If you want your area to take advantage of the funding to expand high-speed Internet (you do), follow the instructions below. It’s the Arkansas State Broadband Office that is urging all Arkansans to verify their Internet services the newly published federal broadband map.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a new national broadband map showing high-speed Internet availability across the country. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will use this new map to guide the distribution of funding for building broadband infrastructure through the $42.5 billion program called Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD).
The point of this verification process is to make sure Arkansas receives its maximum available funding. They want that funding to reach areas of the state that need broadband the most. All Arkansas residents and businesses are being asked to👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 visit the new map and verify the information is correct.
The three-step process is simple:
- Visit broadbandmap.fcc.gov and type in your address.
- Verify the location of your address. If it’s wrong, submit a location challenge.
- Validate your available Internet speeds. If it’s wrong, submit an availability challenge.
By taking these three steps, Arkansans can do their part to help get funding to the areas that most need broadband infrastructure. Residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to submit their challenges by Friday, January 13, 2023.
“This local mapping verification effort is important as the state moves into its next phase of broadband infrastructure buildout, beginning next year,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Not only does this process impact the amount of funding Arkansas may receive, but it may also impact which areas of the state remain eligible for funding.”
While the new federal map is similar to previous broadband availability maps, there are several important differences. Previous maps used Census blocks, but this new map uses address-level data, which provides a more specific and accurate look at broadband availability. The new map also offers a way to verify the data through the challenge process.
“This is an opportunity for local communities to be empowered and have a voice in national and state broadband mapping efforts,” said Glen Howie, State Broadband Director. “Any Arkansan who is unsatisfied with the availability or quality of their Internet service should challenge the new federal broadband map as soon as possible. The time to act is now.”
The NTIA will use the new federal map to determine state funding allocations for the BEAD program by June 30, 2023. All challenges must be submitted by January 13, 2023, to impact the distribute of BEAD funding.
Share this article to help others to complete this process. The more who participate, the better chance you have of getting funding for Internet in the areas that need it. The FCC has to create an accurate and reliable map for direct funding.
For additional information and direction regarding the challenge process, residents and businesses are encouraged to visit broadband.arkansas.gov/verify.
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