[Originally published in the Altoona Mirror, December 20, 2022]
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority is seeking input on the broadband internet coverage map as the agency looks to make investments in the broadband infrastructure that will serve communities across the state.
The projects will require a commitment of significant federal funds, which will be distributed via a formula that largely considers how many of the state’s residents are underserved or unserved.
The Federal Communications Commission, with the help of telecom companies, created a map with address points that details the broadband internet coverage of any given area. The map can be accessed at broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home.
Past versions of the map overstated the actual coverage, according to a news release from the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission. With that in mind, the FCC created a process to challenge what the telecom companies claim is covered.
The telecom companies will have a few weeks to respond to each challenge on an individual basis.
The FCC, the PBDA and SAP&DC are asking residents to review the map for accuracy, and if inaccuracies are found, to challenge them.
Residents can start by entering their address and verifying the location and service availability.
If either are inaccurate, use the “location challenge” or “availability challenge” features.
For help with the map or for information, contact Kalie Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org with the PBDA.