The FCC says Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) can challenge its decision to exclude some areas of his state from subsidies to expand mobile broadband. The Mobility Fund auction will award $4.53 billion to companies to offer service in rural areas, but the FCC said some communities already have adequate service and are thus ineligible for the funding. Manchin, though, says he wants to do his testing to prove the agency got it wrong about coverage in his state. “We conclude that there is good cause for granting the requested waiver,” the FCC said in an order Friday, citing Manchin’s “long record of engagement” on wireless issues in West Virginia.
Source: POLITICO Morning Tech
Smart move by the Senator. “Manchin, though, says he wants to do his testing to prove the agency got it wrong about coverage in his state.”
If the FCC is relying on the Broadband Maps to make their coverage decision, there is a high probability they will be wrong every time. The maps are not accurate; they are based on claims made by the providers and not ground truth reality. Early in the development of the CA Broadband maps, the Gold Country Broadband Consortia demonstrated the coverage maps were not connected to the real world. More details HERE and HERE.
The FCC was equally wise to grant the waiver request; they also know how inaccurate the broadband maps are, and what Senator Manchin’s test would reveal.
The real solution is in the field testing. Here is my answer to field testing, up to 100 Mbps.