Version 0.19 includes schools and libraries using data from the Department of Education (NCES/CCD, NCES/PSS, NCES/IPEDS) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Public Library Survey. This feature set will be extended with additional data in an upcoming release. For now, schools and libraries can be displayed on map layers. You can click on a pin to see additional information. If you like this feature, let me know what additional information you would like at your fingertips.
Other new features include summary tables for
ACS Internet Subscription Characteristics, for
ACS Computing Devices in the Home, and for key demographic measures that appear on the Home page. Finally, M-Lab Speed Test State vs. Local comparisons are available.
The I3 Connect Jumpstart Guide for the I3 Connectivity Explorer will walk you through the steps of getting started with the application.
This version of the Guide was updated on September 20, 2019.
Download PDF (, 4M)
Version 0.18 is now available.
- The FCC Wireline data has been updated to include the revisions released on May 2, 2019,
- Congressional boundaries were updated to the 116th Congress,
- State and local tables were reloaded to correct missing special characters in place names, and
- Minor application updates are also included.
The next release will focus on user-interface improvements and new data visusalizations. Stay tuned!
On May 2, 2019, the FCC published corrections to the Fixed Broadband Deployment data for December, 2017. The bulk of the changes involved two providers: BarrierFree and King Street Wireless, L.P.
Revisions were applied to 35 states and territories. A few of the corrections, such as revising the spelling of a provider’s name, have no real effect on the analysis. Others, such as the removal of BarrierFree from several states, are more extensive.
A preliminary analysis of the changes can be found here.
The Connectivity Explorer will be updated to include the revised data on May 12, 2019.
8 April 2019
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There’s a new release that incorporates more of the recently-released Census data for Census data regarding subscriber characteristics and device usage.
The release also includes:
- A revised menu flow. There’s a new dropdown for the Census Internet data, and the Subscription choice has moved there. There’s also a new dropdown for the M-Lab Speedtest data.
- The FCC adoption table has been updated to the data from June, 2017.
- And of course, internal improvements.
More about the I3 Connectivity Explorer.
The latest version (0.16.0) of the I3 Connectivity Explorer incorporates further details from the Census about broadband subscription rates, including categories like
satellite only, and
households without any internet subscription.
On map pages, you can now overlay a second demographic with the base map. Selecting select a bar in one histogram chart highlights the geographic areas for that subset of the data. Now, if you select bars in both charts, the selection is restricted to areas associated with both bars. When you hover over an area, you’ll see the detailed data from both demographics. You can clear either selection by clicking in the margin of the appropriate chart.
You can now set a target subscription rate (as a percent of households) in the notebook preferences. This rate is incorporated in the economic boost calculation as the percentage of households that are expected to have broadband.
Finally, there’s a new demographic for the Census’ “(Black or) African American Alone” category, and the M-Lab speed test view now supports adjusting the rolling-average window.
Next up: Diving into the Census data on subscribers.
The latest version of the I3 Connectivity Explorer incorporates the newly published Census estimates about broadband subscription rates. I’ve also reworked the map views in order to test out a different approach to showing multiple forms of information on the same map. Finally, one can now drill down from the Wireline and Wireless provider tables to see just where each provider provides service. I hope that this approach clarifies the prior version’s more muddled sets of choices.
December, 2018, brought gifts of data from both the Census and the FCC. These new data sets are now incorporated throughout the Connectivity Explorer.
The new Census data (released December 6, 2018) adds information about broadband and computer usage across the US.This is a rich set of data that contains many fascinating relationships. I’ll be adding several new data views to help you understand those relationships over the next few weeks.
The new FCC wireline data set (released December 12, 2018) contains extensive changes, while the updated wireless data contains corrections to the July 2017 trove.
You can now specify a target (wireline) speed for each notebook. So if your target goal is, say, 100 Mbs download, 25 Mbs upload, set this in the notebook, and that speed will be added to various views and choices. If you don’t set a target speed, it will fall back to the FCC goal of 25↓/3↑.
You can also set the expected economic boost for a community (in annual dollars per household). This value is used on the overview page where the annual economic benefit of broadband is displayed. The help pages talk more about where this value came from. I’m using the mean value from the Swank Program Study (Connecting the Dots Of Ohio’s Broadband Policy)
Here’s more about the Swank Program study: The first, Measuring Broadband’s (Public) Return On Investment, is an overview from the Daily Yonder. The second, from the Blandin Foundation uses the study’s results to analyze several counties in Minnesota.
The I3 Connectivity Explorer is the broadband visualization tool for anyone who knows that her or his broadband options are limited and wants to improve their situation.
In the U.S., most of us would agree that “my broadband options are limited,” unless we already live in a metropolitan neighborhood supporting multiple high-speed network providers. This project’s goal is to help everyone else get out of the first group “my broadband is iffy” and into a second group “and I want to do something about it!” so that eventually we can all say “our broadband is great!”
The I3 Connectivity Explorer is intended to provide a common basis for understanding your local situation. The application gathers data from U.S. Government agencies — FCC, Census, EPA, USDA — and other public sources such as the Measurement Lab and the Pro Publica Congress API. It then localizes the data to the places we live: towns, counties and county subdivisions, tribal regions, school and congressional districts; and presents the data in easy to use graphical (maps and charts) and tabular formats.
The application aspires to provide the best data possible based on openly available data sources. But the real data is imperfect. It’s spotty. It’s what the providers report or users collect. The data will inform you broadly about your your town, your county, or your tribal area, but it won’t tell you what precisely what is available today in your apartment or on your front porch. The Connectivity Explorer will help you with where to start looking and provide ideas on to get better connectivity to everyone in your community.
Here’s a brief introduction to what it can do:
If you want to take it out for a spin, request an account! Or find out more about using the tool or being part of the community.