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Rural Broadband Datasets

By Kathleen Weessies

Simple quiet country life sounds idyllic and peaceful for anyone fed up with the complications of modern society. But folks in the country see the limits to that charm: They want to stream shows, shop, and work online from home just like anyone else. 


People in rural areas want broadband internet yesterday. Connectivity is surging forward not quite to meet that need, but pretty fast by bureaucratic standards. Since 2009 the U.S. federal and many state governments are collectively allocating an unprecedented amount of funding to rural broadband initiatives. 


The dramatic transformation underway and to be seen in the near future is a delightfully fertile area of study and inquiry for researchers across many disciplines. Geospatial data relating to broadband initiatives is both plentiful and absent depending on what you need.  

The state of Iowa, however, has a lovely array of datasets freely available for download.  The state of Maryland also has several interesting datasets. We at the BTAA Geoportal will keep an eye out for freely available datasets and include them in our indexing as we find them.  Other leads to data might be found at and in addition to any state-level organizations in your area of interest.


Web Service displaying Broadband PTE Project Areas [Iowa]