(WXYZ) – How is your internet service? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says nearly half a million people in Michigan don’t have high-speed Internet access.
Some believe that the number, provided by Internet providers, may be lower.
That’s why Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist asks you to double-check the FCC’s map showing who’s working faster. That will allow the state to receive more money from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to improve your Internet.
Link: How to check your internet speed and submit a challenge
Detroit’s Hope Village is an area the FCC map says has high-speed internet, but as people have shown us, that’s not the case.
Ask people in Hope Village about their internet, and they’ll tell you it’s slow. And, they can prove it.
“About a third of what I pay. As you can see your internet connection is very fast,” said Jeffrey Jones.
Jones ran an Internet speed test three times on his computer. Every time, it comes back below the speed it pays for, and below the FCC threshold for high-speed Internet, which is at least 25 Mbps for download and 3 Mbps for upload.
“The poor community gets a second job. The first salary, but the second job,” he said.
Jones said the effects of slow and unreliable internet are real. During the pandemic lockdown, his neighbor would take his children to the McDonald’s parking lot for school. He also said that sometimes, his doctor could not diagnose his health.
“My doctor pissed me off – you’re not using your CPAP machine,” she said. “Yes it’s me, it’s just a machine that can’t talk to you to let you know if I’m breathing properly or not.”
Art Thompson is the director of communications for the City of Detroit. He said the mayor’s office is requesting a project to install community-owned fiber optic cable in Hope Village to address what the private company does not have. It’s just the beginning.
“About 1/3 of the country is uninsured. If you’re looking at unconnected it’s probably 5%,” Thompson said.
“Half a million people don’t have internet in Michigan. And that’s what we know. That’s what we know. And we can learn more from this mapping project,” Gilchrist said.
He said that rural areas and poor people are the most vulnerable. This is a word he likes. In college, he did research on how some communities don’t have internet service.
“The fact that we still have gaps in Michigan and everywhere in this country 21 years later, I think that’s terrible, it’s a failure. This could be the generation that unites our people, ” he said.
Our president governor wants more money to do more projects like the one Detroit is planning for Hope Village.
Now, anyone in Michigan can help make that happen.
This is how:
Between now and Jan.13, take an internet speed test. Then compare what you’re getting to what the FCC’s online map says you’re getting. It has mail address by address.
If the FCC thinks you have fast internet and it’s slow, upload proof like a screenshot. Your information may be used to support investments in Internet infrastructure in your area.
“Michigan can be a state that gets people online and connects them to the economic opportunities that come from it. Health benefits. Education benefits,” he said.
Here’s how to check your internet and submit a challenge.
- Go to broadbandmap.fcc.gov
- Enter an address and see if the reported coverage is correct
- Run your internet speed test at https://www.speedtest.net/ or https://fast.com/
- If your internet is not available, submit a challenge by clicking “Check Status” if the location is empty or “accessibility challenge” if the internet information is incorrect.