Letter Urging FCC for Extension on Map Challenge, BEAD Dates Submitted

Signatories say the FCC’s map is inaccurate and local governments don’t have the resources to challenge it in time.

Letter Urging FCC for Extension on Map Challenge, BEAD Dates Submitted
Photo of Georgia Savage from OaklandUndivided on LinkedIn

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2023 – A letter signed by local governments and organizations in 19 states and Washington D.C. urging the Federal Communications Commission to delay the deadline to challenge its preliminary map and to push back the allocation of federal money reliant on that map was submitted to the commission on Monday.

The submission, confirmed by letter lead OaklandUndivided, an entity in the city’s mayor’s office, comes four days before the January 13 deadline set by the FCC to submit challenges to its preliminary map, which was released in November.

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The open letter sent Monday had been circulating last month and its final version gathered more than 100 individuals in those states and D.C., OaklandUndivided representative Georgia Savage confirmed. It outlined that the states do not have the resources necessary, including the technical knowledge, to challenge the map in time by the deadline, which made even NTIA head Alan Davidsonincredibly uncomfortable.”

The letter requests the FCC revise its rules to extend the challenge submission deadline and the final map release date by at least 60 days. It also requests that the allocation of billions of federal dollars to the states – currently scheduled by June 30, 2023 – be delayed by the same number of days. It also asks that the commission provide “technical assistance and clear communication” during the process.

The FCC map, whose underlying dataset is handled by contractor CostQuest, has been flagged as inaccurate, but its accuracy will be relied on by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to deliver $42.5 billion to the states from its Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.

OaklandUndivided said the letter is modeled on a similar letter out of Texas.

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