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Texas

What’s the tech?: updated broadband internet maps

Does your neighbor across the street have faster internet speeds than you? It’s very possible. They may even pay less for higher speeds. You never know until you ask them or check for yourself.

Not so long ago, most people only had one or two companies providing internet to their street. In some areas, there may now be three, four or six. Verizon and T-Mobile offer wireless home internet through their 5G cell towers. These speeds can vary from street to street or even from house to house. The difference could mean the difference between being able to stream video games and not being able to watch a Netflix movie without a spinning circle on the screen due to insufficient bandwidth.

During the pandemic, the FCC began updating the national broadband map and posted valuable information on the “broadbandmap.fcc.gov” website.

It’s easy to use, just enter your home address.

The map shows for that particular address all available ISPs and the speeds they offer. And sometimes shocking when you see the difference between one company and another. On one random address I checked, Comcast offers download speeds of 1200 megabytes per second and upload speeds of 35 MB/s. Across 3 houses, AT&T offers 5 gigabytes of fiber optic internet.

Other companies available are significantly lower.

The map also shows mobile broadband speed, which can show you get better speeds from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon if you just switch.

It also shows if 5G is available at the address. The FCC allows users to challenge their findings. If you can’t get the speed it shows, just launch the FCC Speed ​​Test app and report your numbers to the FCC by tapping the screen.

This is valuable information if your cellular signal is unreliable. It’s also a great tool if you’re looking to buy a house or start a business.

The FCC continues to update the cards by collecting information from providers and from people who report the speed they get through the Speed ​​Test app. It’s worth checking out.

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