Electric cooperatives across the nation are looking to their members and communities to share the true reality of internet coverage in their territories as tens of billions of dollars in federal funding becomes available to build broadband access to unserved or underserved areas.
As the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) gears up to make funding decisions regarding broadband services this summer, Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative members are encouraged to immediately review the new nationwide internet coverage maps from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
This process allows residents to determine if their location is accurately represented in regards to internet availability, and if discrepancies are found, they can then file a challenge with the FCC to review their claim and ensure revisions before final funding decisions are made.
All challenges should be filed with the FCC by Jan. 13 to allow enough time for any revisions to be made before the NTIA begins to make funding decisions this summer.
“Any challenge filed by then will have the best chance” of making it into “the map that we will ultimately use to make allocations,” NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson told NRECA Broadband Leadership Summit attendees in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 17. “The next seven to eight weeks are pretty critical here in getting those challenges in. The sooner you act, the better.”
So what should you do?
- Review the FCC National Broadband Map.
- If correct, no further action is required.
- If incorrect, click "Availability Challenge" and follow the prompts.
- Fill out the short form that appears.
- Repeat for any additional inaccurate provider listings (there may be more than one).
- Ask friends and family to report their internet experience by sharing this information.
How to submit a Challenge