This is the transcript for the third episode of our special Community Broadband Bits series, Why NC Broadband Matters. In this episdoe, Christopher speaks with his interviewees about how inaccurate mapping affects broadband funding and planning in North Carolina and how we can fix it. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript below.
Brian Rathbone: And so I think we've made progress, we'll continue to make progress, but right now the fact that there's federal dollars are being spent without sufficient understanding of the true on-the-ground service, I think is indicator enough that we need to continue to concentrate on this.
Lisa Gonzalez: Welcome to a special episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast and our new podcast series, Why NC Broadband Matters. I'm Lisa Gonzalez with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NC Broadband Matters is a North Carolina nonprofit. Their mission is to attract support and champion the universal availability of affordable, reliable, high capacity Internet access, which is necessary for thriving local communities, local businesses, and a local workforce to enable them to compete in the global economy. The group has created the North Carolina chapter of CLIC, the Coalition for Local Internet Choice. We are collaborating with NC Broadband Matters to present this series that touches on issues that while certainly affect folks in North Carolina also impact people in other states. Our third episode is titled Broadband Mapping Means Money: Understanding how Data Drives Decisions. You've heard from us and from other organizations about the problem with mapping data. Most grants and loans established to connect unserved and underserved communities are based on FCC data that overstates coverage. Today's guests are working to change that. First, Christopher speaks with Brian Rathbone, cofounder of Broadband Catalysts. They get deeper into the problem as it relates to topology and federal mapping. Then Christopher talks with Jeff Sural from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology where the state is working to improve the data they use to determine where folks need better Internet access. Now here's Christopher with Brian and Jeff to talk about mapping.