How to Submit an Availability Challenge

The National Broadband Map displays where internet services are, and are not, available across the United States, as reported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the FCC’s ongoing Broadband Data Collection.  The map allows consumers and other stakeholders to easily dispute the information shown on the map by challenging information that they believe is inaccurate.

To view the map, visit BroadbandMap.FCC.gov.

What Information is Shown on the Map?

The National Broadband Map shows internet availability, not network performance, affordability, or adoption.  For each location, the available high-speed internet services reported by providers will appear on the right.  This information includes a list of providers, the network technology (fiber, cable, DSL, satellite, or fixed wireless), and the maximum advertised download and upload speeds they offer at the location.   

What Can Be Challenged?

Service is considered to be “available” at a location if the provider has, or previously had, a connection in service to the location, or if the provider could initiate service through a routine installation within 10 business days of a request with no extraordinary monetary charges or delays attributable to the extension of the provider’s network.

If you believe that the services listed are not available or contain inaccurate information, you can submit a challenge based on one of the following reasons:

  1. Provider failed to schedule a service installation within 10 business days of a request: The provider was unable to offer an installation date within 10 business days of the service request.
  2. Provider did not install the service at the agreed-upon time: The provider had scheduled an installation but failed to perform the install at the scheduled, agreed-upon date and time.  
  3. Provider requested more than the standard installation fee to connect this location: The provider quoted an amount in excess of the provider’s standard installation charge in order to connect service at the location.  
  4. Provider denied the request for service: A request for service via phone, the company’s website, or another method was denied.  
  5. Provider does not offer the technology reported to be available at this location: Service based on particular reported technology (fiber, cable, satellite) is not available at the location.  
  6. Provider does not offer the speeds(s) reported to be available at this location: The reported maximum advertised download and/or upload speed is not offered for purchase at the location.  This is distinct from the speed being delivered not matching the marketed speed.  
  7. *Subscribed Speed Not Achievable: Use this option if you have internet service but are not receiving the speeds you expect.  Since the National Broadband Map shows information about available service, challenges submitted in this category will be treated by the FCC as a consumer complaint.
  8. No wireless or satellite signal is available at this location: The fixed wireless or satellite signal is not available at the challenged location, or the service could be oversubscribed in the area.
  9. Provider needed to construct new equipment at this location: Use this code if there are construction costs associated with connecting a satellite or fixed wireless service.  Fixed wireline construction costs should be filed under reason #3 above. 

Filing out the Availability Challenge Form

Make sure that the “Fixed Broadband” tab is selected on the upper right side of the map.  After you select the Availability Challenge link on the right side of the location’s address, a form will open.

  1. Click “Select” next to the provider whose service you want to challenge.
  2. Select either (1) “Send my challenge to the selected provider,” which will initiate a challenge against the provider, or (2) “I’m giving feedback about the information above but not submitting a challenge.”
    • If you select option 2, your submission will not be shared with the selected provider as a challenge; it will be considered as a crowdsource data submission, which may inform the FCC’s need to conduct a verification inquiry of coverage in areas that appear to contain inaccuracies.
  3. Enter your contact information (your name and email are required so that we can contact you; your phone number is optional).
  4. Select the reason code for your challenge. The remaining fields will update based on the type of challenge you select.
  5. Enter a description and, if you have documents or screenshots supporting your challenge, upload those files. You should include details of a request for service (or attempted request for service), including the date, method, and content of the request and details of the response from the provider, or evidence showing no availability at the disputed location.
  6. Check the certification box.
  7. Click Submit.

Resolving Challenges

When you submit a fixed availability challenge, your submission will be sent to the provider for a response. Providers must review and either concede or provide information to rebut the challenge.  The provider is expected to communicate and work directly with you to resolve any challenges that it does not initially concede.  If a provider either concedes a challenge or fails to rebut it, the challenged services will no longer show as available at that location on the National Broadband Map.  If a provider disputes a challenge, then the FCC will decide the challenge and, if decided in your favor, then the service provider must update its information so that the location is not shown as served by the provider on the FCC’s maps.

 Learn more about what happens when you submit availability challenges: https://help.bdc.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/10476068909467-What-to-Expect-after-Filing-an-Availability-Challenge

 

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