Thursday, December 13, 2018

FCC investigates whether internet service providers lied about covering rural areas to access government funding

On the heels of its report showing that many internet service providers aren't giving customers the advertised speeds, the Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether those ISPs falsely said they covered some rural areas in order to access government funds to build out rural broadband.

The Mobility Fund II project is meant to allocate more than $4.5 billion to encourage building out mobile broadband service in rural areas. As part of the project, the FCC requested coverage maps from carriers, which it could then use to determine which areas needed support," Colin Lecher reports for The Verge, a publication of Vox Media. "The agency said a review of more than 20 million speeds tests raised serious questions about the accuracy of the data, and it has suspended the next steps of the project while it investigates."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said his "top priority" is ensuring that rural Americans have access to broadband, and that the investigation will make sure coverage data is accurate before proceeding with the Mobility Fund II project, Lecher reports.

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