The FCC map of places your mobile data plan won’t work

The Federal Communications Commission is spearheading a big effort to get rural Americans online, and to help, later this year carriers can apply for a $300 million fund to bring wireless broadband to the heartlands. Only it’s not the heartlands, as the nifty interactive map shows. The largest areas without 3G coverage are in the Western U.S.

So for those of you planning a road trip, a move or who might want to avoid the lure of the web while on holiday, the map gives a big picture view at how much physical area of the U.S. isn’t connected via 3G –something that isn’t always apparent because carriers measure their coverage in terms of the percent of the population covered.

For an overview of some of the other measures the FCC is taking with regards to getting the 18 million rural Americans online who don’t have access to real broadband, check out the FCC’s blog posting on the topic. The final paragraph is probably worth noting for all you startups because it means your free conference call services that so hack off Ma Bell and even Google(s goog) are protected.