ACCESS BROADBAND stands for Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand Act. The new data tool shows how changes in broadband infrastructure expansion may impact local economies.
The dashboard includes a series of maps showing different broadband access measures, as well as economic characteristics that research suggests could be influenced by increased access to broadband. Maps display statistics on employment, small business establishments, wages and income, poverty, home values, population change and migration, educational attainment, and gross domestic product (GDP).
Maps include statistics for U.S. states (including the District of Columbia) and counties, with a few select key indicators available at the census tract level. Most maps also include statistics for Puerto Rico.
The Census Bureau and NTIA plan to update the dashboard annually so users can assess the economic context of areas where broadband availability and adoption efforts are underway. Each release will include the interactive dashboard and supplemental data files so users can access the underlying map data.
The ACCESS BROADBAND Act of 2021 (enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) was designed in large part to track federal broadband investment. The measure requires the NTIA to report to Congress annually on the economic impact of federal broadband investments on local economies, including any effect on small businesses and jobs.
An America Counts story on this new dashboard is also available.