The Oklahoma Broadband Office has an urgent request for consumer-members
With reliable high-speed internet service and billions of dollars on the line, every Oklahoman is strongly encouraged to check their addresses for current service availability on a newly released map by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Oklahoma Broadband Office announced today.
The map, available at broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home, allows visitors to look up their addresses and check to see if the information provided is accurate. If not, visitors can provide corrected information by clicking the Availability Challenge link.
“We have reason to believe that some of the information listed on the site, especially in rural areas, is not accurate,” said Kirk Martin, interim director of the Oklahoma Broadband Office. “In many cases, the map lists service that is simply not available.”
Any Oklahoman, business, school, church, library, or place with internet service can look at the map and challenge the information.
The request to check the map is urgent. The FCC has set a deadline of January 13, 2023, to provide correct information.
Martin explained the importance of the FCC having accurate information.
“After the challenge process is completed, the data in the final version of the map will be used to determine how much grant money Oklahoma will get to improve internet service throughout the state,” he said.
“If the final map contains bad information, thousands of Oklahomans could be left out.”
Cooperative leaders are working with the Oklahoma Broadband Office and are calling on consumer-members in their service territories to thoroughly review the map—which is based on data from internet service providers—and get corrections to the FCC quickly.
“Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives encourage consumer-members across the state to respond to this request and check their internet service availability. Reliable broadband is a necessity for the growth, development, and economic prosperity in Oklahoma’s rural and suburban communities. Electric cooperatives care about the communities they serve and strive to be difference makers within their service territories. Having access to reliable broadband is crucial to the quality of life in co-op service areas throughout the state,” said Chris Meyers, General Manager of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Reporting any discrepancies ensures the tens of billions of dollars in federal funding available goes where it’s needed.
Simultaneously to the public challenge process, the office, Native American tribes, and other internet-related groups are scouring the map data and will challenge any erroneous entries they find.
Oklahoma policymakers are focused on expanding and enhancing high-speed internet due to its many economic, health, and public safety benefits. The broadband office is regularly updating its website at broadband.ok.gov with the most recent information.
Publisher’s Note: There is an additional, more user-friendly way to challenge the FCC Broadband Map. One of our member-systems, Indian Electric Cooperative, has developed a simple survey that is open to all cooperative consumer-members in Oklahoma. For anyone who would like to bypass the clunky FCC site, you can submit your information and challenge the FCC broadband data via this link: https://survey.iecok.com/front_end.