3 Steps to Bring Better Broadband to Indiana
November 30, 2022// Broadband
Your community needs your help! Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a map showing broadband availability across the U.S. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will use this map to guide the distribution of funding for building broadband infrastructure through programs such as the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. To make sure that the funding reaches the areas that need broadband most, residents and businesses are being asked to look at the map and verify the information is correct. To do this, follow these three steps:
Through taking these three steps, you can do your part in getting funding to where broadband infrastructure is needed most.
What is this map?
This map is a compilation of data on broadband infrastructure to measure broadband availability across the U.S. The map was put together by CostQuest, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
How is this map different from previous broadband maps?
While this map is similar to previous broadband availability maps put out by the FCC, there are important differences. Previous maps used Census blocks–the most granular geographic areas for which the Census compiles demographic information. Multiple addresses are included in Census blocks and if one address is served in that Census block, then addresses in the entire block are considered served. This new map uses address-level data, which provides a more accurate look at broadband availability. This map also offers a way to verify the data through the challenge process.
Why is this important?
This map is intended to inform broadband infrastructure funding and eligibility, specifically for BEAD funding. BEAD funding is a historic investment by the federal government for broadband infrastructure.
Who should verify and validate the data?
The short answer is everyone. But people who are currently unsatisfied, whether with the availability of service or the quality of service, should especially take the steps listed above. The more individuals that participate, the more input the FCC has to create an accurate and reliable tool to direct funding.
How else can I help?
If you have entered your address and verified or challenged the information but are still looking for ways to help bring broadband to your area, then good news. You can help by spreading the word about this map and encouraging others to go through this process. If you want to help even more, then offer a lending hand to your technologically-challenged community members. Help walk them through the steps above so their information can be verified and collected.
Should I validate Fixed broadband or Mobile broadband?
Both – if you can! When you go to your address, you will see that in the sidebar on the right you can toggle between Fixed broadband and Mobile broadband. The Fixed broadband shows the availability and speed of fiber, cable, DSL, satellite, or fixed wireless internet at the locations on the map. Mobile broadband shows the coverage of mobile networks at 3G, 4G or 5G at the locations on the map.
What happens after I submit a challenge?
It depends on the challenge you submit. The FCC has published articles on their help center on what to expect after filing a Location Challenge, an Availability Challenge, and a Mobile Challenge. Follow the hyperlink of the challenge you submitted to see the article.
What do the colored dots mean?
The colored dots represent data points from the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric) dataset. Their location represents buildings or structures where internet services are or could be. These are places such as homes, apartments, farmsteads, or small businesses. The color of the dot represents the coverage of that location.
What is BEAD?
BEAD stands for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. The BEAD program’s ultimate goal is to expand high-speed internet access by providing $42.45 billion in funding. Learn more about this program at https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/broadband-equity-access-and-deployment-bead-program.
What if both my location and broadband availability are wrong? Do I need to submit two challenges?
Yes, you need to submit both.
Still looking for more information? Here are some additional resources to check out: