CostQuest counts 23-25M homes, businesses unserved or underserved by broadband

NASHVILLE – Fiber Connect 2022 – The $42.45 billion Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant program launched by the NTIA last month reserves $100 million for each state to build out broadband, with remaining funds to be distributed based on need.

That "need" will be determined by a new federal broadband map that the FCC is creating in collaboration with CostQuest, an economic modeling firm specializing in broadband deployment. States and territories wishing to get BEAD funding will draw up broadband buildout plans based on how many locations are still unserved (lacking access to 25/3Mbit/s service) or underserved (lacking access to minimum speeds of 100/20 Mbit/s).

We caught up with CostQuest CEO James Stegeman at Fiber Connect to discuss the work the company is doing to quantify the digital divide in the US and why he's confident the new map will be more accurate than the data the FCC has been using.

While the new FCC map won't be released until the fall, Stegeman said CostQuest's data modeling shows that 23-25 million homes and small businesses are still unserved or underserved by broadband in the US. That exceeds the most recent FCC estimate released in 2020, which put the number of Americans without broadband access at 14.5 million.

Here are a few topics discussed in this video:

  • Background on CostQuest and its work with the FCC (00:20)
  • How the new broadband map will differ from what the FCC currently uses (04:03)
  • Challenges in the data collection process (07:47)
  • Timeline for delivering the new map (09:05)
  • What technology goes into successfully mapping broadband (10:00)
  • Estimated size of the digital divide (13:50)

Related stories and links:

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading; and Nicole Ferraro, Site Editor, Broadband World News

6/15/2022 |
Latest Articles
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.
Thursday, August 4, 2022
11:00 a.m. New York / 4:00 p.m. London

The digital divide in North America is leaving millions without adequate broadband. Incumbents operate in “islands” of connectivity, serving densely populated areas and, at a national scale, perpetuating the digital divide in the gaps in between their service footprints. Regional ISPs have a clear role in closing that gap.

These regional ISPs operate in a highly fragmented landscape, including smaller wireless and FTTH incumbents, satellite ISPs, electric co-ops, tribal communities, and municipalities in public/private partnerships. These regional ISPs face the same cyber threats and operational challenges as their Tier 1 counterparts, but with far fewer resources and revenue-generating population density. As a result, many regional ISPs have developed highly innovated business models for access and core technology, partnerships, financing and services.

The discussion will cover:

  • Three ISPs that have taken an innovative approach to their business, as detailed in a recent STL Partners report
  • Why regional ISPs need to double down on core security basics such as DDoS protection
  • How ISPs have created new revenue by offering managed services
  • Core network capabilities required for IPv4-IPv6 management

Broadband World News
About Us     Advertise With Us     Contact Us     Help     Register     Twitter     Facebook     RSS
Copyright © 2022 Light Reading, part of Informa Tech,
a division of Informa PLC. Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Terms of Use
in partnership with