Pennsylvania high-lights new broadband maps

State officials are highlighting the release of federal broadband maps that show house-by-house service options for residents.

“This map is a critical step in closing the digital divide, and ensuring its accuracy is important,” Brandon Carson, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, said. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to review the FCC broadband access map and provide corrections through the challenge process.”

According to a statement from the state, the maps show “all broadband serviceable locations across the United States where fixed broadband internet access service is or can be installed.”

The state’s broadband plan, released last month, notes that federal infrastructure legislation will invest $65 billion nation-wide into broadband.

The report says that Pennsylvania is guaranteed $100 million “and is expected to receive hundreds of millions in additional funding through formula or competitive funding opportunities.”

An additional $278 million was awarded as part of the American Rescue Plan to the state for broadband.

The authority was created with these funding opportunities in mind.

And the map — released a couple weeks ago and available at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home — is a key piece of that puzzle.

“The commonwealth’s allocation of funding for broadband deployment under the federal infrastructure law is dependent upon the map being accurate, and Pennsylvanians should visit the map to search for their home address to determine whether the information listed by the FCC is accurate,” according to a statement from the authority.

They detail that challenges to the map can include several possible characteristics including locations that meet service requirements but are missing from the map as well as locations where “serviceability is incorrectly identified.”

Anyone looking to challenge the map should do so by Jan. 13.

The Authority’s report has concluded that there are between 640,000 and 800,000 Pennsylvanians that are considered “unserved” and lack access to high-speed broadband.

It details four major challenges – service infrastructure and availability, equity and affordability, device and technology access and digital literacy and tech support with objectives and action steps outlined in each area.


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