ACCESS BROADBAND Act of 2021
The Census Bureau and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are working together to help states and local communities understand the economic impacts of broadband infrastructure expansion.
As a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the ACCESS BROADBAND Act of 2021 was established to increase access to high-speed internet by expanding broadband networks to communities in need. In addition, the legislation requires NTIA to release estimates of the economic impact of such broadband deployment efforts on local economies, including any effect on small businesses or jobs. To address this requirement, the Census Bureau and NTIA created the ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard for policymakers and the public to assess how changes in broadband availability and adoption could influence local economies.
The interactive dashboard allows users to compare maps displaying broadband access statistics to maps of social and economic indicators. Indicators include statistics on employment, small business establishments, wages and income, poverty, home values, population change and migration, educational attainment, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These indicators correspond to a conceptual framework presented in the upcoming 2022 Federal Broadband Funding Report that links the expansion of broadband availability and adoption to potential changes in local and regional economies.
This is the first release of the ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard, enabling users to assess baseline economic characteristics at the smallest geographic level possible. NTIA and the Census Bureau plan to update the dashboard annually so users can assess the economic context of areas where broadband availability and adoption efforts are underway. Each release will include the interactive dashboard and supplemental data files so users can access the underlying map data.
ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard
The ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard includes 21 thematic maps to explore. It allows users to analyze maps displaying broadband access statistics and select social and economic indicators. Indicators include statistics on the following.
A screenshot of some of the individual Asheville-area layers has also been provided below.
Broadband Access – Asheville Area
Percentage of Households with a Broadband Subscription
Percentage of population living where broadband fixed service of at least 25/3 Mbps are available
Employment – Asheville Area
Percentage of population employed
Labor force participation Rate
Annual change in employment
Percentage of workers self-employed
Percentage of workers that work from home
Small Business Establishments – Asheville Area
Annual change in business establishments with less than 20 employees
Percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree or higher
Percentage of high school-aged population not enrolled, not a graduate
For the best viewing experience, use the checkbox in the Layer List below to turn one layer on at a time. Zoom out to see state data and zoom in to see county data. Some maps include census tract data as you continue to zoom in. If you have more than one or two layers on at a time, the dashboard’s response time may slow. The layer displayed on the map will be the topmost layer selected in the Layer List, and that map’s information will be listed first in the Legend.
For more information about the indicators, why data may not be available, and how to use the dashboard, you can view the ACCESS Broadband Dashboard’s Quick Guide (here).