- Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives encourage consumer-members to check their internet service availability in the reporting link provided by the FCC.
- The request is time-sensitive. Consumers should respond to this request by January 13, 2023.
- Reporting any discrepancies in the FCC map ensures tens of billions of dollars in federal funding goes where it’s needed.
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), according to the Oklahoma Broadband Office.
The map, available at https://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.
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 21stCentury. The benefit to families, farms, businesses, and communities is this generation’s equivalent to the impact of rural electrification nearly 100 years ago.