The Fiber Broadband Association advised states to ensure ISPs aren’t falsifying claims about service to residents’ homes. StateScoop reported that $42.5 billion in federal broadband expansion funds are on the line – and states need to get their coverage straight.
As part of the Commerce Department’s Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment program, states will be assessed on which locations are served, unserved, or underserved by broadband. These categories tie directly to the number of funds each state will receive.
According to Peggy Schaffer, a consultant and former director of Maine’s statewide broadband authority, “It’s important that the state be a source of truth.” She added that states should not rely solely on the FCC’s coverage map but “collect local-level data in partnership with carriers and communities.”
One former broadband director, Chad Rupe, said states need to call “BS” on false coverage reports, according to StateScoop. “Claiming to provide service and then not being able to provide service can have harsh consequences for everybody involved,” he added.