Public Service Commission says cell coverage maps are inaccurate

The FCC is now investigating.

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Ever had to tell a friend something like this?

“I’m going to have to call you back because my phone’s going to drop calls.”

Or...

“I can’t hardly hear, I may have to call you back.”

Mississippi’s Public Service Commissioners say you’re not alone.

“We live in 2018 not 1918, and people deserve to get a cell phone signal and make a call,” said Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley.

That’s why it raised a red flag with Commissioner Brandon Presley when the FCC showed there’s 90 percent 4G LTE coverage in Mississippi. He submitted documents challenging their data.

“Well, the maps are completely inaccurate,” said Presley.

And folks we asked agreed that their coverage is spotty, at best.

“If I change to another company, I look in the brochure to see what they claim the coverage is," noted Brown. "Once you get it and you say, ‘OK, this has real good coverage’ and then you find out later it really doesn’t.”

“From here to the coast, it should be crystal clear," explained Washington. "There’s a commercial showing that, but it’s not.”

There are federal funds available for rural areas that don’t have solid 4G LTE coverage.

"We’re getting the funding now. But what you’ve got is the areas of the state that show coverage means there would be no other dollars brought into those rural areas,” Presley described.

The FCC’s map is based on the information sent in by the cell phone companies. And that’s the part that worries Presley.

“That customer in the state of Mississippi who buys a phone under the idea that they’ve got coverage, and they look at the map and the map shows they have coverage," added Presley. "And they get home and they don’t have coverage. If that’s the case, then we’ve got phone companies lying to the people of Mississippi when they buy a phone.”

The FCC is suspending its Mobility Fund project while they investigate the coverage maps submitted by cell companies.

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