(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Jan. 13 deadline to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband access map is just around the corner, and Pennsylvanians are urged to review the map before they miss their chance.

This map will help ensure high-speed internet access across the commonwealth, according to Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) Executive Director Brandon Carson.

“We need all Pennsylvanians to review the FCC’s broadband access map and, if necessary, submit their challenge by the Jan. 13 deadline so the commonwealth receives enough federal funding to expand broadband access,” said Carson. “Making sure Pennsylvania has an accurate map is absolutely crucial to helping us close the digital divide.”

The FCC’s broadband access map shows all broadband serviceable locations across the U.S. where fixed broadband internet access service is or can be installed. The commonwealth’s allocation of funding for broadband access under the federal infrastructure law relies upon the map being accurate.

“The state Broadband Development Authority will be using the FCC map to determine where funding for high-speed internet is needed,” State Rep. Bob Merski said. “But the map is only as accurate as the information the FCC receives. I’m urging Erie residents and business owners to review the map to ensure that it accurately reflects whether high-speed service is available in their location. If the map says high-speed internet is available but it isn’t, they should file a challenge.”

Erie residents with questions can call Rep. Merski’s office at 814-455-6319 or visit www.RepMerski.com.

Pennsylvanians should visit the map to search for their home address to determine whether the information listed by the FCC is accurate.

Challenges to the map the FCC faces include:

  • A location that meets the FCC’s definition of a broadband serviceable location is missing from the map.
  • A location’s broadband serviceability is incorrectly identified.
  • Information such as the address or unit count for the location is incorrect.
  • The location’s placement (its geographic coordinates) is incorrect.

There are two ways residents can submit a challenge: by a single location, or in bulk. The location challenge can be completed by individual consumers utilizing the map itself, while bulk challengers are required to submit information using the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) platform.

You can learn more about reviewing the access map and how to challenge it on the FCC’s website.