By Sara Riley, High Rocks
The West Virginia Office of Broadband and the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council ask that all West Virginians review their data as listed on the new National Broadband Map. The map was released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 18, 2022. West Virginia residents are encouraged to review the new National Broadband Map to help ensure accuracy. Challenges must be submitted to the FCC before January 13, 2023.
According to the FCC, the new National Broadband Map is a “pre-production draft.” The map currently identifies broadband availability at the address level. Users can search a specific location, like a home or business address, to view details on available broadband services.
What it means for West Virginians
The FCC map will be used to calculate the funds allocated to the State of West Virginia by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. This program will provide historic funding for broadband deployment nationwide under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
The FCC map includes a variety of functions, including a summary of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that may serve a specific location. Other details on the map include
- residential and business service tiers,
- types of service,
- mobile broadband coverage,
- advertised speeds, and
- data downloading speeds.
When to file a challenge
West Virginians should submit a challenge if:
- A provider denied a request for service at your location,
- A provider does not offer the technology reported to be offered at your location,
- A provider does not offer the speeds reported to be available at your location,
- A provider needed to build new equipment at your location,
- A wireless or satellite signal is not available at your location,
- A provider failed to schedule a service installation within ten business days of a request,
- A provider did not install the service at the agreed-upon time, or
- A provider requested more than the standard installation fee to connect the service.
How to file a challenge
Challenge a Location
To file a challenge, go to Broadband Data Collection Consumer Information and type in your address. Once your address is entered, your home should appear on a map next to a listing of potential services local providers list as available in your area. The link to correct information on an existing location is to the right of the address on the map. You can add a site by clicking on the map where the area should be and clicking the “challenge location” button.
If the information about the service provided at your location is wrong, click the “Availability Challenge” button, which brings up a form where you can select a provider to challenge. Scroll down, complete the form, and select the reason for your challenge from the drop-down list. Here, describe your experience and upload files to support your challenge, check the certification box, and submit.
The West Virginia Office of Broadband appreciates your participation in the challenge process to help ensure that all West Virginians are accurately represented on the FCC map. Challenges must be submitted by January 13, 2023.
For assistance, please call the FCC Consumer Affairs Hotline (800) 622-4496. The deadline to challenge the data is January 13, 2023.
For video instructions on how to file a challenge, go to How to Submit an Availability Challenge.