3/22/23 – MI Connected Future Tour
WMSRDC has offered to be a central point of contact between the Michigan High Speed Internet Office (MIHI) and local units of government in the region. In recent months, WMSRDC has helped MIHI promote its MI Connected Future statewide listening tour. This massive undertaking will provide Michiganders an opportunity to share perspectives that will help prioritize the investment of about $1.6 billion to deliver affordable, equitable, and reliable highspeed internet service throughout the state. Two tour stops were scheduled within the WMSRDC region: City of Muskegon (April 11) and Village of Baldwin (April 12). Communities that were not selected for a tour stop are able to request a “meeting-in-a-box” with which to host their own community broadband meeting. To see a list of upcoming tour stops, and to register, go to https://www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/mihi/miconnectedfuture/mi-connected-future-tour-schedule
For more broadband information, the MIHI office maintains a thorough, up-to-date website https://www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/mihi.
MIHI Connected Future Flyer – Muskegon
MIHI Connected Future Flyer – Baldwin
3/20/23 – FCC Map Still Available for Challenges
In January, WMSRDC helped to coordinate local review of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Map. This concerted effort was needed to help ensure an accurate representation of high-speed internet availability in Michigan. It was important considering federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) allocations at the state level were largely based on the FCC maps to determine underserved and unserved areas. At this point, although BEAD allocations have been made, FCC maps remain available for review and challenge. The FCC map is expected to continue to play a critical role in future broadband funding allocations. Therefore residents, businesses, and institutions are still encouraged to review and submit a challenge if the map at their address is incorrect. To get started, go to https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home.
12/13/22 – New FCC Broadband Maps: Action Needed
In November 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released draft Broadband Maps and is asking for help from states, local communities, and individuals to verify the data through a challenge process. The maps will be amended with this input and be used to determine allocation of over $42 BILLION in federal funding to provide broadband in unserved and underserved locations.
While these new maps are more detailed than previous FCC data, they continue to overstate actual or real-time availability of broadband for many areas. The new maps are considered “preproduction drafts” with the intention that they will be improved over time through public and government input.
Challenges must be submitted to the FCC no later than January 13, 2023 for consideration in the funding allocation to each state. Use the resources below to get started!
Helpful Tip: After entering an address, the Fixed Broadband Settings should be changed from ALL TECHNOLOGY to ALL WIRED. This will filter out satellite broadband services.
2) CHALLENGE AVAILABILITY
An AVAILABILITY Challenge is needed if the data speeds experienced at a location do not match the speeds listed from the service provider, or if the service provider is not listed. Click on the link below to begin and follow the instructions and explanations.
How to Submit an Availability Challenge – BDC Help Center (fcc.gov)
3) CHALLENGE LOCATION
A LOCATION Challenge is needed if the map is incorrectly showing that a home/business is receiving internet/broadband services. Click on the link below to begin and follow the instructions and explanations.
How to Submit a Location Challenge – BDC Help Center (fcc.gov)
4) SPREAD THE WORD!
Please encourage community members to check FCC maps and verify accuracy. Download the printable FCC Broadband Map Flyer. Be sure to have the contests in by January 13th, 2023 to ensure broadband service in Michigan is accurately represented!
4) Links & Resources
Broadband Data Collection Consumer Information
Email the MIHI (Michigan High-Speed Internet Office) Leofirstname.lastname@example.org
Click HERE to submit a question to WMSRDC.
WMSRDC Broadband Support
Broadband has been a noted priority for many years in the WMSRDC five-county region. The COVID-19 pandemic forced this issue to the forefront, highlighting a nearly universal need to improve broadband availability and quality.
To help address this rapidly evolving issue, WMSRDC has stepped up to support local governments in this space through facilitated information sharing, coordination of efforts, and to serve as a central point of contact in the region.
Please leave a message if you have any broadband questions concerning the counties of Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo or Oceana. If we don’t have an answer, we’ll work to connect you with someone who does!