The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Friday it was investigating whether major wireless service providers submitted false information about their coverage areas.
Under here the FCC's Mobility Fund Phase II mapping program, the agency would allocate up to $4.53 billion over the next decade to advance high-speed mobile broadband service in rural areas that would not be served without government support.
The program required major mobile providers to submit data on their coverage reach to determine areas lacking unsubsidized services and in need of government funding.
"My top priority is bridging the digital divide and ensuring that Americans have access to digital opportunity regardless of where they live, and the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II program can play a key role in extending high-speed Internet access to rural areas across America," said Chairman Pai. "In order to reach those areas, it’s critical that we know where access is and where it is not. A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission’s rules. That’s why I’ve ordered an investigation into these matters. We must ensure that the data is accurate before we can proceed."
The FCC said it had suspended the next step of finalizing the eligibility of areas that need funding support, pending the investigation.