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Should Incumbents or Independents Participate in Broadband Mapping Treasure?

in Broadband Data/Expert Opinion by

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2009 – Carl Weinschenck, writing in IT Business Edge, speaks about “Broadband Mapping: Treasure for a New Age.” Carl discusses the rash of interest in broadband data and mapping since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in February 2009, and highlights the work of several data companies. Among the companies highlighted are Ridgeview Telecom, Connected Nation, and BroadbandCensus.com.

Here’s an excerpt of what he writes:

Critics are not shy about saying that something untoward is going on. Vince Jordan, the president and CEO of broadband engineering, construction and management firm RidgeviewTel, says that Connected Nation isn’t doing a thorough job. “These guys basically are taking whatever the telco and cable guys feed them and regurgitate it, and say that’s where the coverage is,” he says.

Data that is given by carriers to the broadband mapping companies is protected under non-disclosure agreements. Thus, actual cases in which speeds are overstated are impossible to identify. But appearances are vital. Drew Clark, the editor and executive director of BroadbandCensus, a news and commercial data services organization, says he believes that the telecommunications carriers shouldn’t be in the broadband mapping business, even indirectly.

“I personally believe that broadband data needs to be collected independently of the carriers and incumbent interests,” he says. “You need to have an alternative to a group that is focused on the incumbents to get independent measures of broadband data.”

On another note, the BroadbandBestPractices.org website, recently launched by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, offers a handy reference guide to broadband data and mapping companies. Their list includes:

  • Apex CoVantage
  • BroadbandCensus.com
  • Connected Nation
  • CostQuest Associates
  • e-NC Authority
  • Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates
  • Sanborn Map Company, Inc.
  • Solix Inc.
  • Summit Technologies
  • Telcordia Technologies
  • Telogical Systems
  • Vermont Center for Geographic Information

The complete contact information for the various companies is available here.

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband's impact, and the universal service fund @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including LinkedIN, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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