Morrison, IL (December 20, 2022) Whiteside County is moving ahead with its plans to deploy broadband fiber to the unserved and underserved areas of the County. As policymakers work to close the digital divide, accurate broadband availability maps are crucially important. The FCC recently updated its national broadband maps, however numerous errors persist. Since these maps will guide policymakers as they determine where billions of dollars are spent, taking swift action to ensure these maps are accurate is essential.
What service providers are doing:
Internet service providers, governments and other entities can submit challenges to the data displayed by the map. These challenges are meant to dispute the availability data submitted by a provider. They will do this by providing data identifying locations, the provider being challenged, and a reason for the challenge along with information about the methodology used to collect the bulk data. The FCC will use this data to verify and supplement information in the maps.
Bulk challenges can be submitted by an organization or government entity that has an FCC Registration Number (FRN).
Sand Prairie, a service of Jo-Carroll Energy and the internet service provider selected by the Whiteside County Board to help deploy broadband fiber in rural areas of the county, plans to submit bulk challenge information for inaccuracies in the new national broadband map, for the areas it serves and plans to serve.
What you can do:
Individuals can also challenge the information in the maps. These new broadband maps identify where broadband is or is not available. By participating in the challenge process, American families and businesses - including those in Whiteside County - can help ensure the maps are accurate and that this funding goes to connect rural communities.
It is important to note, challenges are meant to dispute the availability data submitted by a provider, not the quality of service a provider offers. Each availability challenge is sent to the internet provider in question and requires a response from them to each challenge.
To submit an individual challenge:
1. Search for your address at broadbandmap.fcc.gov
2. Your address should appear on the map. If your location is missing, the location’s placement on the map may be incorrect, or the address or unit count for your location is incorrect. If this happens, you can submit a location challenge.
3. The map will also display internet availability at your location, including a list of providers, network technology they use, and the maximum advertised download and upload speeds at your location. If the services listed are not available or contain inaccurate information, you can submit an availability challenge.
Reviewing the map data should take less than five minutes. If the information you see on the map is incorrect, the FCC is asking you to submit a short description disputing the information and supporting documentation if you have it. If everything you see displayed is correct, there is no need to do anything.
Gary Camarano, Whiteside County economic development director states, “Please also consider helping your friends and family to do the same. The more participation we have, the more resources we could have to improve access to high-speed internet to Whiteside County residents.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will use the FCC’s new maps to allocate $42.5 billion in infrastructure funding to rural broadband projects. NTIA expects to decide where to allocate this funding by June of 2023. NTIA recognizes there may be errors in the FCC’s maps. With that in mind, they are encouraging stakeholders to submit challenges to the FCC maps by January 13, 2023 in order for challenges to be considered by the time NTIA makes its allocations.
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