Marketplace Tech
Marketplace Tech
Dec 31, 2020
Mapping internet access: No clear data on haves and have-nots
Play • 6 min

This episode originally aired on Jun. 23, 2020.

All this week on, we’re revisiting some of our shows from 2020 that touch on issues we think will continue to be pivotal in the year ahead. Chief among those is the internet. It now touches pretty much every part of our lives, but not everyone has access to good service. Earlier this month, the FCC announced the results of a $9 billion auction to provide high-speed broadband to homes and businesses that don’t have it. The money comes from something called the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and this is just the first chunk of money to come from it. The FCC is planning to allocate billions more. But the data the FCC is using to map where broadband is most needed is wildly inaccurate, even by the agency’s own admission. Molly speaks with Nicol Turner Lee, who researches technology access as a fellow in the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. She says the coronavirus pandemic has made the mapping problem even more obvious.

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