$200 Million National Broadband Map Shows Spotty Coverage

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) posted the first public, searchable, and interactive nationwide map of broadband Internet availability on Thursday. It took about $200 million in funding to …

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) posted the first public, searchable, and interactive nationwide map of broadband Internet availability on Thursday. It took about $200 million in funding to create the map, which serves up a database of over 25 million documents detailing the type, speed, provider, and location of broadband service across the U.S. You can see from the map that the further west you go, the more spotty the coverage.

“The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy,” said Lawrence Strickling, head of the NTIA.

Up to 10 percent of U.S. homes, most of which are in rural areas, don’t have access to basic broadband, the map reveals. At the same time, broadband adoption has increased to 68 percent of U.S. homes, up from 63.5 percent in 2009.

You can view the interactive map here.

Ookla: AT&T iPhone 4 Faster than Verizon in 3G Tests

AT&T lost its exclusivity grip on the on the iPhone 4 when Verizon started carrying the Apple device earlier this month, but if it comes as any consolation, the wireless carrier won Ookla’s head-to-head broadband tests, Wired reports. You may recog…

AT&T lost its exclusivity grip on the on the iPhone 4 when Verizon started carrying the Apple device earlier this month, but if it comes as any consolation, the wireless carrier won Ookla’s head-to-head broadband tests, Wired reports. You may recognize Ookla as the team behind Speedtest.net, an online broadband metric. Ookla recently turned its attention to the iPhone 4 by compiling data from iPhone users who downloaded and ran the mobile version of Speedtest.

The average download speed on AT&T, as represented by 43,000 AT&T iPhone 4 owners, was 1,769Kbps and the average upload speed was 730Kbps. The former is twice as fast as was reported by Verizon’s 14,000 customers, whose average download speed was 848Kbps (average upload was 506Kbps).

“I think that’s the story I expected to see,” said Doug Sutties, co-founder of Ookla. “Verizon has never talked up their speed, but they always talk up their coverage and reliability. I think the story is quality versus throughput. What are you after?”

Good question, and we’ll pass it on to you. Which do you value more? Sound off in the comments section below!

Comcast Says No Plans for Usage-based Pricing

In the wake of the Comcast dispute with Level 3, many have been wondering about the ISP’s future bandwidth management plans. Some idea that’s been floated often is the idea of usage-based pricing. Users would be charged based on the amount of data they…

In the wake of the Comcast dispute with Level 3, many have been wondering about the ISP’s future bandwidth management plans. Some idea that’s been floated often is the idea of usage-based pricing. Users would be charged based on the amount of data they use each month. According to Reuters, Comcast has denied that such a scheme is in the works.

“Right now we have no plan in place to activate usage-based pricing,” said Comcast president Neil Smit. The FCC recently announce that ISPs would have some leeway in network management, provided they are transparent about their practices. Comcast currently has a single tier for residential customers with a 250GB data cap. 

Comcast maintains almost all users never get near the monthly cap, although some have taken umbrage at having the cap at all. Would you welcome the opportunity to pay for a particular data cap, os is the one size fits all approach best?

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