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NEW: Following Shaheen Inquiries, FCC Releases Updated National Broadband Map to Guide New Allocations of Federal Resources for Internet Expansion

**Shaheen was the Democratic negotiator of broadband provisions of the historic, bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act**

**Most up-to-date FCC map will determine upcoming Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program allocations, which will be made to states by June 30th**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) - chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Commerce and the lead Democratic negotiator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) - released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its update to the FCC Broadband Map. The Broadband Map shares internet services available in states across the nation, which helps guide federal resources for jurisdictions to close gaps and expand broadband access.

The release of the new national Broadband Map is especially important for more rural areas of the country, including those in New Hampshire, that are in need of federal investments to get their communities online and connected to the rest of the state, country and world. This map is especially critical, as it will be used to determine allocations for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and was established by the bipartisan IIJA, of which Shaheen was the lead Democratic negotiator of provisions related to broadband. In December, Shaheen led the New Hampshire congressional delegation in a press announcement detailing more than $5.5 million that would be made available to New Hampshire through the BEAD program for deployment and digital equity planning. The FCC will use the most up-to-date National Broadband Map to begin BEAD program allocations, which will be made by June 30th. Shaheen addressed the BEAD program and implications from an updated National Broadband map during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing last month.

“With the release of the updated National Broadband Map, we can ensure the most accurate data will be used to determine federal resources for our communities in urgent need of a helping hand to access affordable, equitable and reliable high-speed internet services. The pandemic exposed existing gaps in our grid that left rural communities behind, compromising access to education, capital, telehealth services and more. Now, we have the information we need to ensure New Hampshire and other communities can get their fair share of federal dollars to close the digital divide,” said Shaheen. “As a lead negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure law that established the historic BEAD program that will be responsible for using this map to determine and deploy broadband funding to New Hampshire, I’m excited to see this effort moving forward and implemented as intended. As our government funding process gets underway, I’ll work to ensure the Commerce Department and relevant agencies have the federal resources necessary to meet the demand for bringing high-speed internet services to every corner of the country."

The updated map is available here. Preliminary findings indicate that the number of Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) in New Hampshire increased by 10,815 since the last map.  The number of unserved locations also increased by 2,273.  These figures point to a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of unserved locations, an increase that was very high relative to most other states. According to the data, the representation of fixed wireless availability in New Hampshire went down, and 51,505 corrections were made by providers to the fixed wireless service offerings at BSLs across the state. These data corrections reflect a more accurate assessment of broadband service availability for homes and businesses in New Hampshire. This improved map will help ensure New Hampshire receives the full level of federal funding needed to close the digital divide and provide all Granite Staters with access to affordable high-speed internet.

Senator Shaheen has long worked to bridge the digital divide in New Hampshire to get the state’s most rural communities online. In 2020, Shaheen lauded the addition of New Hampshire to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s National Broadband Availability Map program (NBAM). As chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee that provides funding for the NBAM, Shaheen has secured funding for the program since its inception in fiscal year (FY) 2018. As a lead negotiator of the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal, Shaheen led bipartisan broadband negotiations with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and successfully secured $65 billion to support broadband affordability and deployment across the nation.