FCC map: Large areas not covered by mobile broadband

The agency will use the map to identify areas for potential assistance through its new mobile broadband fund

Large portions of the western half of the U.S. do not have access to 3G or faster mobile broadband service, according to a new map released by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The map, released by the FCC Friday, shows large parts of Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Montana as not having 3G or faster mobile broadband service. The map shows nearly all states have some areas uncovered by 3G service, including parts of New York and Pennsylvania and large parts of West Virginia and Maine.

The areas identified in the map will be eligible for service through the agency's mobile broadband fund, part of the FCC's new Connect America broadband fund, the agency said.

"As our new map demonstrates, millions of Americans still live, work, and travel in areas where advanced mobile networks have not been built out," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "Through the FCC's Connect America Fund, we're helping complete our nation's wired and wireless infrastructure, which will lead to job creation, economic growth, and innovation in the 21st century."

Earlier this month, the FCC released a public notice announcing a reverse auction to award US$300 million in support from the agency's Mobility Fund. The public notice seeks comment on the proposed auction, slated for Sept. 27.

The auction will provide one-time funding to mobile service providers to build out mobile broadband service in the areas identified. The recent public notice seeks public comment on the auction design and other issues. Comments are due Feb. 24.

The map is based on January information from American Roamer, a mobile coverage database.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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