About the New Jersey State Broadband Map

The State of New Jersey’s Broadband Map was developed with the funding from the State Broadband Initiative and is refreshed and updated every six months and can be found at http://njgin.state.nj.us/oit/gis/OIT_BroadbandMapping/.

With broadband being the foundation of our infrastructure and a necessity in business, healthcare, public safety, government, education, community services and all different aspects of our everyday lives, the purpose of the broadband map is to identify broadband availability across the state.  

New Jersey State Office of Information Technology began conducting the collection of data from broadband service providers in 2010 as part of the State Broadband Initiative to develop a State Broadband map that updated every six months.

Objective of the Map

The objective and goal of the State Broadband Map is to: 

  • Identify where broadband is available across the state, including the upload and download speed available, and the technology available 
  • Provide businesses and consumers with the broadband information needed to make decisions related to high speed internet needs and options
  • Support efforts to expand broadband access in the state
  • Help policy makers, community leaders and service providers as they plan for economic development and public safety
  • Identify where availability is an issue, where the pockets of unmet demands are or where are there priority needs that need to be addressed
  • Determine if the provider data being reported is the service level that is being received in those locations  and challenge providers to improve quality of service
  • Identify where existing technology infrastructures can be leveraged
  • Use the map as a tool to market NJ to businesses looking to relocate in the state
Data Collection

NJOIT and its vendors have been working with facilities-based providers of broadband services, as well as resellers, local government organizations and community anchor institutions, to collect, validate, verify and deliver certain data on broadband services available to end user locations in the state.

New Jersey broadband data is collected / validated semi-annually and posted in geo-spacial form in April and October .

The data being gathered provides information on

  • Where broadband service is available
  • The technology used to provide the service
  • Number of providers and the areas they service
  • Maximum advertised speeds of the service they provide
  • Locations and speeds of community anchor institutions.
Sources of Data

The two primary broadband-related datasets displayed geographically on the State of New Jersey broadband map are
(1) broadband provider service availability which is obtained from service providers
(2) community anchor institutes' (CAI) broadband subscription and speeds   

Service Providers - There are currently about 30 providers represented on the map. Broadband service provider data is obtained directly from the organization providing broadband service.  Additionally, Connecting NJ continually performs environmental scans to identify new providers, renamed providers, mergers/acquisitions, and those providers leaving New Jersey.

The vast majority of broadband service provider data is refreshed twice a year. Some broadband service providers do not participate on a regular basis; however, they represent a very small portion of the broadband coverage in the state.  To-date, most service providers have been responsive in providing data.

 

Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) -  CAIs play a critical role in anchoring the community by contributing to economic development, job creation, education, health care, public safety, and access to local, state, and federal government services.   CAIs include libraries, K-12 schools, higher education, health care entities, public safety entities, government and non-government organizations that serve and anchor our communities.

CAI data is obtained from a variety of sources, such as public information available on the internet, the CAI themselves, organizations who serve CAIs, and government entities. Known providers are solicited via e-mail for a refreshed data set in July and January each year.

Collecting data on community anchor institutions has been a challenge due to the lack of existing broadband data sources and a lack of participation to provide the data. As additional information and data is provided, the New Jersey Broadband map will become more dynamic and interactive.

CAI Data Records on the Map

Below is the current snapshot of CAI data collected to date. 

CAI Data Summary (as of 5/29/2014)

CAI Category

Total Records with Broadband Data

Total Locations Identified

School K-12 2,657 3,921
Libraries 227 468
Medical/Healthcare 4 10,146
Public Safety 69 374
University 40 168
Other - State & Local Government 1,692 1,696
Other - Non Government 8 8

 

As part of the NJ six-month data submission cycle, the data is also being submitted to the NTIA for updates to the National Broadband Map. Below are examples of how businesses and state entities have utilized the National Broadband Map to make economic decisions.

Definition of Broadband Availability by the NTIA

Availability as defined by the NTIA is the ability to obtain service within 7-10 days – NOT that service is necessarily already available.  The geographic granularity for the NTIA definition of availability is census block, if the census block is less than 2 square miles.  It is road segment for census blocks greater than 2 square miles.  

The map does not distinguish whether the service is readily available or not within a census block. As long as the service provider can provide the stated type and speeds of broadband service within 7 to 10 days and to at least one address in the census block or road segment, NTIA requires that it is displayed on the map as “available”.

Although the map at first glance shows that New Jersey does not appear to have an issue with availability , there are a number of regions, communities and counties in the southern part of the state, namely in Cumberland and Burlington that have reported to us coverage issues.

Broadband Availabililty in New Jersey

The white non-shaded areas on the map indicate regions where there is no available provider coverage.

  • The Pinelands, south jersey and the northern-west part of New Jersey have areas where broadband is not available
  • Cumberland and Burlington counties have reported that they have coverage issues although the map shows that there is availability in those areas. Currently efforts are underway to address the issues.
Broadband Map Data Inaccuracies and Feedback

There have been reports of inaccuracies on the map with a discrepancy between the data that providers are submitting and what residents and institutions are experiencing in those areas.  We encourage you to use the map and provide feedback so we can ensure that the map reflects the accurate coverage that is available.

How Other States are Using the Map

Utah, a mid-sized company in the health care field was losing time and money due to frequent broadband outages at a rural office. The company considered moving these jobs to their headquarters in an urban location. However the company was able to use the National Broadband Map to identify other broadband providers in this rural county – and retain hundreds of jobs in this rural area.

Kansas - The Kansas Department of Commerce and a customer service company used the map to identify communities with the broadband necessary to support home-based workers. As a result, the customer service company hired about 200 workers in the state, providing much-needed jobs in small towns that may have otherwise been overlooked for this work.

South Dakota - An online training company used the map to identify towns in South Dakota where they can locate new offices, which will support more than 100 professional jobs in these rural locations

Academic Research - The map has supported academic research at more than 1,000 colleges and universities and been used by more than 500 city and county governments.

Sustaining the NJ State Broadband Map

The map is the product of a federal State Broadband Initiative grant awarded to the New Jersey Office of Information Technology by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) for a five-year period beginning 2010 through 2014 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

In order to sustain the map and efforts from the grant past 2014, formation of a Broadband Advisory Team is recommended. Furthermore, it is recommended that one of the objectives of this group is to support currency and quality of the map as well as improvements to the map.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on the Broadband Map, refer to Frequently Asked Questions >>