Challenges to FCC Broadband Map Could Yield Additional $53 Million for Expansion
OKLAHOMA CITY – Challenges to the broadband service map of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could bring more than $53 million in additional funding for expansion of affordable and reliable high-speed internet service in the state, the Oklahoma Broadband Office announced today.
Early last month, the office issued a call for Oklahomans to check the accuracy of information on the map and submit challenges if errors were found. Thousands responded. At the same time, the office retained AppGeo, an industry expert, to scrub through the map and issue challenges on behalf of the state.
“We expect the work done on behalf of the state, and by the myriad of people in rural Oklahoma in dire need of high-speed internet service, will be a big help in ensuring we can successfully complete our mission,” said Mike Fina, chair of the Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board. “We are grateful for the many Oklahomans who took the time to check the map and provide the FCC with accurate information.”
The FCC set a deadline of January 13 for submitting challenges to be considered when determining grant funding for broadband expansion later this year. At a recent meeting of the Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board, AppGeo reported it had completed 10,616 challenges and submitted them to the FCC prior to the deadline.
“AppGeo is very pleased that with the cooperation of the Oklahoma Broadband Office and many of their external partners, we've been able to supply strong evidence to support more than 10,000 challenges to correct what we believe are errors in the FCC broadband map,” said Bill Johnson, a mapping expert with AppGeo.
It is believed that each successful challenge could result in additional grant funding of up to $5,000. Should all the challenges submitted on behalf of the Oklahoma Broadband Office be successful, it could result in an increase of $53 million over what would have been awarded based on the original FCC map data. Successful challenges made by individual citizens throughout the state would add to the total. Grant funding for Oklahoma will be announced this summer by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and is expected to top $700 million.
Current FCC data, combined with the state’s challenges, show Oklahoma has more than 188,000 locations with no access to even the lowest level of broadband internet service as defined by the FCC.
Even though the funding-related deadline has passed, challenges can still be made. The FCC map can be found at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov.
About the Oklahoma Broadband Office
Oklahoma has launched an aggressive effort to ensure fast and affordable broadband internet service is available throughout the state and the Oklahoma Broadband Office is a key component.
Created by the Legislature in May 2022, the office is on a five-year mission to develop and administer grant programs to make affordable, high-speed internet available to all Oklahomans. It also coordinates efforts throughout the state to ensure broadband expansion is conducted effectively and efficiently.
This effort builds on previous work to connect the entire state with the economy of the 21st Century. The benefit to families, farms, businesses, and communities is this generation’s equivalent to the impact of rural electrification nearly 100 years ago.
For more information contact:
Tim Allen, Director of Policy & Communications