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The Island’s Joint Telecommunications Advisory Committee, formed by the townships, is urging all Island residents to check the FCC’s National Broadband Map (broadbandmap.fcc.gov) to make sure that the information in it about internet service at their home, business and other island locations they own is accurate. The JTAC sent out an email yesterday on how this can be done (it’s quick and fairly easy with the directions). The email is below. Your BIA Board joins the JTAC Board and Township Boards in urging you to take the time to do this.

Why it matters

The Map will be used to allocation billions in federal broadband funding. If the map does not have accurate data about the Island when funding decisions are made, Beaver Island may be out in the cold on broadband once again. Even a quick look at the maps hows it is now far from accurate and, for now, the best way to address that is for everyone on the island to check what it reports about their locations.

What to do

Follow the directions in the JTAC’s email reproduced below. Thanks for your help on this important project.


Beaver Island Joint Townships Telecommunications Committee

January 11, 2023

We are writing concerning an urgent effort to check information in the FCC’s Broadband Map about internet service speeds on Beaver Island. Your participation is critical to our ability to challenge inaccurate data published by the FCC about service on the island that will be used to make grant decisions later this year.

You may have already received a speed survey in your winter tax bill with an explanation that the data was being collected to challenge the accuracy of the FCC’s map.

We are still collecting that data and will send an email with a better online survey soon…

But, in addition to responding to that survey, it is important for you to report errors in the map directly to the FCC using an easy, online form. 

Please click the button just below to get started. (It will take you to broadbandmap.fcc.gov.)  The FCC has only allowed until the end of the day on January 13th (Friday) to submit a challenge about service availability, so if possible, please take the time to check the FCC’s map now.

Once you open the map, here are the steps to follow (it will take only a few minutes):

  • Enter your location address and hit enter. Check to see if there is a red or green dot at that location.  If the dot is grey or there is no dot, follow the Location Challenge Instructions below.
  • If the dot at your location is red or green, look for the box to the right of the map that looks something like the one shown below (the providers and speeds will vary by location):

Check the speed shown there for your provider. Is this higher than the speed actually available at this location? Have you requested service but been told it was not available or been told that only a lower speed is available? Did you sign up for service, but the service was not installed when promised? If any of these are true, click on Availability Challenge in the upper right of the box. The following form should appear (the providers and speeds will vary by location):

  • Select your provider and then select “Send my challenge to the selected provider.” The form will expand to show a short survey.
  • Identify the issue you have encountered with service in the “Reason for Challenge” selection drop-down (click the down symbol to see the list if it does not appear). If the speeds you receive are less than promised to be available, choose “Provider does not offer the speed(s) reported being available at this location.” If service is not available or wasn’t installed, select the appropriate choice.
  • Complete the balance of the form. You may upload evidence to support your challenge if you have something, but it is not necessary.
  • That’s it. Unless you have additional places to check, you are done.

IMPORTANT: If you have more than one parcel of property on the island, please complete the steps outlined above for each location where internet service could be used (including pole barns, deer camps and so on even if there is no service at the location now).


Location Challenge Instructions

1. Only follow these instructions if your location does not appear with a red or green dot on the map.

2. If there is a grey dot at the location, click on it. If not, double-click on the location on the map where your building is shown (or if there is no building shown, where your building is located).

3. Press the “Challenge Location” button and complete the form.

4. If you have service at this location (or tried to obtain service but were told it was unavailable or the provider failed to complete the installation), please follow the directions at the beginning of this email that begin after the direction to jump down to this section.


If you need assistance in completing a challenge or have questions, please contact any member of the JTAC. Additional information about completing a challenge to the FCC’s map is available in these short “how to” documents:

We apologize for the need to bother you again about this issue. The FCC has allowed very little time to challenge the misinformation in the maps it has created.  Thank you for taking the time to check the FCC Map and submit a challenge if the info in it for your location(s) was wrong. 

Finally, please be on the lookout for a follow-up email from us with a link to complete our improved speed survey. We expect to send that out in the next several days.  

Sincerely,

Kevin Boyle
Chair, Beaver Island Joint Telecommunications Advisory Committee on behalf of Vicki Smith (Peaine Township representative on the Committee), Paul Cole (St. James Township representative on the Committee), Gary Conant, Wil Cwikiel, Neal Green, and Theresa McDonough, and as well as on behalf of Dick Mulvihill (BIA President)