Because cell carrier service maps in New Hampshire indicate they provide adequate 4G LTE service across most of the state, many underserved towns and regions are currently ineligible for upgrade funds unless they participate in an FCC program called the Mobility Challenge II. The challenge allows a town or region to submit data showing 4G LTE service in the area is sub-standard.
The requirements for testing are exact, and time is limited. Here’s what you can do to help.
Volunteer Your Time
In order to successfully challenge the FCC’s current assumption that coverage in an area is adequate, we must measure download speeds in each 1 km by 1 km square grid (about two-thirds of a square mile) in 9 different spots of that grid. A typical rural town in the northern part of the state will have 120 to 150 grids to test. A region such as Monadnock, the Upper Valley or Lakes Region will contain 2000 to 5000 grids.
We are looking for volunteer testers to help us collect the data required for the FCC challenge. This involves driving or in some cases walking a specified route with one or more pre-configured cellphone and following a set of simple instructions. You will receive training in what to do prior to conducting a test. You can volunteer for little or as much time as you are able to provide.
We hope to conduct a pilot of the test effort in two regions – Haverhill and Peterborough/Monadnock Region – by late July. If successful, other towns and regions will join the effort. All results must be submitted to the FCC by mid-November.
Donate a Phone on the FCC Acceptable List
The FCC has issued this list of acceptable cell phones specific to each carrier.
We plan to test service provided in New Hampshire by ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Efforts to find funds to purchase phones and service plans are underway, but if you are willing use your own accepted phone for the Mobility Challenge, testing can start sooner and be completed faster.
To volunteer your time, lend a phone, or subscribe to the Mobility Challenge email list, click on the link below:
For more information about the MF-II fund and auction, see the FCC pages at https://www.fcc.gov/mobility-fund-phase-ii-mf-ii.