In order to meet the urgency of this moment to connect the unconnected, we continue to target June 30 as the date by which we will allocate each state and territory’s BEAD Program funding for high-speed Internet service. NTIA and the FCC have worked closely with states to assist them in the process of improving the National Broadband Map to achieve this goal.
We’ve held one-on-one sessions with dozens of states and territories throughout this process, as well as hosted twice weekly office hours with the FCC to answer questions from state broadband offices. We’ve also engaged with more than a dozen grassroots advocacy organizations representing consumers and underrepresented populations to inform them and their membership on how to submit challenges.
States, counties and other organizations have been productive partners in the process to improve the FCC’s map. And we know their engagement is producing a better map. The FCC already has received over 1 million challenges to provider reported availability data and has updated the map’s underlying Fabric to add more than 1 million additional locations. Through this work, the map is becoming more accurate and will continue to get incrementally better.
We have heard concerns from some states and other stakeholders, and we have received requests to delay the timeline to give states more time to participate in the FCC’s processes for challenging and improving the National Broadband Map. Several other states have expressed to us that they want us to maintain this target so that they can begin developing quality plans and begin their subgrant programs as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, a delay in the timeline would mean a delay in providing funding to communities who desperately need it, and it will not address many of the process concerns we have heard.
Both NTIA and the FCC are committed to iteratively improving the National Broadband Map. As we drive toward June 30, we will continue to partner with states and the FCC to improve the accuracy of both the location and availability data so that the map includes as much data as possible when we allocate funds.
Every day we delay is another day that communities are not connected. We feel the urgency to getting this funding out the door so it can be put to work for everyone in America.
We encourage states to continue to submit challenges to this map, which is meant to be a living document. Continued improvements will move us that much closer in making Internet for All a reality.