North Carolina broadband official expects new Federal Communication Commission data will provide a closer look

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The Federal Communication Commission Chairwoman is aiming to publish a first-draft map of its nationwide broadband coverage map in November. First, though, comes a "challenge period," when state, local and tribal officials, as well as internet carriers, can examine and potentially correct the underlying data. For Nate Denny, Deputy Secretary of Broadband and Digital Equity at the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, this phase represents an opportunity to further hone the state's plan for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grants. Denny noted that his office has already queued up $1 billion for broadband expansion out of the funds NC got from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Additionally, Denny states that NC's data on broadband coverage has been developed in concert with GIS analysts and public-safety officials around the state, meaning the NC Broadband Office is confident that it will be operating from a "really accurate baseline," with BEAD and other federal funding. However, during the FCC challenge period, Denny said he expects to see layers of data the state hasn’t had on file.

State broadband official expects new FCC data will provide closer look