Broadband Mapping Process

The Broadband Mapping Team works with approximately 100 broadband providers to collect service availability data. The data processed and aggregated into a single statewide database. The mapping team is continuously looking for ways to improve its processes and enhance the mapping application, and the driving force behind how effective a tool the map can be is the data from service providers.

Data Collection

During bi-annual data cycles (see image), the Team guides providers through the data submission process in an effort to assemble the most accurate and up-to-date information to display on the map.

Visit our Data Submission Guidance page for data requirements and submission process:

Data Collection Process:

  • The Team identifies and contacts broadband providers that operate within Colorado. Participation in the program is voluntary, but many providers choose to support our effort of developing a comprehensive picture of Colorado’s broadband landscape. Learn why to participate in our mapping program
    • The Team contacts each currently participating provider to allow them to report data changes or confirm the existing data is still accurate.
    • The Team also reaches out to providers who have not previously submitted data in order to create a more complete state dataset.
  • The Team works closely with providers to help find the best and most accurate method to submit data. We encourage a uniform data submission across all providers, but accept data in various formats dependent on the provider’s limitations. Details on the data requirements are located in the Data Submission Guidance page.
    • We understand the concern of supplying subscriber level data and location for all provider types, and OIT enforces a strict confidentiality policy and offers Non-Disclosure Agreements upon request in order to maintain subscriber anonymity and offer assurance to providers.
  • The Team will begin processing each providers’ data as it is received in order to allow time for review and validation.

Data Processing

Each providers’ data is processed individually and the resulting data is sent back to the provider for verification. All data is processed in accordance with the Broadband Geoprocessing Guide. The processing methodology includes:

  • Processing of individual provider data
  • Loading data into the Confidence Template
  • Running QC Tools and Staging tool to standardize datasets

The Mapping team collects and processes three types of data:

Landline
Landline coverage is represented in Public Land Survey System (“PLSS”) quarter quarter section format.

  • Subscriber data submitted by providers is used to generate PLSS coverage footprints for each provider.
  • In the case of providers that do not submit the required level of data, the data is processed as a PLSS coverage footprint and the Confidence Score is affected.
    • To ensure provider coverage is not over represented and only covers developed areas, statewide address data is used to filter and verify which PLSS quarter-quarter sections have developed land (buildings, homes, establishments etc.). Address data is not available for several counties so a manual check of aerial imagery is applied.
    • Please see this example of why serviced locations are preferred over census block data.
  • Representing typical and subscription speeds continues to be an issue, as less than one third of the providers report typical and subscription speed information.

Wireless
Wireless coverage is represented as wireless coverage plots derived from propagation models.

  • The preferred data format for wireless data consists of tower locations with equipment specifications. This data is processed using signal propagation software to create a coverage plot.
  • Wireless data submitted as a service coverage area is re-processed for accuracy.
  • Statewide and provider submitted address data is used to verify coverage plots and their proximity to developed areas.
  • Representing typical and subscription speeds continues to be an issue, as less than one third of the providers report typical and subscription speed information.

Confidence scores are assigned to each wireless and landline provider’s coverage using an automated script based on the age, type and completeness of data submitted.

Middle Mile
Middle Mile data is represented as points of service.

  • Middle mile locations are reported by providers in either address or latitude longitude format.
  • The middle mile dataset tracks ownership, output capacity, and type of each middle mile unit.
  • Submission of middle mile data or lack thereof affects the data confidence score of each provider in both landline and wireless datasets.
  • Middle mile locations are used in conjunction with propagation software to model fixed wireless coverage areas representative of each provider.

 

Data Product/Delivery

The Mapping Team delivers a new dataset every April and October in accordance with the bi-annual data cycles.

Each Data Delivery cycle, a public version of the dataset is posted to the Colorado Information Marketplace. Each delivery is also accompanied by a Data Delivery Report, which summarizes the data and contains additional information on the various GIS (Geographic Information System) processing, quality assurance, and validation techniques involved in producing the results and final products.

The Colorado Broadband Map always shows the most current Data Delivery.

Access the datasets and data delivery reports here:

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