Wisconsin residents urged to fact-check internet map for accuracy

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is encouraging individuals to identify inaccuracies and challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) draft of the national broadband map by Jan. 13, 2023, according to a PSC news release. Since unveiling the pre-production draft of the new broadband in November, the FCC has called on consumers, state, local, and Tribal government entities, and other stakeholders, to help verify the accuracy of the data.

The new map is the most granular and up-to-date federal map of where broadband is and is not available across the country. The FCC’s new broadband maps will be used to determine the allocation of Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) funds that Wisconsin will receive to build broadband infrastructure.

The new map is available at https://broadbandmap.gov/. Residents can type their address and check the map. If the information is inaccurate, residents can submit a challenge by filling out the Availability Challenge Form. Instructions are available at How to Submit an Availability Challenge on the FCC website.

Wisconsin expects an allocation of $700 million to $1.1 billion for broadband expansion under BEAD, depending on the accuracy of the FCC’s mapping data.

The PSC’s Wisconsin Broadband Office (WBO) submitted challenges to over 7,000 locations in the state, meaning the WBO identified homes and business that are missing from the map completely. But now, public participation in the availability challenge is essential. Wisconsinites’ input will improve the accuracy of the map and result in federal funding for broadband being targeted to the areas of Wisconsin that need it most.