There is widespread agreement that expanding broadband internet in rural America is desperately needed.
But the maps the federal government has been using to hand out cash to make it happen don’t accurately reflect how many people have access to high-speed service. Critics say that’s because carriers have overstated their coverage.
So when Federal Communications Commission officials assessed who was eligible for a recent $4.5 billion grant program, places such as Kelly Povroznik’s hometown of Weston, West Virginia, were deemed too well-connected to qualify.
Povroznik teaches an online college course that has been hampered by slow connections on her computer and phone. She has had to drive a half-hour to her brother’s place just to enter grades into a database.
Now, the grant program is on hold as the FCC investigates its speed data and lawmakers call for better maps.
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