MORGANTOWN – Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito teamed to host a informational session on federal broadband mapping Monday afternoon. They and their staff members said hundreds of millions of federal dollars to get unconnected West Virginians connected could be at stake if the maps are wrong.

And wrong those maps probably are, they said – with perhaps locations missing from the FCC maps. But residents can submit challenges to those maps – directly to the FCC and to the state Office of Broadband.

The FCC recently released its draft broadband availability maps, which are a result of Capito’s Broadband DATA Act, which was signed into law in 2020. And the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides money for extending access to unserved and underserved areas.

Senate staff said federal funds will provide a baseline of $100 million to each state to expand connectivity, with more money available based on a Manchin formula built on the proportion of unserved locations. West Virginia is estimating it could receive $600 million, but that could be more or less depending on accuracy of the FCC maps.

Manchin said accurate maps are critical to expanding broadband access. And Capito said, “This is a great opportunity, I think, for people to get clarity. … We think West Virginia has been way undercounted here.”

To view, test and challenge your connectivity with the FCC, go to, where you can type in your address and see what the FCC map says about your connection.

If it seems wrong, staff said, you can challenge it in three ways. You can submit a location challenge if map shows that the wrong address is connected or that your address is connected when it isn’t. You can submit an availability challenge if it shows that a broadband provider is available at your address when there is none.

Or you can submit a performance challenge and speed test if the map shows your connection is better than it actually is.

The FCC has encouraged all interested parties, including states, communities, and West Virginians, to submit challenges by Jan. 13. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration pledged to release the state allocations of the broadband funding from the IIJA by June 30.

At the state level, you can go to and take a speed test and fill out a survey. Broadband Office Director Kelly Workman encouraged all to visit the state site and submit information because the state will be submitting its own challenge to the FCC map.

Senate staff said that faulty FCC data includes fixed satellite broadband coverage, which indicates 98% of the state is connected. In fact, only about 79.4% of the state is connected. And West Virginia is just one of three states with less than 80% coverage.