How is your internet? What can you do to increase speed in your community?

(WXYZ) — How is your internet service? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that nearly half a million people in Michigan do not have access to high-speed Internet.

Some believe that the number, provided by Internet providers, might actually be low.

That’s why Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist is asking you to double check the FCC’s map showing who has slow service. That will allow the state to get the most funds from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to improve its Internet.

Related: How you can check your internet speed and send a challenge

Detroit’s Hope Village is a neighborhood that, according to the FCC map, has high-speed internet, but as people have shown us, that’s not the case.

Ask the folks in Hope Village about their internet and they’ll tell you it’s slow. And they can prove it.

“About a third of what I’m paying. As you can see, your Internet connection is very slow,” said Jeffrey Jones.

Jones ran an Internet speed test three times on his computer. Each time, he came back below the speed he pays for and below the FCC’s high-speed Internet threshold, which is at least 25 Mbps to download and 3 Mbps to upload.

“The poorest communities get second-class service. First-class bills, but second-class service,” he said.

Jones said the impact of the slow and unreliable internet is real. During the pandemic closures, her neighbor had to drive her children to the McDonald’s parking lot for school. She also said that sometimes her doctor can’t keep track of her health.

“My doctor complained to me: you’re not using your CPAP machine,” he said. “Yes I am, it’s just that the machine can’t communicate with you to let you know if I’m breathing correctly or not.”

Art Thompson is the chief information officer for the City of Detroit. He said the mayor’s office is soliciting bids for a project to install community-owned fiber lines to Hope Village to fix what private companies don’t have. It’s just a start.

“About 1/3 of the city is unserved. If you look at no connectivity, it’s maybe 5%,” Thompson said.

“Half a million people don’t have internet in Michigan. And that’s what we know. That’s what we know. And we could learn more from this mapping service,” Gilchrist said.

He said that rural and poor communities are especially affected. This is a subject that he is passionate about. In college, she researched how some communities simply didn’t have internet service.

“The fact that we still have breaches in Michigan and anywhere in this country 21 years later, I think it’s horrible, it’s a failure. This may be the generation that connects our people,” she said.

The Lieutenant Governor we need more funds to do more projects like the one Detroit is planning for Hope Village.

Right now, everyone in Michigan can help make that happen.

That is how:

Between now and January 13, take an Internet speed test. Then compare what you get to what the FCC’s online map says. It has address-by-address information.

If the FCC believes you have high-speed internet and it’s slow, please upload evidence such as a screenshot. Your information could be used to justify investment in Internet infrastructure in your neighborhood.

“Michigan can be the state that gets people online and connects them to the economic opportunities that come from it. The health benefits. The education benefits,” he said.

This is how you can check your internet and submit a challenge.

  1. To go
  2. Type in an address and see if the reported coverage is accurate
  3. Run an internet speed test on any of either
  4. If your internet doesn’t match, submit a challenge by clicking “Location Challenge” if the location is missing or “Availability Challenge” if the internet service information is incorrect

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