Effective deployment of BEAD by States
July 7, 2023
Effective deployment of BEAD by States
Fabion Kauker Chief Information Officer, Hexvarium
State Broadband Offices, Counties and Cities
Ensuring a community achieves equitable broadband for all its citizens involves many parts. It starts with taking a look at the current connectivity landscape and digital use cases for constituents. An approach to this is to conduct surveys to gather tests on bandwidth quality and community views. The resulting data can be used to create a baseline, and then track and monitor progress towards a goal. Setting a GOAL - This goes beyond just BEAD There are many options of which goals to pursue, and they will impact how initial data is collected. The FCC has aimed to connect served and underserved ref, with a pure self reported speed availability from ISPs. This however misses the actual experience of connectivity by individuals. States need to set their goals to be able to challenge and make the maps reflect reality.
- Every constituent should have the option to connect to “High Speed Broadband”.
- There should be a choice of at least two providers for every constituent
- Each constituent will have access to digital services and the ability to video call
Gathering Data - Who, What, When, Where & How The process of collecting data is done on a regular basis and should not be a one off effort. Steps should be taken to make it easy for citizens to submit their experienced connectivity. Data may include speed tests, buffer bloat and/or connectivity service type options which can be gathered using a hardware or software solution. Further cities, counties and states keep track of permits. These permits show where new broadband infrastructure is being built, and they should be consolidated, tracked and audited.
- Where are the places to connect?
- What infrastructure does the state currently have: right of way, conduit, fiber, towers …
- Can speed tests be run at the right time and measure latency + buffer bloat Storing/sharing data and models Data is only useful if it can be used by the State and its constituent. Everyone will use the data to create financial models. It is important to share these too to create a shared reality for stakeholders of the coverage potential, costs and timelines. They will provide a verifiable analysis of financials and costs which can be tracked. This will also help County and City jurisdictions test their assumptions and ensure that the funds are effectively used.
- Is there a shared published, documented schema for spatial data with examples? Think constitution locations (BSLs), fiber cable, central office locations etc.
- Does data and funding map back to the geography that is being funded?
- Can any member of the public access and view the data in a timely and accessible manner?
Lastly, all of these are not unique across each State. Perhaps there is the opportunity to create a unique set of open data standards and processes which can be shared and governed across the country. This would expedite the deployment of broadband and reduce the risk.
If you are interested in learning more about how data can be used for States, Counties and Cities please connect.
PS. If you came for the nation wide max speed test by provider ASN from MLAB you’ll find that here
Hexvarium is a broadband service provider using proprietary Data Science to accurately identify, deliver, and connect profitable networks across all geographies. Building sustainable broadband networks is a complex puzzle of continually changing factors. Yet all other designers, engineers, and operators deploy capital using static, antiquated methods and knowledge of each community. Hexvarium’s approach delivers sustainable networks, even in the most challenging circumstances. For more information, please visit hexvarium.com.