Oklahoma’s newly-created Broadband Office started a campaign to encourage Oklahomans to check their address for high-speed internet service to help determine how much federal funding the state will get for broadband service.
As part of the effort, the Broadband Office is using a newly released map from the Federal Communications Commission.
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.”
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.
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 21st Century. The benefit to families, farms, businesses, and communities is this generation’s equivalent to the impact of rural electrification nearly 100 years ago.