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Michiganders should check FCC broadband map by Friday

A white router with several ethernet cables attached to it.

An online map from the Federal Communications Commission will be used this year to determine how federal funds are allocated to states for broadband improvements.

The FCC National Broadband Map allows individuals to look up their address and see the types of internet services and speeds that should be available to them.

People can challenge it if the information shown is inaccurate, like whether certain internet services or speeds are available at their address.

This information will be used to identify underserved communities that should be targeted for federal funding.

Michigan High-Speed Internet Office Chief Connectivity Officer Eric Frederick says although the map will be updated on a rolling basis, collecting challenges by Jan. 13 is essential.

"In the short term, the most important role this map is going to play is in determining how much funding from the Department of Commerce each state is going to get to achieve their goal of universal availability," he said.

Frederick says user feedback is important because the new map contains errors on who is marked as having internet access. The current map indicates Michigan has 100% fixed broadband coverage.

He adds that because users need internet access to interact with the map and make challenges, the state is working to identify areas that lack connectivity.

"Our office is taking it upon ourselves to analyze this data across the entire state of Michigan, using various other datasets to check against what the FCC map says, to identify locations that need to be challenged, where it's marked as served, but should not be," he said.

Frederick says the commission is expected to make its funding decisions by the end of June.

Karel Vega served as radio news managing editor at WKAR from 2020 to 2023.
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