The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a brand-new mobile broadband map in an effort to make it easier for US consumers to compare the voice and data coverage offered by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and UScellular.
Not only is this the first public map which shows updated mobile coverage based on recent data collected by the FCC but it also represents a significant improvement over previous data published by the government agency.
The new map is the result of the Broadband DATA Act passed last year which requires the FCC to collect and release data comparing the country's wired, fixed-wireless, satellite and mobile broadband service providers.
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“A good map is one that changes over time. Today’s new map represents progress in our efforts to implement the Broadband DATA Act and build next-generation broadband maps that can help to connect 100 percent of Americans. Using improved systems and data, we can provide better information about where broadband service is and is not across the country. While much work remains, I congratulate the Broadband Data Task Force for moving full speed ahead on this essential mission.”
Mobile broadband coverage map
The new map shows 4G LTE broadband data and voice coverage as of May 15 of this year for each of the four largest mobile carriers in the US.
To compile its map, the US agency used data submitted from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and UScellular though it also asked the public for help through its own speed testing app earlier this year.
While the map can be used to see each carrier's LTE Voice and LTE Data capabilities, it does not yet contain any data on their 5G coverage. However, Rosenworcel has hinted that the FCC's mobile broadband coverage map is just the beginning of its work which means we could see the map updated with 5G coverage at a later date.
The FCC's new map could also quite helpful when looking for a new apartment or home as you could ensure that their won't be any cellular dead spots before committing to a new lease or mortgage.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.