The government-sponsored National Broadband Map, much awaited in some circles, is out and it’s fun to play around with if you like maps and megabits.
You can learn, for example, that the area around Cass Lake in northern Minnesota is an unusual pocket where low incomes and high speed access go together.
You can learn that the concentrations of high-speed fiber optics are in western Minnesota, not the Twin Cities.
You can plug in your address and see who provides broadband and how fast it allegedly is.
Check it out at National Broadband Map, a product of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department. The site gives you the opportunity to comment if you find inaccuracies.
In all, the NTIA says, there are some 25 million searchable records, down to the census tract.
It shows that between 5 and 10 percent of Americans lack access to broadband speeds good enough for surfing the web and using simple video conferencing. The NTIA notes that such community anchor institutions as schools are not well enough served in total.