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Biz Oregon urges county residents to review FCC broadband map


The state’s economic development office wants Malheur County residents to join in a nationwide effort to ensure mapping of broadband services is accurate to identify gaps.

At stake is billions in federal dollars to be distributed to states and different locales. 

The Federal Communications Commission recently published a draft of a national broadband map showing information about the availability of broadband access based on location. 

Given that it is the first time the FCC has released such a map,  Business Oregon, the state’s economic development office, is urging residents to double-check the map to verify its accuracy before the FCC finalizes it.   

Daniel Holbrook, Business Oregon’s broadband office manager, said residents and business owners can enter a physical address online to see what service is listed and then verify or challenge the information. He said the challenges must be filed by Friday, Jan. 13. 

Holbrook said the map would help determine how much federal spending would come to Oregon and then, from there, the state’s 36 counties. 

The final map, scheduled to complete in June 2023, will play a major role in how the federal government will distribute $42.45 billion from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program, also known as the BEAD program, according to Holbrook.  He said the program is intended to expand high-speed internet throughout the country. 

Given that the program’s funding allocation is based on need, if the map is inaccurate, it will directly impact how much federal dollars come to Oregon, Halbrook said. 

According to Holbrook, there are bound to be errors when an agency takes on such a massive undertaking as developing a nationwide broadband map. 

“Anytime you create something the first cut is never 100% (accurate). Not even 75%,” he said. “The way you improve it is to get other people to review it.” 

Holbrook said up to 7% of Oregonians need broadband access. 

He said that it is hard to gauge the map’s accuracy in the early stages of reviewing the map results. 

“We want to make sure that people in (rural areas) have the same opportunity that everyone in urban areas has,” Holbrook said. “So that there isn’t a digital divide.” 

The broadband map can be accessed at:

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