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The National Broadband "Map to Nowhere"?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 3 2011

Over on Slate, New American Foundation's Benjamin Lennett and Sascha Meinrath are having a little back and forth with the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau's chief data officer Steven Rosenberg over whether, despite costing a few hundred million dollars, the interactive National Broadband Map released by the FCC and NTIA last February actually does anybody any good. Meinrath:

Mr. Rosenberg begins by saying that we "miss almost entirely the real story regarding broadband data and the FCC [and that] the National Broadband Map is the largest and most detailed map of broadband ever created." However, Mr. Rosenberg sidesteps our fundamental critique—if the map contains wrong data or excludes key information (for example, price), then it doesn't matter how large it is—a massive number of inaccurate details is no more helpful than a more modest heap of misinformation. While the map did get some things right, our critique is that the map is ineffective as a meaningful resource for U.S. residents.

Here's Lennett and Meinrath's original critique, Rosenberg's response, and Meinrath's response to Rosenberg.