Montpelier — The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) is asking Vermont’s employers, universities, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions to help spread the word to their employees, students, patients, and networks about the importance of challenging the FCC National Broadband Map. Getting as many people as possible to check their addresses and challenge incorrect information could mean tens of millions of additional federal dollars to get all Vermonters connected to broadband.
“Reliable internet is crucial for running a successful business and something all our employees should have access to at home. That’s why we’re asking them to check their addresses and challenge any incorrect information. Better internet means better business in Vermont and more opportunity for all Vermonters,” said Mike Solimano, President & General Manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain.
“We know how important reliable internet is for Vermont’s employers, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. In 2023 it means being able to do business, treat patients, and teach. It’s at the heart of every aspect of a healthy economy and modern life,” said VCBB Executive Director Christine Hallquist.
Getting as much additional federal money as possible not only ensures getting all Vermonters connected, but it would also save them money.
“We’ve calculated that, on average, for every additional $50 million the state can offer Communications Union Districts as grants rather than borrowing the money, a Vermonter’s internet bill will drop by $10 per month,” said Hallquist. “The FCC map poses a challenge to Vermont’s broadband build-out. The map is missing or incorrectly lists the location of over 60,000 broadband-serviceable locations. The map also lists service availability levels far beyond what the state has found through its mapping and what we are hearing about from residents. This is the chance for Vermonters to join together and challenge incorrect data and make broadband more affordable.”
The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program provides each state will receive a minimum of $100 million to fund the construction of high-speed internet access. An additional $37.1 billion is then distributed to states based on the total number of unserved locations.
To file a challenge, go to Home | FCC National Broadband Map and type in your address. Your home should appear on the map and list services providers claim to have available for purchase at your location. If your location is missing or inaccurately reflected on the map, you can submit a location challenge to correct it. The link to correct information on an existing location is to the right of the address on the map. You can add a location by clicking on the map where the location should be and then clicking the “challenge location” button.
If the information about the service provided at your location is wrong, click the “availability challenge” button, bringing up a form where you can select a provider to challenge. Scroll down, complete the form, selecting the reason for your challenge from the drop-down list. You can describe your experience and upload files to support your challenge, check the certification box, and click “submit.”
Reasons to challenge include the provider denied a request for service at your location, the provider does not offer the technology reported to be offered at your location, the provider does not offer the speeds reported to be available at your location, the provider needed to build new equipment at your location, a wireless or satellite signal is not available at your location, the provider failed to schedule a service installation within ten business days of a request, the provider did not install the service at the agreed-upon time, or the provider requested more than the standard installation fee to connect service.
The deadline to challenge the data is January 13, 2023. For assistance, please call Consumer Affairs Hotline (800) 622-4496. For video instructions on how to file an availability challenge, go to How to Submit an Availability Challenge – YouTube. For instructions on location challenges, go to How to File a Location Challenge to the FCC’s Map – YouTube.
For Immediate Release
January 5, 2023
Contact: Herryn Herzog, Communications & Outreach Coordinator
Vermont Community Broadband Board
phone: (802) 522-3396 email: Herryn.Herzog@Vermont.gov