COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Broadband Office is asking for help from the public to help the FCC accurately map internet accessibility in Colorado.
The federal government is unrolling a new program called the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment, or BEAD, program. They have $42.5 Billion to allocate to every state to help improve internet accessibility.
The state of Colorado is currently set to receive $400 million. But that allocation is decided by the FCC's map of internet accessibility. That map, says Executive Director of the Colorado Broadband Office Brandy Reitter, has errors.
"The Colorado Broadband Office does have more accurate data. As a state, we're closer to the issues around mapping. We know our providers, we know our citizens, we know where the areas are served and underserved," said Reitter.
This map shows the discrepancies between the FCC and the Colorado Broadband Office. The FCC map shows any areas in blue containing 100% coverage for that area. Reitter says those numbers behind them show the true picture of internet access in Colorado.
"There are 166,000 households that lack internet access as a result of infrastructure and inequity. Just letting you know 14% of total locations are underserved which is about 360,00 locations. So that's the discrepancy we're talking about between the maps," says Reitter.
The Department of Human Services for El Paso County can speak to the need that several people have for internet access.
"The world that opens up to people who get high-speed internet access is crucial," says Kristina Iodice, a public information officer with the DHS.
The Colorado Broadband Office says they'll receive more funding to improve internet equity if people can challenge the FCC website.
Steps to challenge broadband coverage on the FCC map:
1. Go to broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home [broadbandmap.fcc.gov] and type in your address before Jan. 13, 2023.
2. If there is no dot on your home or business, or the address needs to be corrected, drop a pin on the map, click Location Challenge, fill out the form with the correct information and click Submit.
3. If the information about the broadband service offerings available at your home, camp or business needs to be corrected, click Availability Challenge, fill out the form and click Submit.
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