The Broadband Program Office (BPO) designates eligible Unserved and Underserved areas on a Census Block (CB) basis using broadband availability data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a base layer. The BPO then incorporates additional data to provide enhanced availability information, such as prior State grant awards, provider service commitments, and confidential information received from Charter Communications. An “Unserved” area is defined as an area where the fastest available advertised Internet download speed offered by a wireline-based provider is less than 25 Mbps. An “Underserved” area is defined as an area where broadband service is only available from a wireline-based provider at advertised Internet download speeds between 25 Mbps and 99 Mbps. Broadband speed and availability data is sourced directly from the FCC’s Fixed Form 477 Broadband Deployment Data - December 2016 (version 1). For an explanation of the data, click here.
Further, recognizing the limitations of the FCC’s one-served/all-served methodology, the Broadband Program Office (BPO) encouraged applicants to seek funding to address identified Unserved or Underserved locations within any Served CB on the BPO’s list of eligible CBs.