Travis County and the City of Austin are urging residents to check the new FCC broadband map. Then challenge it if the information is not correct.
Travis County Residents’ Input Needed to Verify of the National Broadband Map
(Travis County, TX) – Travis County and the City of Austin are asking for the public’s help to review, verify, and improve the new National Broadband Map created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The search-by-address map shows where high-speed internet service is or is not available, based on information the FCC received from internet service providers.
Travis County’s Broadband and Digital Equity Office and the City of Austin’s Office of Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs urge all county residents and business owners to look up their address on the map and see if the information listed is accurate.
If they see a service they were told by providers is not available to them or is available but connection charges would exceed the provider’s standard installation charge, residents and businesses can file a challenge. Challenges can also be filed for missing or incorrect addresses.
Having accurate data for each address in Travis County is crucial because the map will be used to calculate the amount of funds allocated by the National Telecommunications Information Administration to each state for high-speed internet projects that will help close the digital divide.
“From making a doctor’s appointment to applying for jobs, high-speed internet has become a vital part of our lives, but in 2021, 32,347 homes in Travis County still did not have internet subscriptions, and 11,403 pre-K – 12th grade students in the County did not have computers or internet subscriptions according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” Margaret Gomez, Travis County Commissioner for Precinct 4, said. “Travis County is committed to doing everything it can to improve internet access across the entire County. We encourage everyone to review this map thoroughly to help us ensure internet availability in our County is documented correctly and help the FCC identify communities most in need.”
"Taking a crowdsourcing approach is an ideal way to quickly find out if the service is actually available where the internet service providers say it is and to improve the accuracy of the data,” said Rondella Hawkins, Austin’s Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Officer. “The City is committed to ensuring that all residents have equitable access to affordable, reliable internet service that meets the needs of individuals and families. Another important step to close the digital divide is having factual data that doesn’t overstate who has service and knowing where to allocate resources.”
Instructions for filing challenges
- Visit https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home
- Using the search bar, type in your address
- Review the information that comes up on the side panel
- If your address is missing or wrong, click on “Location Challenge” next to the address to submit correct information
- If the internet service information is wrong, click on “Availability Challenge” to submit correction information (do not include any personal identifiable information, such as your account number or username and password, in the “Description” section for Location Challenge or “Describe Your Experience” section for Availability Challenge)
- Submit your challenge by January 13, 2023
What can be challenged?
- Reported service – is the reported service not offered or is the reported speed not available for purchase?
- Service denial – did the provider deny your request for service or demand connection charges that exceed its standard installation charge?
- Scheduling – did the provider fail to schedule or perform an installation within 10 business days of request?
Documentation needed for challenges
- Location ID (found on the map once you click on “Availability Challenge”)
- Contact information
- Challenge reason
- Summary of experience requesting service
- Optional – evidence showing no availability (example: screenshots of text messages or emails exchanged with the provider)
Residents or business owners needing help can visit the Broadband Data Collection Help Center for help articles, tutorial videos, and frequently asked questions. They can also submit a request for support using a help form.