The October 2015 Map of the Month shows Utah’s FirstNet Coverage Goals for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has authority and a formal process to authorize communications sites on land that it owns. Many of Utah’s radio, TV, and broadband delivering antenna towers are located on BLM land.
Over the past 4 years, the demand for fast mobile broadband (Internet accessed through a portable mobile device) has greatly increased. Fast mobile broadband is critical for communications in public safety and other sectors needing to connect while on the go.
Summer is upon us, so for the May Map of the Month series, the Project’s mapping team analyzed broadband capabilities at Visitor Centers in Utah’s outdoor recreation areas.
In the graphic at right, you can view maximum advertised data speeds for each mobile wireless provider for state and national park visitor centers. You can also view, for each attraction area, the highest speed available via a fixed broadband connection in the nearest community. Only mobile availability is displayed for the recreation areas themselves, as the primary use case is for visitors is through a mobile devices. Fixed broadband connections (DSL, cable, fiber, fixed wireless), are displayed for the community, as this is the basis for connections made by businesses such as hotels and shops. Note that the highest fixed connection speed in a community might be to a school or other facility and the highest speed may not be available to all broadband customers. However, the highest speed is a good indicator for the general broadband capabilities that exist within the community. Continue reading
After a competitive bid process, the Utah Broadband Project contracted with Isotrope, LLC to conduct a statewide mobile broadband drive test over 6,000 miles of Utah roads in November 2013. The tests logged signal strength and data file transfer speeds for each provider using consumer smartphones.
The first map derived from this drive test data is a preliminary map of 4G LTE coverage in Utah. While slower technologies were tested continuously during the drive test, LTE was tested with 15 second pauses in between the alternating upload and download tests. These 15 second pauses were implemented to keep data plan overage charges and power usage within reason.
The resulting map shows the locations of the over 30,000 successful LTE data file transfers (defined as having an average speed of 4 Mbps download or over 2 Mbps upload) for the State’s current LTE providers: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Uinta Basin-based Strata Networks (which partners with Verizon to deliver a similar coverage and speed offering).
Additional maps, including a comparison report between the 2011 and 2013 drive test, are planned for the near future. Additionally, the raw drive test data will also be realeased in GIS and .csv format.