Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Data-Driven Policy Solutions - Episode 531 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead Sean Gonsalves and GIS and Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker to talk about how bad data can blind us and good data can drive positive policy solutions. First, they talk about a new guide developed by ILSR to help citizen-advocates, nonprofits, and state and local elected officials navigate navigate the FCC's frustrating new Broadband Data Collection initiative. Intended to create new national broadband maps and drive the $42 billion BEAD infrastructure dollars starting in 2023, Christopher, Christine, and Sean talk about sticking points in the process, what's important to know, and what happens if our national broadband data continues to perpetuate harmful inequities.
Then, Christine fills Sean and Christopher in on the latest news with the Affordable Connectivity Program dashboard release earlier this fall, designed to unpack and visualize what folks need to know about the $30/month service benefit in order to help the most people and plan for future policy solutions. Christine shares how it was designed and lessons learned along the way, including what happens when an non-governmental entity (in this case, USAC) is given authority to manage critical social welfare programs but not compelled to share in clear enough ways what the public needs in order to perform accountability and research on them.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
Christopher Mitchell (00:13):
Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and we're back with another bottle episode. We've got Christine Parker, who is our GIS and data visualization person. Welcome back.
Christine Parker (00:31):
Christopher Mitchell (00:33):
And we have Sean Gonsalves, who is the editor, writer, communications team lead in general, guy who does things when we need to put something in new in someone's title.
Sean Gonsalves (00:44):
<laugh>. Hey, <laugh>.
Christopher Mitchell (00:46):
How's it going?
Sean Gonsalves (00:49):
It's, it's, we're we're coming to the end of 2022, and I think I saw you say you, you weren't ready for the year to end, and I'm not sure I am either, but here we are.
Christopher Mitchell (00:58):
Yeah, I am.
Christine Parker (00:59):
Yeah, it's over
Christopher Mitchell (01:00):
<laugh>, but I'm ready for New Year to begin, that's for sure.
Sean Gonsalves (01:03):
<laugh> <laugh> we're gonna talk about FCC map challenges and some stuff around the affordable connectivity plan that has confused us internally. And we've found that when we get confused, other people are kind of interested what's going on. So we're gonna talk about that and have Christine on, because Christine is at the center of both of these things. Christine has just released a wonderful guide that includes videos and a pdf, and I don't know, probably other information too, about how to do FCC fabric challenges. but I feel like there's a lot of people out there who might not even know what that is. So, Christine, why don't we start at the beginning and, and tell us just generally what is going on with the FCC broadband map?
Christine Parker (01:55):
So for anyone that isn't familiar with the new map the fcc contracted a company called Coquet to create essentially a nationwide database of addresses and over a pretty short timeline. And within that timeline, they did what they could. And the result is that the, what is being called the fabric, this national database is not so great. there are a lot of issues with it across the country and to help resolve this problem. as well as any issues with service that internet service providers are claiming in the map customers or anyone really can actually challenge mistaken information that they're finding in the map. So if a location is not present on their home or business, they can go in and submit a challenge, or if any information about their location is incorrect
No, they can challenge that.
Christopher Mitchell (02:58):
And now we're thinking about this as two separate things. At least I kind of categorize it that when I'm talking to people because the first question is whether the FCC and cost quests have correctly identified all of the places in the United States where we want to have broadband. So that would be like rural homes and businesses urban homes and businesses. but we're, it's generally the records are more clear for urban. So the map is more accurate in urban areas, in rural areas. You know, we wanna make sure that we have homes on the map, not sheds or I don't know, abandoned out houses. I've just been listening to a lot of Revolutionary War here history. And they, I keep hearing that one of the places that they wanted to they wanted to quarter the British troops was in outhouses and <laugh>.
I just still don't get that. So outhouses are at the top of my brain <laugh>. But buildings in rural areas that should have broadband delivered to them. high quality internet access, that's what we wanna make sure on the map. And a lot of areas there's, I mean, in in Vermont there might be as, as many as 22% of rural locations might be missing from the map. And so that's a fabric challenge. Like, do they correctly have the address? And the other thing is, if they have the address, do they correctly describe the internet access options that are available there? And that's the second type of challenge. it is an important one, although I feel like it is a higher mountain to climb to actually have that challenge successful. So I feel like we're encouraging people to really focus on that fabric challenge to make sure the sheer number of locations is, is correct.
Christine Parker (04:39):
Yeah, definitely. and, you know, coming up January 13th, it's the deadline for any both of these types of challenges. And after that what is in this corrected map, it will be directing B allocations come June. So it's really important to get for each state, get, get the missing locations added to the map as quickly as possible.
Christopher Mitchell (05:04):
So Sean, are you going to use your vacation time here between Christmas and New Year's to rigorously go through Cape Cod to try and figure out if they have all the locations correct as your board duty on the open Cape <laugh>?
Sean Gonsalves (05:18):
That's a great question. yeah, I'd like to spend some time fooling around with it.
Christopher Mitchell (05:22):
No, you wouldn't. You could be honest.
Sean Gonsalves (05:24):
<laugh>. Yeah, no, I, I, I mean, I am gonna check around on, on a few places and I have encouraged open Cape to, to join me in that effort. you know, and I've, I still have some questions too that we can maybe get to, but
Christopher Mitchell (05:38):
Okay. Well, let's start with having Christine describe just briefly, what are the resources you've made available to try and help people understand how to do this?
Christine Parker (05:48):
Well the first is a PDF document that is designed to be a sort of click, click through resource. so the, the first page is kind of if you're a consumer versus if you're
Christopher Mitchell (06:03):
I think, I mean, if you're a citizen activist,
Christine Parker (06:06):
Yes, yes, absolutely <laugh>,
Christopher Mitchell (06:09):
You might also be a consumer, but we're worried more if you're a producer, which is what most of us are on the internet. Go ahead.
Christine Parker (06:16):
That's very true. That's a good point. Thank you. and the other kind of route you could go is if, if you're a a a third party entity, government tribe that is more interested in the bulk challenge format and then there are a couple links for just going directly to the instructions, like, you know exactly what you need to challenge and, but you just need some guidance. And so those are, that's the kind of the initial layout. And then I, there are, there's a timeline in there for what happens after submission for availability challenges. there are some definitions in there in case that the multitude of acronyms are not clear.
Christopher Mitchell (06:57):
It's a cool choose your own adventure multimedia document, though. Yes, yes. And and to be clear, the, the, if you're a local government a state government, a tribe certain other entities that can do bulk challenges then that would be useful for you too. But I would think that most of the people we are trying to get this out to are probably individuals who have some knowledge about the area they're in, or maybe an area their parents live in, and they're just trying to help out by improving these maps, which you know, I have ranted enough if people really want to see me ranting about how awful it is at the fccs put us in this position through more than a decade of refusing to do its job. I've done that on the connect this show that people would be welcome to check out.
I feel like I've ranted on that plenty. but there's a lot of fault to be had, and I think it's ridiculous that we are expecting people between Thanksgiving and New Year's to be fixing this map that has been done and, and has a whole lot of other problems involved with how the FCC went about this. But we're not gonna, we're not gonna get lost into that here. I think <laugh> <laugh>, unless that's one of the questions that Sean has. But Sean, what was your questions you had popping up?
Sean Gonsalves (08:11):
No, I've, I've, I've got a couple, but one thing that we shouldn't just breeze over because it's obvious to, to us and probably a lot of our listeners, but to the extent that these are, you know, individuals challenging, like we should, we should state clearly why this is important. Like why, why should, why should we care that this might be accurate?
Christopher Mitchell (08:28):
Because we're completes and we just, we just wanna make sure that things are right in the world and that's, we can't sleep when things aren't right in the world. Is that the only reason Christine
Christine Parker (08:40):
<laugh>? well, like I said before, the, this map after, you know, whatever shape it's in after January 13th is going to be the version that is guiding the bead allocations for the infrastructure funds. that will be allocated June 30th, I believe. and so, you know, the states and communities that are able to take this on and submit challenges and get, get this data corrected and do the best that job that they can before January 13th are going to be in a much better position to receive allocations from bead next summer.
Christopher Mitchell (09:23):
Right. Because the way it works is that every state gets a hundred, every state starts with a hundred thousand dollars, and then states get more based on the proportion of unserved addresses broadband serviceable locations, which means that in the case of Vermont, you know, if indeed they're correct that 22% of rural addresses in Vermont were not concluded, and Vermont fixes that if Vermont had not fixed that, then they would be getting 22% less money potentially or at least some proportionately lower amount of money because they would be perceived to have fewer addresses. And so we'll often say, and I mean tongues somewhat in cheek, that you want to make sure that you fix missing addresses. If you find extra addresses, you may not wanna spend as much time on that <laugh>,
Sean Gonsalves (10:09):
Christopher Mitchell (10:09):
Right. You certainly don't want to engage in fraud. You don't want to put false data into the record. That would be I, I would hope punished, frankly, although the FCC has a real crap record of following up with people that lie to it unless they're especially if they're big companies, so, right. but I still wouldn't engage in fraud. That's just my personal merit, my personal morals, I guess <laugh>.
Sean Gonsalves (10:32):
So my two, my, my a good one, my, my sort of two overarching questions and speaking about states and challenging submitting vote challenges, whatever, what's up with Texas is one of my questions. cuz we, as I understand it, they are apparently not going to challenge any what
Christopher Mitchell (10:49):
Is up with Texas <laugh>? No. Texas is one of several states I just jumped in. I don't know why I did that, Sean. It's Ahab unfortunate habit of mine. <laugh> Texas is one of several states that's, that's basically like, nope, we're not gonna do it. You know, you know if you're not deep into the weeds on this, it looks kind of confusing, why would states opt out of this?
Sean Gonsalves (11:06):
Right? And as DN points out, since when does Texas trust the federal government to do anything? To get anything?
Christopher Mitchell (11:11):
Oh, this is not a matter of Texas trusting the federal
Sean Gonsalves (11:14):
Government. Yeah, I know. I I've heard a little bit of,
Christine Parker (11:17):
So I heard one theory and that is that the more so, you know, every state is getting the a hundred million and then beyond that the, the number of locations they have will influence how much they get from the remaining allocations. And one explanation I heard was that when it comes down to it, you know, you're getting a fixed you have a fixed amount of money that you're receiving and per location that is only going to decrease the more locations you add to your total number of locations in your state. So the, the amount you have to spend per lo connecting per location will decline overall.
Christopher Mitchell (11:58):
right. So if you're gonna add locations to the map, they better not have internet access if you're trying to game out the amount of money you get.
Christine Parker (12:06):
Christopher Mitchell (12:08):
that's, I don't know if, I believe that that's how the numbers would work if you add a bunch of rural addresses in Texas. I had thought, and, and this is a classic case of working it out live but Christine, do you understand what's going on with light box and contractual obligations? Because my understanding, and this is like I've barely been following it cuz you know, I've just been off I don't know, playing basketball every day rather than doing my job and not paying attention to this <laugh>. yeah, <laugh>, that's what I've been doing. the, I think some of the states have a whole bunch of information about what's available and what's not available from a contract with light box, and they are contractually prohibited from using that to improve the FCC maps, I believe. Is that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, am I understanding that correctly?
Christine Parker (12:55):
I, I haven't heard this officially, but I suspected it because I knew Texas just signed a contract with Light Box to create their state broadband map. So that would make sense. I know Montana also, that was the other one I was working with Light Box. Yep. I I didn't know if they, I hadn't heard if they were going to challenge or not yet though.
Sean Gonsalves (13:16):
Which, which, which begs the question of what's, you know, what's the point of having your own data or contracting with someone else to give you data if you're not gonna use it to actually challenge the FCC data?
Christopher Mitchell (13:25):
Yeah, I mean, for anyone who is interested in this larger larger philosoph question, I feel like this is one that Ezra Klein often tackles on his podcast regarding government and how capable government is and whether we invest in government or private companies you know, it's a hobby horse of mine often I feel like many state governments rely on outside contractors and they don't build up their own capability to do important work, and then they lose the ability to have information in the public domain that is crucial to be in the public domain. And so if you're a government that needs this data, and the only place you can get it is from companies that will insist on onerous conditions and how you can use that data, you're, you're kind of in a tough spot at that point. and I think we're in that spot, in part because state governments and the federal government waited until freaking 2022 to try and figure out where everyone had broadband was something that we've been talking about for more than a decade.
so I mean, like states could have been collecting this information before states still aren't collecting pricing information. They could do that. so, you know, this comes down to a lot of people not doing their job well, I think in, in, in government. and and, and it also comes down to I think people who are trying to maximize their wealth and wealth extraction from government when they are, are able to do this kind of work. So mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, looking at both of you, I don't think either one of us has any more to add on that, but it seems like those are some of the factors that are involved with why some states are not going to be submitting a lot of challenges to correct the FCC maps.
Sean Gonsalves (15:02):
Christine Parker (15:03):
I'll also just say I think some states are just not prepared to do that. They don't have the qualified people to be able to do that. And you know, everybody's scrambling to hire those kind of people that are, you know, have ex expertise in mapping.
Christopher Mitchell (15:20):
so yeah, and that was one of the recommendations that Samara Holmes Dr. Tamara Holmes gave on the interview that we did, I think in the previous interview in this in this feed on community broadband bits she's the director of of broadband for Virginia, and she had said that hiring GIS expertise was one of the most important things that her office had done. And, and she highly recommends that
Sean Gonsalves (15:45):
Don't get any ideas, Christine
Christine Parker (15:47):
<laugh>, we, we <laugh>
Christopher Mitchell (15:48):
Sean Gonsalves (15:48):
No, I do,
Christopher Mitchell (15:49):
I've done it. I would never do it again. Never. Especially if I had an amazing job at a place like I lsr
Sean Gonsalves (15:54):
<laugh>. Right, right. <laugh>, I do have a bur I I do have one other burning question as it relates to the, one of the things I really like about the videos that you created, Christine, is in it you also talk about, and the PDF as well as some of the things that count as as evidence of what you can submit. One of the things though, that to me is glaringly missing and, and I sort of have an idea as to, you know, the problems with speed test and what have you, but it boggles my mind that speed test data is something that is not ex acceptable or, or something that the FCC isn't using. And I, to me, if broadband to the extent that broadband is tied to the speed of the connection, I just don't understand how that, that part of the equation just gets left out entirely.
Christine Parker (16:40):
Yeah, I know, I know. It's, it's frustrating. And the way the FCC explained it in a, like a meeting we had with the FCC task force was that this is a map of broadband availability, not broadband performance <laugh>.
Christopher Mitchell (16:57):
And those are, those are two Venn. Those are, it's a Venn diagram with no overlap, apparently
Christine Parker (17:02):
<laugh>. Correct. and so yeah, so they, in the challenge for of broadband availability, they, in the, there's a dropdown menu and they do have an option to submit you know, it says my broadband speed does not match what is claimed to be available or something like that. And that will only file a, like a complaint essentially. It is not going to be included as a formal challenge option. meaning that the provider is not required to respond to that. and likewise with crowdsource data, which I've heard a lot of people talk about this bulk crowdsource data where you can collect a bunch of speed test data from a region or state and submit it to the that is also not something that providers are required to respond to. So you can submit it and the FCC has it to be able to look at it, but as far as I know, there is no formal process set up to evaluate those data and how to handle them and decisions that they will make based on those data. So yeah, it's pretty frustrating.
Christopher Mitchell (18:13):
Now, it's worth noting when you go to do a fabric location challenge or an availability challenge, you have the opportunity to provide evidence. And I feel like some people find that intimidating. when I am looking at this map and I'm like, well, I just know that my parents live here and that they're on the map, it doesn't show that as being an address. I can just put that in and it says, what's your evidence? Right? what do I have to do at that point, Christine?
Christine Parker (18:43):
so you do have to, if, if you don't have so you do provide a description of, of the situation, like maybe, you know, this is so-and-so's ad or my parents' address and they've lived here for so many years, but what is really going to speed up either of these challenges is including, you know, something maybe like a utility bill that includes your correct address and like a recent month. one thing to note in the description section, you don't wanna include any sort of sensitive private information because that currently is still displayed in the public map so anybody can see it.
Christopher Mitchell (19:20):
so if I, if I submit a challenge, there's different fields and if in the field I put, this is my name and social security number, that would be a bad idea.
Christine Parker (19:29):
Correct. Do not do that. Absolutely not.
Christopher Mitchell (19:32):
<laugh>, where should I put my No, <laugh> nowhere. The answer is nowhere. yes,
Christine Parker (19:37):
Christopher Mitchell (19:38):
<laugh>, but, but are there places where one, if you upload the utility bill, is that gonna be visible to the general public?
Christine Parker (19:44):
No. That, that is not being made available in the map?
Christopher Mitchell (19:49):
No. Okay. So description is available to anyone who's checking because if I file a challenge it shows up on the map as, as someone filed a challenge and then mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I can click on that and Sean could click on that to see what details were in it. And some of the information I submitted is public, the description field, but other parts of it are not public.
Christine Parker (20:09):
Right. Yeah. I believe the thinking on keeping that public was that if other people were interested in submitting a challenge there, they could see what had already been submitted and why. but as we're learning, that's maybe not the best way.
Christopher Mitchell (20:27):
Yes. You know, I'll be curious if if anyone had the ability to do a research project in the future of whether, if you go into a very rural area, if there was a greater number of like vacation homes and homes that are lived in for part of the year who are included in the map and who were fixed with challenges, then people who are full-time residents it would be an interesting project about the bias that these kinds of government programs have when they depend on people fixing the egregious errors of federal agencies that should be able to do a better job.
Christine Parker (21:01):
Yeah. It's really unfortunate that they've essentially just put this on, on all of us to, to fix, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it's, it's taking care of their job, but also it's, it's correcting a project, a product that is, you know, still proprietary information of cost quests. So and something that they will continue to sell
Christopher Mitchell (21:22):
Christine Parker (21:23):
Christopher Mitchell (21:24):
It should be public data. We should have had a better job about it. let's move on to the affordable connectivity plan for a few minutes because we set up I mean, in fact, Christine, you were instrumental in it along with Emma and others on our team the ACP dashboard.com and that is a dashboard for acp. I'm just really trying to make sure people understand what that is and explaining it out there. <laugh>, the and we've had a couple of interesting revisions. So Christine, do you wanna walk through just briefly, cuz we've talked about the dashboard before and obviously, I mean, it includes key data about what's happening with that affordable connectivity plan, the $30 a month subsidy to qualifying families. And there's been some confusion about the data that is available publicly that we've been trying to work our way through. What's going on there?
Christine Parker (22:18):
Yeah, so the data is made available through usac, which is Chris, can you remind me? Universal
Christopher Mitchell (22:26):
Services Administration Company, which is a private company that FCC works with to do a lot of the overhead and administration work for the Universal Services Fund.
Christine Parker (22:39):
Thank you. so we get the, the data from USAC and it comes in a couple different formats and timestamps. So they're released at different times, which is frustrating as a data person. we'd like to be have them all be of the same age essentially. So we, we have data that's released per state and at the national level, and that's the total number of people enrolled in or subscribed to in the in the ACP program. And this is the data set that we started using originally. And there's also a related zip code level data set. however we noticed in the zip code level data set, there's also a column of claimed subscribers. And we originally decided not to use this data set because it was much more dated than the information we were some other data sets that we were working from. They provide you say, data, which were,
Christopher Mitchell (23:48):
What does that mean?
Christine Parker (23:48):
Meaning they were like a month or two old, older than the other data sets.
Christopher Mitchell (23:55):
Less time. So we
Christine Parker (23:56):
Were, yes. Yeah. So we were trying to use the most recently released information to fuel this dashboard. And, and then we heard that, you know, maybe that the claimed subscribers was actually the more accurate number to use and represented those represented the number of people that were ac actively using the program. And so money was going out the door with those numbers versus the others that we heard that maybe they, they were just enrolled but not actively using the program. so there wasn't necessarily money going out for each of those people. Right. Because, and
Christopher Mitchell (24:35):
So I might've, I might've gone through the process of signing up. I might've used it for a month or two, and then maybe I moved or maybe I didn't like that service and I stopped taking it, but I was still technically enrolled, but I might not have been getting a subsidy for some number of months after that. And and this gets into this just different columns that might be describing different things, and it's not always clear for, for people that are doing data when you're putting a spreadsheet together or database, it helps to be very clear what each column, what each column is. And and it wasn't necessarily the case here.
Christine Parker (25:08):
Right, exactly. And and so we, we decided, you know, from talking with other folks that this made sense to use this claim subscriber. So we revised our analysis changed all the elements in the dashboard, what they were based on, and did this full revision. And then we ended up hearing more information, you know, probably a couple weeks later that it was actually the, in the original enrollment data that we were using was actually the, the most likely, most accurate information to be using. So we have since switched back to our original, original format and yeah. And we move on
Christopher Mitchell (25:51):
<laugh>. So is it our understanding then that in that enrollment data that that is actually the number of people that are getting the benefit? Or are there some small number of people that are in the enrollment data that are not currently getting the benefit because they've changed addresses and maybe moved away from that provider or cut service from that provider?
Christine Parker (26:12):
That is something that we honestly are not sure about because they just don't provide enough information about the data themselves. And that is something that we've all been asking for and emailing about, and no one is getting any sort of like, solid answers about it. So we remain pretty frustrated. This
Christopher Mitchell (26:29):
Is the history of dealing with usac. Sean, I'll give, come back to you in a second. Like, I just wanna note like, you know, for years there was very sparse information about eRate a program that was spending billions of dollars a year on school contracts. And eventually audits did show, for instance, at and t was signi significantly overcharging some schools. It was some company that, or a newsroom that did an analysis of it. But like USAC never made the DA data easily available. And it would've been super useful for schools to be able to see what other schools were paying and that sort of a thing and to actually do some work on this to make sure schools weren't getting ripped off. And and USAC just never made that easy. I feel like USAC has never seen that it is within its its interest to make things easy for the public or, or researchers to be able to understand what's going on. USAC seems to be very focused on making things easy for the biggest companies that use the money that flows through usac. And that's always just been a, a frustration of mine. I know there's really good people who work there, but but it just seems like it's never been focused on on, on good public information. Go ahead, Sean.
Sean Gonsalves (27:39):
Well, and I I, what I was gonna say is, isn't it also the case that part of the sort of the discrepancy between the, the enrolled and the claim benefit is that different ISPs get reimbursed. They, they file for reimbursements at different intervals, so some ISPs may wait, say six months, others do it more regularly. I don't know. I, I feel like that is also part of the equation probably.
Christine Parker (28:04):
I, I, so I suspected that because I've heard that the, especially for smaller isp, the, you know, dedicating specific people to processing these claims and doing that each month is a real hassle. so I, I've suspected that, you know, maybe they were just doing it every so often, so kind of like holding onto these and then submitting 'em in bulk. but I since also heard that that to some folks that just doesn't make sense. And this is from ISPs that, you know, it's, it's a lot of work to keep track of all of these things and to make sure that your numbers are adding up and it wouldn't make sense necessarily to do it that way. So yeah, I'm not really sure.
Christopher Mitchell (28:48):
Yeah, and this is something that we are trying to get a little bit more clarity on, and if anyone out there has a sense of why particularly a larger I s p like you know, an at and t or a Comcast would wait a long time to get reimbursed we're curious about it. I would've assumed, and I I've said this internally, that, that the bigger companies I would think would want the money as soon as possible because, you know, that's six months of significant amounts of money that they could have you know, earning interests and being invested however they invest their reserves as opposed to letting the federal government <laugh> be getting that benefit. and so, you know, you know, for people who are out there running businesses, if you wait too long to invoice, you know, you're losing money and the, and so, you know, it just, it does make sense to try to do that on a more regular basis, I would think.
Sean Gonsalves (29:37):
Right. Oh, and also we shouldn't bury the lead too far for those who may, this may fall between the cracks, which is that, that what we're talking about here has is, is very, it has, is is very much related to when we think the funds will be exhausted mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it turns out that they will be exhausted sooner rather than later.
Christopher Mitchell (29:58):
Yeah. I'm already exhausted. Christine, when are the funds gonna be exhausted to, to our best estimate?
Christine Parker (30:03):
<laugh>? let's see. I, I believe last we had, we were looking at like November 20, 24, and that was based on our current enrollment. few weeks ago it was at 41% mm-hmm. <affirmative>. so at that, at that level of enrollment, if it didn't increase anymore, it would be November, 2024,
Christopher Mitchell (30:25):
Which we would expect it will be sooner than that cuz the FCC is now finally after years of comments from people that do this work in the digital inclusion field and working for digital equity that there should be money for trying to promote this program. Crazy thought. And so ideally we will see a, see more significant enrollment rate as the money is available for organizations to promote a ACP enrollment. So I would expect that, that that will be happening earlier in 2024 rather than later in 2024. if I had to guess,
Sean Gonsalves (30:58):
Wait, wait, wait. You mean that not every, not everybody in America even knows this program exists.
Christopher Mitchell (31:03):
No. <laugh>. It's shocking, <laugh>
Sean Gonsalves (31:05):
Christopher Mitchell (31:07):
so with that, that's kind of where things are at with with some of the, the mapping related stuff that we're doing and some of the data collection. want to thank both Sean and Christine for hopping on at the last second. Thank you.
Christine Parker (31:21):
Sean Gonsalves (31:22):
Christopher Mitchell (31:22):
Here. And we hope that you all have a wonderful end of the year. I think we gotta do a a roundup for the end of the year still. And we will be doing that and having a, a podcast in that period between Christmas and New Year's likely. but we will probably have you know, some pretty cool stuff at the beginning of next year. So looking forward to the new year and hope that everyone has a very happy and safe vacation. Hope y'all get a vacation.
Sean Gonsalves (31:53):
Christopher Mitchell (31:54):
Yes. I still, I don't think sh I think we should petition that Sean loses his vacation just so we can work on that Cape Cod stuff.
Sean Gonsalves (32:00):
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I would, I would love nothing more than that. <laugh>.
Christopher Mitchell (32:04):
I, all right. Have a good one. Everyone.
We have transcripts for this and other podcasts available at muni networks.org/broadbandbits. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas for the show. Follow Chris on Twitter, his handles at Community Nets, follow muni networks.org stories on Twitter that handles muni networks. Subscribe to this another podcast from Islas on, including building local power, local energy rules and the Composting for Community Podcast. You can access them anywhere you get your podcasts. You can catch the latest important research from all of our initiatives if you subscribe to our monthly email@example.com. While you're there, please take a moment to donate your support in any amount. Keeps us going. Thank you to Arne Hughes for the song, warm Duck Shuffle, licensed through creative comments. This was the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Thanks for listening.