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Michiganders Asked to Review Broadband Access Map

December 9, 2022

Internet access and connectivity are integral towards growth and prosperity for northwest Lower Michigan and the State as a whole.  The current FCC Broadband Digital Map contains many inaccuracies as it pertains to broadband availability throughout our region, particularly for our rural communities.  With much of our workforce, student population, and families relying upon the availability of broadband to facilitate ability for access to work, information, and remote learning, it is important that we inform the FCC of the inaccuracies of the availability of broadband within our region.  The information contained within the FCC maps will guide policy makers as they leverage funding and resources for expanding broadband connectivity.  Please review the information below from Michigan’s Chief Connectivity Officer, which includes a link to the FCC Digital Map where you can provide input on locations of broadband inaccuracies. The coverage map includes both in-ground fiber services and availability of satellite internet providers. Satellite internet providers seem to have the greatest inaccuracies as it pertains to internet download and upload speeds for our rural communities.   

High-speed internet is not available to nearly half a million homes in Michigan. Every Michigander is urged to check their home and business address on the FCC’s preliminary broadband map to ensure it accurately reflects their level of internet access.

Here’s how to access the FCC broadband map:

  1. Visit here, then type in an address and see if the reported coverage is accurate. You can access the site from a computer or a mobile device.
  2. Residents can submit a challenge by clicking “Location Challenge” if the location of their home or business is missing or incorrect, or “Availability Challenge” if the internet service information is incorrect.
  3. Residents should visit the website of any internet service provider that claims to serve their location and use the website's "Check Availability" or similar tool to determine if the provider can serve their location.
  4. If they can't, a screenshot of their website can be submitted to the FCC as evidence for an Availability Challenge.

Consumers can follow the instructions on how to file an availability challenge using the new map here.

The FCC also allows local governments, tribal governments and other stakeholders to file bulk challenges for multiple locations on behalf of their communities. Governmental entities can access the underlying broadband serviceable location fabric that forms the foundation for the address locations on the map. Data can be downloaded here for various geographies by speed for comparison.

The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) is developing several methodologies they will use to identify errors and inconsistencies on the map and develop and file bulk challenges to the FCC map. Those methodologies will be applied statewide to ensure they are finding all potential issues with the map and making those known to the FCC.

Additionally, the MIHI team is encouraging consumers, communities and any others with a stake in broadband availability to submit challenges to the FCC map if a discrepancy is found. Having an accurate federal map will ensure that Michigan receives its equitable share of federal funding to achieve universal broadband availability for all Michiganders.

To ensure an accurate map is used for funding decisions, all challenges must be submitted by January 13, 2023.

Northwest Michigan Works! is an essential resource for employers and job seekers in the Northern Michigan area.
- Kathy Stuart, Michigan Rubber Products Human Resource Manager