The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rolled out an innovative mapping tool that will enable data-driven decision making at the intersection of broadband and health.

The Mapping Broadband Health in America tool allows users to visualize, overlay and analyze broadband and health data at the national, state and county levels. The maps are an interactive experience, enabling detailed study of the intersection between connectivity and health for every county in the United States. The FCC says the resulting maps can be used by both public and private sectors, and local communities, to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and care.

How broadband access relates to  health

According to the most recent Broadband Progress Report, 34 million Americans still lack access to broadband benchmark speeds. Why is this significant? Because communities with low access to broadband are also double-burdened by higher rates of chronic disease and preventable hospitalizations.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is an enthusiastic supporter of the new tool.

“In public health, we know that data is a powerful decision-making agent,” said APHA Executive Director  Georges Benjamin, MD. “This tool empowers us to identify and improve communities that otherwise wouldn’t have equitable health information opportunities.”

This baseline map visualizes broadband access at the county level and identifies connectivity gaps — the lighter the color, the lower the percentage of households with broadband access. Toggle the map between state and county levels to see regional patterns and potential challenges in accessing broadband-enabled health tools. View state, county, and rural

Click here to go directly to the mapping tool.

Learn more about the mapping tool. View the tutorials and FAQs.