive funding under the program a designated area must be unserved. A designated area (census block) is considered “unserved” if fewer than 80% of the broadband serviceable addresses in the area have access to broadband services that meet or exceed threshold speeds of 25/3 Mbps. If the map indicates that zero percent of the county is unserved that means all of the designated areas (census blocks) within the county are considered served and therefore ineligible for funding.
Yes. To be eligible to receive funding under the program a designated area must be unserved. A designated area (census block) is considered “unserved” if fewer than 80% of the broadband serviceable addresses in the area have access to broadband services that meet or exceed threshold speeds of 25/3 Mbps.
If the data on the map is believed to be inaccurate, broadband service providers or political subdivisions may petition the Broadband Development Office to reclassify a designated area on the map as an eligible area or ineligible area. Please visit the BDO’s Map Challenge Process Guide to learn more.
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