In November, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) unveiled its new Broadband Availability Map. Along with a new map style, the FCC also introduced a challenge process that allows everyone – from governments to citizens – the ability to highlight false claims of availability and ensure that every home and business location is accounted for in the map.
With good reason, many are confused about the information shown in the map, the challenge process, and why we should care about helping the FCC make corrections.
While we too are frustrated about the cost and subsequent quality of this map, we believe it is important to contribute to improving this map to enable an equitable allocation of the $42 billion in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program funds to states next year.
In an effort to provide a better understanding of the map itself, and the challenge process, we created a short series of instructional videos and a click-through guide. Through the videos we provide:
- An overview of the map itself, important features to be aware of, and how to navigate the map interface.
- Walk-through of both the location and availability challenge process (The deadline for submitting availability challenges is Jan. 13, 2023).
The challenge guide is in pdf format and was designed to allow users to click links to navigate to the resources they need. Similar to information shared in the videos (below), this resource includes instructions for both the location and availability challenges, as well as more detailed information about valid reasons for submitting those challenges.
We also include a timeline of the availability challenge process, and links to FCC resources for those interested in submitting a bulk challenge. You can find the challenge guide here.