This information will allow BEAM to create a unique and updated Mississippi Broadband Map that is critical for expanding broadband infrastructure in the state.
The Office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) launched a new website to record internet speeds and gather information about internet usage and availability across the state.
“This information will allow BEAM to create a unique and updated Mississippi Broadband Map that is critical for expanding broadband infrastructure in the state,” a press release from the Governor’s office said.
BEAM Director Sally Doty said their office has been compiling data and working with a mapping consultant to prepare for the release of the FCC map in November.
“We knew the initial map would not show a true picture of broadband service in Mississippi and our office is ready to engage in the challenge process so Mississippi will be fairly represented,” Doty said.
Any Mississippian who lacks adequate internet service is encouraged to visit www.broadbandms.com. Those with no internet may call or text “Internet” to 601-439-2535 to report a location with no service.
“The data collected is particularly important because Mississippi’s portion of federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will be determined by the number of unserved and underserved locations in the state,” the press release added.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said high-speed broadband access lays the foundation for improving education, bolstering economic development, and increasing access to medical care for Mississippians.
“This is why it is critically important that accurate maps are produced which properly recognize existing coverage and any gaps across our state,” Reeves continued.
Over the next few months, BEAM will be using data collected from this effort to challenge inaccuracies on the current federal map, which they say does not accurately reflect broadband access and availability in Mississippi.
The federal map will be used in July 2023 to allocate funding among all 50 states.
READ MORE: National broadband mapping underway. Is your area reported accurately?
In mid-November, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said then that this is an important milestone in their effort to help everyone, everywhere get specific information about what broadband options are available for their homes, and pinpointing places in the country where communities do not have the service they need.
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