Overview: The I3 Connectivity Explorer

The I3 Connectivity Explorer is a 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 views broadband connectivity data broadly through the lens of the places we live: towns, counties and county subdivisions, tribal regions, school and congressional districts. The areas supported lie in the middle of the range between national and address-level. It presents the data in easy to interpret maps, charts, and tables at a variety of resolutions.

The application combines data from U.S. Government agencies — FCC, Census, EPA, USDA, The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) — and other public sources such as the Measurement Lab (M-Lab) and the ProPublica Congress API. It then localizes the national data to locations of interest. The tool provides information about the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) already active and shows where they operate.

As a stand-alone application, the I3 Connectivity Explorer provides background data about Internet connectivity together with solid information about how to interpret that data. Used in support of a broadband planning team, the I3 Connectivity Explorer helps your team and your community to ask better questions sooner. At a time when the Federal and State standards are evolving and future demands are growing, the I3 Connectivity Explorer will help you to understand your current situation.

You can use the jumpstart guide to get started. A good example of how school administrators can use the tool is found in the Digital Equity Data Profile. Subscribe to the mailing list to stay up to date with recent changes. For more about the application, see A Short History of the I3 Connectivity Explorer.