State encourages participation in FCC challenge opportunity to map the broadband gap

December 15, 2022

The Department of Economic Development (DED) encourages all Missourians to participate in the FCC’s broadband map challenge opportunity as its Office of Broadband Development works to expand access to high-speed internet statewide. Filing challenges to correct inaccuracies on the FCC map is important to determining the amount of funding the state will receive for broadband expansion.

“As we make historic investments to expand internet access, I encourage Missourians to participate in the FCC’s broadband map challenge process,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Ensuring we have an accurate understanding of broadband coverage in Missouri is vital. Maps that reflect our needs will ensure our state receives and administers the necessary resources to advance our progress in this critical priority.”

The challenge opportunity will identify errors in the new FCC maps that would prevent Missouri from receiving its full share of funding through the upcoming Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Errors could relate to physical locations or types of internet service availability. To ensure coverage for homes, businesses, and communities is accurately represented, any citizen can participate. All challenges submitted prior to January 13, 2023, will be considered.

“We hope every Missourian will take part in this historic moment for broadband expansion,” said BJ Tanksley, Director of the Office of Broadband Development. “Our goal is access to quality, high-speed internet for every Missouri citizen, business, and community. To get there, we need the public’s help.”

The FCC’s map, which displays the best available data of the state’s served, underserved, and unserved areas, will determine how much of more than $42 billion the state will receive for broadband expansion. Missouri’s share of this funding will be received through the BEAD Program, part of the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA). The state will use BEAD funding for its Connecting All Missourians initiative, which aims to provide high-quality internet statewide.

To assist individuals with challenge submissions, guidance is available from the Office of Broadband Development or at any local University of Missouri Extension office. Resources, including an instructional video, how-to document, and FAQs, are available at ded.mo.gov/getconnected. An informational webinar will be held on December 16.

About the Missouri Department of Economic Development

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. As one team built around the customer and driven by data, DED aspires to be the best economic development department in the Midwest. Through its various initiatives, DED is helping create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.

For the latest updates on DED’s current or future programs and initiatives, visit DED’s website.

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