FCC Reportedly Investigating if Internet Providers Exaggerated Coverage


The Federal Communications Commission is reportedly investigating whether broadband internet providers have misled the public about their coverage areas.

The agency declined to name the multiple service providers it’s investigating for potentially exaggerating where they provide high-speed internet service, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. This comes as the government prepares to hand out $42.5 billion in subsidies for increasing internet access in rural and underserved areas, allocated from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in late 2021. 

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The FCC has been marking areas covered by service providers on new publicly available maps so people can see if they should be able to get internet access where they live. The first versions of the new maps were launched in November. The agency pledged to keep them updated with data collected and sent by internet providers, including carriers.

“Verizon shares the FCC’s goal of creating an accurate broadband map, and we have been careful to submit the information about our broadband availability that the FCC’s rules require,” read a Verizon statement provided to CNET. “We continue to work closely with the FCC staff as it refines and improves the mapping process.”

In response to questions about the FCC’s coverage map inaccuracies from members of Congress, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Feb. 3 letter that “we have taken several steps to prevent systematic overreporting of coverage by broadband service providers.”

“In fact, we already have an investigation underway,” Rosenworcel wrote. 

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