JACKSON — The Public Service Commission has unanimously approved the first in a series of filings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) aimed at expanding cellular telephone coverage and high-speed Internet service in Mississippi.
The filings come in response to FCC requests for comments on coverage issues associated with its Mobility Fund and National Broadband Map, according to a release from Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley. The FCC distributes funds for mobile and broadband assistance based on need, heightening the importance of accurate data on where such service is lacking.
Presley said the current maps on file with the FCC show that Mississippi is almost entirely covered with high-speed Internet service, which is inaccurate.
With the comments on the FCC’s Mobility Fund, Presley said the PSC would alert the FCC to nearly 3,600 instances of deficient mobile coverage in Mississippi identified by Commission “Zap the Gap” data.
Presley instituted the Zap the Gap program in 2009 in order to give rural wireless customers a means of reporting deficient coverage.
Presley said, “I want rural customers’ voices to be heard at the FCC.”
To push for universal broadband access, Presley said he is working with several state and federal agencies to correct the FCC’s National Broadband Map. Without correction, he said Mississippi would miss out on significant federal assistance.