November 27, 2018

Manchin Only Member of Congress to Challenge Mobility Fund Coverage Map

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Manchin (D-WV) submitted to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) a formal challenge to Mobility Fund Phase II initial eligible areas map. The data Senator Manchin submitted proves the coverage map released by the FCC does not accurately depict broadband coverage throughout West Virginia. Senator Manchin was the only member of Congress to submit a formal challenge.

“The data I submitted yesterday proves what every West Virginian already knows to be true: there are too many areas throughout our state that still lack reliable broadband coverage. West Virginia faces unique challenges when it comes to providing broadband access, and the first step to fixing that is making sure these maps accurately reflect coverage on the ground. This map determines who is eligible for a portion of the $4.5 billion that will be made available later this year, and I will continue fighting to ensure every community in West Virginia has the reliable, affordable broadband access they deserve,” Senator Manchin said.

In May, the FCC granted Senator Manchin a waiver to participate as a challenger in the Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process, to make sure that broadband coverage maps in West Virginia are accurate. To read Senator Manchin’s waiver request, click here.

To view the eligible areas map released by the FCC click here.

Senator Manchin’s Efforts on the Mobility Fund

June 5, 2018: Senator Manchin hosts a Facebook Live with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Aaron Cox, Chairman of the Hampshire County Broadband Initiative Council to discuss broadband access in West Virginia, Mobility Fund II and how West Virginians could challenge the mapping process.

May 18, 2018: Senator Manchin hosts the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Associate Chief of Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division, Michael Janson, for an FCC Mobility Fund II Challenge Process presentation in West Virginia to help stakeholders better understand the challenge process and the opportunities they have to improve the accuracy of the eligibility map.

April 10, 2018: The FCC responds to Senator Manchin’s request that they provide support to state and local governments by releasing a new map that shows areas where challenges have the best likelihood of success.

March 29, 2018: Senator Manchin sends a letter to Chairman Pai encouraging the FCC to work with state and local governments on the Mobility Fund II Map Challenge Process to ensure the map reflects the actual real world experience of West Virginians.

February 27, 2018: FCC releases their Initial Eligible Areas Map for Mobility Fund II.

August 3, 2017: FCC votes on Mobility Fund Order to begin the process of providing $4.53 billion over ten years to expand mobile broadband deployment.

April 12, 2017: Senator Manchin and Senator Wicker sent a letter to the FCC urging their Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force to move forward with the Mobility Fund using accurate maps. 

February 23, 2017: Senator Manchin praised the FCC, after it votes unanimously to move forward with Phase II of Mobility Fund, which prioritizes mobile broadband deployment in rural and underserved communities and protects small internet service providers from burdensome regulations.

February 16, 2017: Senator Manchin and Senator Wicker meet with Chairman Pai to discuss the importance of a robust, reliable, and standardized data collection and challenge process.

February 2, 2017: Senator Manchin, along with Senator Wicker, and 28 of their colleagues, sent a letter to Chairman Pai again urging the FCC to move on the Mobility Fund. 

January 25, 2017: Senator Manchin and FCC Commissioner Clyburn published an op-ed on the importance of the Mobility Fund in a 21st century digital economy. 

October 11, 2016: Senator Manchin hosted Chairman Wheeler in West Virginia to meet with key stakeholders from West Virginia’s communication technology sector and talk about the importance of the Mobility Fund.

July 11, 2016: Senator Manchin, along with Senator Roger Wicker and 24 of their colleagues, sent a letter to Chairman Wheeler urging the FCC to move on the Mobility Fund. 

March 1, 2016: Senator Manchin, along with Senator Gardner and 7 of their colleagues, send a letter to Chairman Wheeler expressing their frustration with the inability of the FCC to accurately measure mobile broadband coverage available to consumers, especially in rural areas, and urging the FCC to partner with industry and other stakeholders to solve this problem.

February 29, 2016: Senator Manchin meets with Chairman Wheeler to highlight the importance of working with local, state, federal, and private entities to collect accurate data on mobile broadband coverage to ensure federal resources are invested in the places that truly need it.

September 22, 2015: Senator Manchin sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, urging him to move on the Mobility Fund, which would ensure that the states with the lowest rates of advanced wireless penetration received the most funding, and inviting him to WV. 

July 23, 2015: Senator Manchin meets with Chairman Wheeler to discuss the important role the Mobility Fund can play in supporting broadband investments in hard to serve areas like West Virginia.