The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently worked with internet service providers to develop a new National Broadband Map. As a result, the Utah Broadband Center, an initiative of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah), encourages all Utahns to review this map for their local communities.
The map shows broadband service availability at individual addresses rather than census tracts and helps states identify areas where broadband service is unavailable. If any data is incorrect, public members are encouraged to submit corrections to the map directly to the FCC by visiting broadbandmap.fcc.gov.
The national map should show every household, business, public facility, and the level of broadband internet service available to them. “We encourage all Utahns to ensure their address location is on the map and verify their internet availability,” said Rebecca Dilg, director of the Utah Broadband Center. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure high-speed internet is accessible to all Utahns, and we want to get this right.”
During the first challenge period, from Nov. 18, 2022, until Jan. 13, 2023, the focus is on correcting errors related to serviceable broadband locations, meaning any structure that has broadband service or could potentially be served by broadband providers.
If any serviceable broadband locations are missing from the map or any errors related to the number of units located in a given structure, it’s essential to correct these issues during the challenge period. After the challenge period ends on Jan. 13, the updated map version will be used to determine the amount of funding allocated to each state for broadband expansion projects.
“For years, we’ve struggled to determine the exact contours of the digital divide,” said Alan Davidson, assistant secretary of commerce for Communications and Information with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “The FCC’s new map provides the most precise assessment to date of Internet haves and have-nots. Since this map is the first draft, we encourage consumers, companies, and government leaders to dive into the data and give feedback to the FCC. Together, we can craft a map to guide us to our goal of connecting everyone in the U.S.”
By reviewing the FCC National Broadband Map and submitting challenges to correct any data errors, Utahns can help ensure the state receives the appropriate level of funding to increase broadband access to unserved areas around the state.