What to Expect after Filing an Availability Challenge

When you submit an availability challenge, it will first be reviewed by FCC staff.  This step can take up to a few days.  A submission may get rejected at this initial review phase if:

  • it appears to be a complaint about quality of service or billing issues or a question about an existing broadband service,
  • it seems the submission should really be a Location Challenge,
  • the description or evidence provided is insufficient or unrelated to an availability challenge.

If your challenge submission is accepted at this initial review phase, you will receive an email notification from the FCC explaining that the provider has been notified about the challenge, and providing you with a unique ID and other information about your challenge.  The provider then has 60 days to review and respond to a challenge by conceding it or providing documentation to rebut it. 

You will receive a second email once the provider concedes or rebuts your challenge.  If the provider rebuts the challenge, you should expect them to contact you directly over the next 60 days to try and resolve the challenge.  If the parties are unable to resolve the challenge by the end of the second 60-day period, the provider will indicate in the BDC system that the challenge is unresolved and requires adjudication.  The FCC will then review the evidence and make a determination within 90 days, either:

  • In your favor, in which case the provider must update its broadband availability data within 30 days of the decision; or
  • In favor of the provider, in which case the location will no longer be considered “challenged” and the pending challenge will no longer display on the National Broadband Map.

You will receive a follow-up email notification once the FCC has made a final decision on the challenge.

If a provider concedes, does not respond to, or fails to rebut a challenge, it has 30 days to update its broadband availability data so that the challenged service will no longer show as available for that location or area on the map.

You can view, manage, and check the status of your challenge(s) by logging in to the BDC portal.  For information about how to do this, see: How to View and Manage Location and Availability Challenges.

If a provider indicates that you, as the challenger, agree with its response to your challenge, but you do not actually agree with the provider, you should dispute the concurrence by following the steps in the article above.  Disputing the concurrence tells the FCC that you do not agree with the provider, and the challenge will move to adjudication by the FCC.

You can also see certain information about the status of a challenge by visiting the challenged location on the National Broadband Map and clicking on the number next to availability challenge on the right.

Learn more about how to file an Availability Challenge: How to Submit an Availability Challenge.

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