Mono County Residents and Business Owners Urged to Audit Broadband Map and Apply for Affordable Connectivity Program
MONO COUNTY, Calif. (MARCH 23, 2023) – On Tuesday, the Mono County Board of Supervisors received a presentation from Scott Armstrong, Regional Broadband Coordinator for Mono County and the Eastern Sierra. Mr. Armstrong presented on two topics: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Broadband Map, and the Affordable Connectivity Program.
High-speed, high-quality internet service is essential for participation in modern life. However, many rural and remote communities lack the proper level of service to adequately participate in today’s economy. To address this service inequity, the FCC is collecting broadband consumer data information directly from users in an attempt to identify gaps in coverage, and shore up access and service. Mono County residents and business owners are encouraged to participate in this data collection to address local broadband inequities.
FCC Broadband Map
The FCC has a new map showing where they believe internet service is – and is not – available across the country, down to the location level. This data is initially collected from internet service providers, and then the FCC reviews the data and publishes it on the National Broadband Map. Consumers (residents and business owners) can easily dispute or challenge inaccurate information shown on the map.
The FCC Broadband Map can be accessed here, and consumers can search for their property by address. Once an address is entered, a list of providers and their level of availability is listed. From this screen, consumers can either verify their internet service location and availability, or submit a challenge to the data presented for correction.
An accurate map will help identify the unserved and underserved communities most in need of funding for high-speed internet infrastructure investments.
Affordable Connectivity Program
Mr. Armstrong also introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federally funded effort to bridge the digital divide in California. The ACP provides eligible households with a $30 monthly discount on home internet plans. The ACP discount can be used with special low-cost internet plans that cost less than $30 per month – meaning some consumers’ monthly internet bill could be free.
ACP benefits are available for households enrolled in existing assistance programs, or if their household income is $60,000 or less for a family of four. Details and the ACP application can be accessed here. Current estimates show that 2,351 Mono County households are eligible for ACP benefits, and only 44 have enrolled.0
(From Mono County Administration)