Officials ask residents to challenge National Broadband Map

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By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer

Local and state officials are asking Coloradans to check the accuracy of their address and Internet service availability on a national broadband map recently released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The FCC released the new National Broadband Map on Nov. 18. It displays broadband coverage and availability down to the location level, such as house, business or school.

However, local and state broadband officials report inaccuracies in the information and are asking residents to check information for their homes and businesses and submit challenges if the information is incorrect.

“The Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) within the Governor’s Office of Information Technology has identified significant inaccuracies reported on the FCC map and urges the general public to visit broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home, check their address and submit a challenge if the information is incorrect,” a press release from the state reads.

The press release continues, “The accuracy of the FCC map is vital to the fair allocation of broadband funding to Colorado so that all residents have access to high-speed internet. In the summer of 2023, the National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) will use the FCC map to allocate $42.5 billion from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to states and territories. Money from BEAD will fund projects that build or improve broadband infrastructure in the most unserved and underserved locations in Colorado, and programs that bridge the digital divide to make broadband affordable and adoptable.”

Archuleta County Broadband Manager Eric Hittle also touched upon the importance of the information being accurate at a local level.

“It’s to make sure we maximize the amount of dollars that are available right now to the state from federal sources to be applied to improving our broadband infrastructure,” he said. “If there’s inaccuracies that could be used to direct those funds elsewhere if they think that we, via the maps, have better service than we have.”

Residents can submit two types of challenges, location and availability.

The following resources are available for more information on submitting challenges:

• FCC video guide on how to submit an Availability Challenge on the National Broadband Map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiFoxZKywv4&feature=youtu.be.

• FCC video guide on how to submit a Location Challenge on the National Broadband Map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKmM9ES7nUQ.

• CBO webinar and presentation: https://broadband.colorado.gov/news-article/understanding-the-fcc-map-challenge-processes-webinar-recordings-slides-available.

• Archuleta County Broadband Services Management Office, (970) 585-3246, ext. 210.

randi@pagosasun.com