Though it took some convincing, the Federal Communications Commission appears to have made important strides in its effort to produce accurate maps of broadband access across the country. Newly released maps give a much better picture of which areas are under served (or not served at all) in West Virginia — but they came after more than 4 million challenges to the original maps by citizens, businesses, local and state governments.

Both U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said they were pleased with the new maps. In West Virginia, more than 86,000 unserved parts of the state were added in the new National Broadband Map update, bringing the total number of unserved locations to more than 271,000.

While it is still mind boggling that the federal government was unaware of 86,000 unserved locations in the Mountain State, it is encouraging to think their correction of the map will mean we receive the funding needed to solve the problem.

“The (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) will now take those maps and — on a per capita basis of how many unserved and underserved areas will determine how many hundreds of millions of dollars the State of West Virginia will be receiving,” Capito said. “We’ll be in much better shape than we were several months ago.”

For now, the expectation is that West Virginia will receive $100 million for broadband expansion through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. But funding will be determined later this month.

“That’s going to help us immensely,” Manchin said. “There shouldn’t be a person living anywhere in West Virginia that won’t be able to access coverage. That’s how big this is. So, I am extremely happy about that, and that’s big news in itself.”

Here’s hoping Manchin is correct.