Budget, broadband initiative top Commissioners meeting
[Originally published in the Bedford Gazette, December 14, 2022]
The process for filing challenges to the new maps that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released in November needs to be done online, which isn’t accessible to everyone, thus the need for improved broadband capabilities in the first place.
“There are just numerous errors — incorrect address locations and incorrect service availability. They’re really terrible.”
Despite hope that the new maps might provide more clarity as to where services are available or not available, Baughman said in her findings thus far that it is not the case.
“This is an important first step,” said Baughman. “There are just numerous errors — incorrect address locations and incorrect service availability. They’re really terrible.”
Baughman said she has been working with the county’s planning commission on submitting corrections, and that the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority has been made aware of the problems.
Nevertheless, with the deadline within a month for any federal monies for the project flowing into the county, Baughman is urging people to check their addresses and also spread the word to family members or others in their communities to do the same.
“It’s important for the county to get as much accuracy as possible,” she said. “We’re building towers, but we’re also looking at fiber optics on the horizon, and that can be very costly to put in place. We want to get it into all places in the county that are not served by high speed internet.
“We want to see any funding maximized for Bedford County — we don’t want to be left behind. We’re talking about the future. It is going to take some time to cover all of the county, but when the federal funding is gone, then we rely on the providers which can incur steep costs to put lines in.”