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FCC investigating whether mobile carriers misrepresented their coverage

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (Credit: Federal Communications Commission)(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Communications Commission has launched an investigation into whether major mobile carriers submitted incorrect coverage maps to the agency, falsely representing the locations where their high-speed Internet was accessible.

The FCC's Mobility Fund Phase II program asked mobile providers to submit data "current, standardized coverage data" to determine where to allocate $4.53 billion over the next ten years to advance internet access in rural areas not currently served. Following more than 20 million speed tests, the FCC says those tests "suggested significant violations of the Commissions rules."

"My top priority is bridging the digital divide and ensuring the Americans have access to digital opportunity regardless of where they live," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "In order to reach [rural areas currently without sufficient Internet access], it's critical that we know where access is and where it is not."

The FCC did not cite specific carriers, but said it was looking into whether one or more had handed over inaccurate data.

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