In just 5 minutes, you can contribute to the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband data collection and help bring broadband home.
The FCC broadband map gives insights into internet services – providers and internet speeds – at a particular point or location of a home or business.
The accuracy of this map is critical in enabling states to access the 42 billion dollars the federal government has set aside for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD), aimed at getting internet throughout the US. “They are working with states to identify underserved areas – and they are using these maps to identify these areas, so they need to be as accurate as they can be,” said Jay Uebel, Broadband Project Manager with Carroll County, Maryland.
With appropriate access to these funds, as warranted by the accuracy of this map, states can use the funds to bring reliable, high speed, broadband internet to underserved and unserved areas. And, that’s where you come in.
The success of the FCC map and state’s access to funds relies on the fact-checking skills of the public. “What we need is the help of the public to crowdsource this – basically go in and check their addresses and check that the information is correct. And if not, they need to file a challenge,” said Uebel. Individuals need to ensure their information is accurately represented – luckily, it’s pretty easy to do.
Simply enter your address into the search bar located at the top of the page. The platform will then navigate to your property’s identification (information). Once there, you will see a pin representing your address, and from there, your discrepancy deciphering begins.
You have an opportunity to challenge locations as well as provider information.
You may find that the pin is mistakenly on a building you would not consider to be your home or place of business, or perhaps the pin is not attached to any structure.
If there is a discrepancy in the location of your address, you can file a location challenge by clicking the pin associated with the address searched or a spot on the map where an address ought to be and selecting the button to “Challenge Location”. You can also start a challenge by clicking “Location Challenge” beside your address in the sidebar that popped up as a result of the address search.
In the pop-up menu that results from any path taken, add your contact information, correct the location mistake, and add any additional information. Then, submit!
Location information is useful for understanding the density of areas, so correcting any discrepancies is useful for creating an accurate representation of the area.
When you click on the pin, a sidebar will appear with information about the broadband type, technology, and speed, as well as internet service providers and technologies available.
If you notice an inaccuracy, begin a challenge by selecting “Availability Challenge”. Then, select the provider whose information is incorrect. To file a formal challenge, you must send challenge information to the provider by selecting “Send my challenge to the selected provider”. Enter your contact information, describe your experience, and add any additional information. Then, submit!
These define your access to reliable, high speed, broadband internet and the quality of these indicators will be used to inform investment decisions. The County and various service providers will use this information to determine unserved and underserved areas and where to grow their service.
The FCC won’t have you asking, “can you hear me now?” to the allocation of government funds – even if you’re stuck asking the question day to day right now! The FCC map is an opportunity to have a voice in the continued expansion of reliable, high speed, broadband internet.
The map has additional features for your perusal, such as area summaries and coverage percentages for fixed, mobile, and combined broadband. You can also snoop provider details and narrow in by technology type. There’s a lot to see!
Get started on filing your challenge today and spread the word to help your home secure reliable internet access.
Take on your own challenge to check for any challenges in the next 10 minutes, and then share the mission with 2 friends! To make anything happen, direct contact is the best, so while sharing this blog may help, personal outreach from you will make the biggest impact.