At this moment, an internet provider may be claiming they serve your home when, in reality, they don’t. Alternatively, your house or workplace may not even be considered a broadband serviceable location, meaning no one is working to get you the access you may one day need.
Between today and January 13th, each state in the nation is racing to ensure the accuracy of new maps from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) which identify every Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL) in the US as well as which BSLs are serviced by each broadband provider. Based on the updated FCC maps, 42 billion federal dollars will be divvied up proportionally by unserved and underserved broadband needs. The more inaccuracies and instances of un/under-served locations we can catch, the greater the funding New York State will receive. And it’s exactly these dollars which will go to expanding access for those who need it.
Thanks to the skill and dedication of the partner network AdkAction has convened for over twelve years through our Broadband-for-All project, the North Country and the entire state have sprung into action. Warren County, The Development Authority of the North Country, The Lake George Lake Champlain Regional Planning Board, AdkAction, and other regional leaders are currently creating and implementing the playbook to mount challenges highlighting missing broadband serviceable locations and inaccuracies in provider claimed availability. This technically challenging process includes gaining approval and acquiring existing data from the FCC and the NYS Public Service Commission. Then mapping the data in ArcGIS and finally educating county and town officials in how to comb through the maps looking for inaccuracies to be challenged. The work is time intensive, but incredibly important, as each accepted challenge is worth potentially over $5,000 in additional funding for NYS. If an inaccuracy is found regarding a particular property’s access to broadband, towns then engage households to be part of the process and corroborate the claim before it can be submitted to the FCC..
Together, with strong partners by our side, we are making progress to ensure that no matter where you live or how much you make, everyone in the North Country will have access to the internet they need.
Photo from: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/a07b33cf921a4be4bf97f7f84107b6d9