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Georgia’s State-led Mapping Initiative, D.C. Has Fastest Mobile Speeds, Coalition to Fight Digital Divide

Jericho Casper

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Photo of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp by the Office of Sen. David Perdue used with permission

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently publicized Georgia’s Broadband Availability Map, a new tool that aims to bring more transparency about which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet.

The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative team embarked on the public-private data collaboration project in 2018, in an attempt to create the most accurate broadband mapping in the country.

“It has taken all involved a year to get it done,” said Bill Price, head of planning and program development for the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, in a message to Broadband Breakfast.

According to the press release, broadband providers were key to completing the task, working in cooperation with the state to determine precisely where 25/3 Megabits per second (Mbps) speeds are and are not

The state’s new and improved maps are based off of location-specific data, in contrast to the Federal Communication Commission’s maps, which aggregate data at the Census block level.

Ookla’s Q2 2020 U.S. Market Report publicizes market speeds

Ookla, an internet speed test provider, published its second quarter 2020 U.S. Market Report on Wednesday.

The report revealed that between 2019 and 2020, median download mobile speeds increased by 15.8 percent, while fixed broadband speeds increased by 19.6 percent

AT&T faired the best out of mobile competitors, scoring the highest in terms of both speed and consistency.

However, the report found that Verizon is far ahead of its competitors when it comes to 5G speeds.

Verizon also had the fastest fixed broadband speeds and received the lowest latency scores.

Among geographic locations, the District of Columbia scored the fastest mobile speeds, reporting average download/upload speeds of 42/7 Mbps.

New Jersey recorded the fastest speeds for fixed broadband, with median download/upload speeds of 99/31 Mbps.

The report noted that mobile and fixed download speeds declined in early March as consumer behavior shifted in response to the pandemic. Speeds have since rebounded on both mobile and fixed broadband.

Corporations create coalition to close digital divide

Nearly 50 private entities have joined together to launch the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition, aimed at closing America’s digital divide.

Assembled by Land O’ Lakes, Inc., members of the coalition span multiple industries, from finance to health care to food production.

The coalition will advocate for a combination of public and private investment to bring high-speed internet infrastructure to rural areas.

“As we look to help our nation recover from this global pandemic, let’s make a smart investment in the future competitiveness of this country and ensure that all Americans, in both rural and urban areas, are able to access the internet,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’ Lakes.

The coalition is continually adding new members who share a desire to connect the country.

Many of the members have already taken individual steps to help close the digital divide throughout the pandemic by donating funds and equipment.

The coalition aims to identify new ways to work together to maximize the reach of their actions and fill needs that have not previously been met.

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