Above is a very informative interactive map put together by the team at The Verge. It’s a county-by-county visualization of the exact percentage of households connected at broadband speed in the United States of America, based on anonymized data made available from Microsoft.
“It’s not a perfect dataset, since device speeds can also be affected by bad routers or slow processors that have nothing to do with the underlying connection,” reporters Russell Brandom and William Joel explain. “But for better or worse, these are the speeds users actually experience, which puts the dataset worlds ahead of what you’d get from the FCC.”
The FCC’s own data is unfortunately bad, and paints a false picture of broadband connectivity in the country. “The disparity between FCC reports and the Microsoft data can be shocking,” Brandom and Joel write. “In Lincoln County, Washington, an area west of Spokane with a population just a hair over 10,000, the FCC lists one hundred percent broadband availability. But according to Microsoft’s data, only five percent of households are actually connecting at broadband speeds.”