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FCC wants to fix maps that now overstate broadband coverage

By The News · 15 of June 2019 12:38:29
AP Photo, Ajit Pai, No available, FILE - In this April 12, 2019 file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai speaks during an event in Washington. Pai announced during a Senate hearing Wednesday, June 12, that he wants phone and cable companies to be more specific about where they offer service and for maps to incorporate public feedback. A vote is planned in August. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

U.S. telecom regulators are trying to fix faulty maps that don’t reflect which Americans have access to high-speed internet.

Lawmakers and public-interest groups have lambasted the Federal Communications Commission for inaccurate maps that overstate coverage and hinder government efforts to subsidize internet service in unserved rural areas.

A big part of the problem is how the FCC measures coverage. The country is divided into census blocks, which can stretch hundreds of square miles in rural areas. The FCC now considers the entire block served even if just one location has service.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced during a Senate hearing Wednesday that he wants phone and cable companies to be more specific about where they offer service and for maps to incorporate public feedback. A vote is planned in August.