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Michigan Officials Urge Residents to Review FCC Internet Map

With federal broadband funding hanging in the balance, state and federal officials are urging residents to verify their Internet access status. The information will help identify underserved areas in need of service expansion.

(TNS) — A new FCC map of Michigan is supposed to show which households have access to high-speed Internet, often simply called broadband.

The map suggests that close to 500,000 Michigan residents don't have broadband, and the consequences range from limited educational opportunities, jobs, healthcare and other resources.

Now, the FCC is working with state officials to urge every Michigan resident to use the new map to see how their address is listed. Business owners are being asked to do the same.

Information shared by residents and business owners will be used to update the maps.

Once the maps are finalized, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will use that information to decide when and how broadband services will be expanded.

That, in turn, will determine which states and communities will qualify for grants to expand broadband service.

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II called these grants "historic investments in high-speed Internet access across Michigan," as he encouraged everyone to participate in updating the FCC map.

People can visit and type in an address and see if the reported coverage is accurate.

The map is accessible from a computer, cellphone, tablet or other device .

People who see inaccurate information can challenge the map by clicking on the "location challenge" if an address is missing, "availability challenge" if the Internet service information is incorrect.

All challenges must be submitted by Jan. 13, 2023.

Sarah Lucas, Office of Rural Development Director within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said rural communities can't be competitive for economic development, talent recruitment and more without broadband.

©2022 The Oakland Press, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.