The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity, N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and N.C. Geographic Information Coordinating Council have collaborated to produce maps that give a more precise view of broadband access across the state, resulting in nearly 43,000 challenges to the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Map.
These challenges aided in surfacing 115,000 additional North Carolina homes and businesses that lack high-speed internet access, adding more new unserved locations to the map than any other state. The additions also increased the state’s funding allocation to more than $1.5 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
“This granular location data for unserved and underserved households and businesses will help the state strategically invest federal resources to expand broadband infrastructure to all North Carolinians,” NCDIT Secretary Jim Weaver said.
To gain a more precise view of broadband access and adoption in North Carolina, NCDIT combined FCC and internet service provider data with datasets from their own mapping tools: NC OneMap, which catalogs and makes the state’s geospatial data available to the public, and AddressNC, which serves as the most reliable and trusted statewide comprehensive source for precise physical sites of nearly 6 million locations.
The Division of Broadband and Digital Equity has also used these GIS data and analysis capabilities to target funding for state and federal grant programs. Open access to statewide datasets through NC OneMap increases transparency and accountability by showing where funding is being distributed and the status of projects over several years.
Figure 1. Federal Communications Commission Broadband Map in December 2022 with Successful Challenges from North Carolina