Tagging for telecom carrier availability


I think that it would be useful to tag on buildings or streets if there’s ftth, adsl or hfc avaliability and what operators are there. Now it’s posible to tag telecommunication lines and, with that, it’s posible to know carrier availability on a building, but mapping that is very difficult. I suggest creating a tag that, placed on a building, tells what carriers and technology are available in that building. An example could be:


These tags already exist for mapping the lines, as said before, but they could be used also for what I’m thinking.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on this.


I am not sure I understand this, there is no way to verify what cables are buried beneath a street and even harder to verify what is connected to a building.

What would be the purpose of this information?

Information can be gathered from where street cabinets are located as to what is available in an area, but what is available in a particular building feels like a breach of privacy.

Phil (trigpoint)

I could see a use case for this with say buildings that have shared internet, but I think there’s already tags for that, internet_access=* and internet_access:operator=*. I don’t think anything beyond that would be verifiable though.

This information could be of help for people searching for a new house or apartment, and want to know what type of conexion and what carriers are available at certain zones. I know this is information difficult to obtain, but not imposible, and if known, I think it’s useful. Once the infrastructure is there, it’s not a temporal thing or anything that would stop being available in a short period of time.

Availability of telecom services at a certain address can be obtained at the website of the providers. I don’t see how we could have reliant, current and verifiable data about that in our database.

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Here in Spain not every provider gives you a tool for searching availability in your address, you should call them. Also, most of this searchers store your address for sending promotions later.

Mapping that a building or street has fiber availability for a provider, will also imply that others providers that rent the infrastructure to the first, have availability, so no searching through all of them.

As I said, maybe this will never be widely used, but I think that in our maps all kind of information is welcome, as long as it’s not temporal.

Another way of thinking this is, if mapping as precise as buildings and streets is to much, maybe it can be mapped at neighbourhood level. Usually providers deploy new connections to an entire neighbourhood, town, etc.

This doesn’t change the problem of sources and verifiability of the information. I know, for example, that there is fibre in the road in front of my office since about autumn 2021. But how should other OSM users be able to verify that if I added the information to the database?

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It can be verified by local survey asking neighbours if they have that type of connection, or asking the provider. Also, the existance of manholes with the providers name can verify that, and on old buildings, at least here in Spain, there are ussually fiber connexion boxes on the facades that also contain the provider name or logo, and can be seen from ground.

I don’t know how things work in Spain, but at least in America where I live that’s not really something you just randomly ask your neighbors. At least not without a good reason, and I don’t think “because I’m making a map of what kind of phone service you have” is one. Personally, I can’t even map addresses or even public infrastructure like power lines in person without either getting followed by the cops or having someone get up in face about it. I actually almost got jumped a few months ago because I dared to stop at a mailbox for a few seconds so I could it to OsmAnd. I highly doubt those people would have been cool with me asking what type of telecom connection they have. Maybe I could have gotten it out in between spitting out my teeth :joy:

Personally, I think a better way to do this would be to just map the street cabinets and then you can pretty reliably assume that those are the telecom carriers people do or don’t use in an area based on how many there are of a specific career within a certain radius. Like if every box within 10 miles of a subdivision is Comcast, then it’s a pretty good bet that the people in the subdivision use Comcast. There’s zero point in having it be based on a per building basis. It’s not like buildings can’t be served by multiple careers, or none at all anyway.

Like I have a satellite dish on the side of my house from 20 years that is weird to a nearby telephone pole, but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t currently and never had satellite internet or television. If someone asked me I’d probably I have the ability to have it if I wanted to though, even if I don’t, just because I have the dish and lines for it. But then what’s the point in even mapping that? Something like a heat map of what neighborhoods are served by what providers based on the street cabinets in the area would be interesting though. Plus I assume a lot safer to create.