Commentary: Review your broadband map to improve internet access – Alexandria Echo Press

By Bree Maki, executive director Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development

Recently, Governor Tim Walz announced that Internet providers will receive nearly $100 million in funding to expand broadband coverage to more Minnesotans. This largest grant round is estimated to extend new high-speed Internet connections to more than 33,000 Minnesota homes and businesses in 48 counties.

At the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development, we’re working hard to get broadband to more Minnesotans who need it. Now, we need your help to make this a reality.

As part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, $65 billion in funding is available to states for broadband. We’re excited to implement the bill’s programs, but much of our funding depends on a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mapping project to show where broadband is and isn’t available.

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The FCC is accepting challenges to its new map now, and we encourage all Minnesotans to review the map to see if the broadband speeds shown available at their address are correct. Local review of the broadband maps is important, as residents know best if the map information is accurate. Minnesotans can go to broadbandmap.fcc.gov

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review their map and provide feedback.

To review the map, type your address. Your home should appear on the map along with a list of services that providers claim to have available for purchase at your location. If your location is missing or incorrectly reflected on the map, you can submit a location challenge to correct it. If the information about the service provided is incorrect, you can file a provision challenge. Detailed video instructions on how to file a challenge can be found at fcc.gov/BroadbandData/consumers.

Our goal is borderline broadband coverage throughout Minnesota. Future federal funding will be allocated based on the number of locations in Minnesota that do not have broadband services available now. To ensure that valid challenges are incorporated into the map before federal funding allocations are made, Minnesotans have until January 13, 2023 to submit comments.

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This year, between 240,000 and 291,000 households in Minnesota lacked access to high-speed broadband. So much of what we do happens online, so we want to make sure all Minnesotans have access to high-speed internet.

All Minnesotans deserve equal access to high-speed broadband. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Broadband at 651-259-7610 or [email protected]



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