Accessible via mobile devices, the National Broadband Map (NBM) has been enhanced to make it easier for users to search for broadband availability, summarize and rank data and view a map of community anchor institutions, the NTIA/FCC announced on the NBM website Friday.

Updated every six months, the NBM is part of the NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative. The nationwide broadband information resource was created by the FCC and NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) in collaboration with state and local public and private sector partners to “encourage economic growth by facilitating the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies.”

Optimized for search and presentation on mobile browsers and touch-screen and smartphone screens, users can now search for local broadband data with their smartphones’ GPS capabilities. Results are presented in a new format designed to enhance ease of use and comprehension.

The first map to be deployed for NBM’s mobile service is the Community Anchor Institutions’ map. Users tap “Search” to enter an address. A map of the 25 closest broadband service providers is presented. A zoom capability enables you to zero in on a requested location, with each point providing information about the facility and any known broadband service details.

Making use of the “touch-optimized” jQuery Mobile framework, the NTIA and FCC are also making it easier for independent third-party mobile app developers to develop mobile apps based on the NBM.

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