By: Charlotte R. Lane, West Virginia Public Service Commission Chairman
Broadband Data Maps
We all know how critical internet access is to our daily lives. From remote work, to homework for our children, to communications, to shopping and entertainment we are a completely connected society these days.
Although the Public Service Commission does not have jurisdiction over the internet or internet service providers, I wanted to let you know about a new useful tool to identify the best internet service available in your area.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map, which shows fixed and mobile broadband availability data.
The Broadband Map displays the most comprehensive and standardized data the FCC has ever made available on broadband availability. It will show specific location-level information about broadband services throughout the country.
The public will be able to view the map and search for their address to see information about available internet services. They can also file challenges with the FCC if any discrepancies arise.
The map displays where internet services are available across the United States, as reported by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to the FCC.
All ISP’s must file data with the FCC twice a year on where they offer mass-market internet access service using their own broadband network facilities.
The map will be updated continuously to improve its accuracy through a combination of new data from ISP’s, FCC verification efforts, updates to location data and information from the public.
To use the map, which is available at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home, enter an address into the “Search by Address” window. That will take you to information about that location, along with a list of available internet providers and the types of services and speeds offered.
If you think the information about a particular location is wrong or that location is missing, you can submit a “Location Challenge” or an Availability Challenge” from the map.
I hope you will take advantage of this useful tool.