WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019 — The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday initiated a new process for collecting fixed broadband data for mapping purposes.
The new Digital Opportunity Data Collection aims to replace the current, Form 477-based data collection methodology utilized since 2000, once the new system is established. Data is currently collected on the Census block level.
The new system will also “adopt a process to collect public input, commonly known as ‘crowdsourcing,’ on the accuracy of service providers’ broadband maps,” according to the agency’s fact sheet.
The Digital Opportunity Data Collection attempts to solve the problem of over-representation, or “false positives,” when as few as one home is served within a given Census block.
It plans to do this by adopting a polygon-based maps that would depict precisely where broadband service is available and where it is not.
In establishing a system of collecting geospatial broadband coverage maps from Internet service providers, adopting a process to collect public input on the accuracy of these maps, and changing the Form 477, the FCC hopes to get past repeated criticism about the quality of existing broadband maps.
The full FCC report and order (and fact sheet) cites a letter from Michael Romano, senior vice president of the Rural Broadband Association, stating that false positives from Form 477 reporting can lead to the “denial or withdrawal of federal USF support in areas where support is in fact needed to reach unserved locations, dooming those locations to a lack of service for years to come.”
In addition, the agency is seeking comment on additional technical standards for fixed broadband providers, or those that are neither wire-based or fixed wireless solutions.
It is also seeking to incorporate location-specific fixed broadband deployment data, the collection of mobile wireless voice and broadband coverage data, and sunsetting the Form 477 broadband deployment collection following the creation of the Digital Opportunity Data Collection.
Although all of the commissioners applauded the steps being taken to improve the maps, Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel raised concerns over the amount of responsibility being given to the Universal Service Administrative Company.
USAC has a history of being unresponsive to Congress and FCC Commissioners, said O’Rielly, adding that insufficient coordination among Universal Service Fund programs leads to waste.
Handing responsibilities off to the USF administrator doesn’t make sense, Rosenworcel agreed, pointing out that USAC has never done data collection of this magnitude and that the FCC is better equipped to complete it. Additionally, the
Chairman Ajit Pai briefly addressed these concerns in his remarks, saying that given the universal focus of the mapping initiative, it made sense to give it to USF.
Rosenworcel also asked for more data to be collected, saying that in order to get a truly accurate picture of service, the role of price and affordability also needs to be taken into consideration.
(Photo of FCC Open Meeting by Emily McPhie.)
- Smart Cities Connect to Hold 2020 Global Event Honoring 50 Smart Projects
- Broadband Roundup: More on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, 5G National Advocacy, and Policy Hackers
- Panelists on NTIA Broadband Webinar Say Smart Buildings Boost Civic Resiliency and Public Health
- Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Subject of Debate at Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on the Future
- FTC Settlement with YouTube Has Creators Upset and Worried About FTC Approach to Children’s Privacy
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Open Access3 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
Broadband's Impact3 months ago
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Praises Agency’s Work in Promoting High-Speed Internet at ‘Broadband Heros’ Event
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
Education2 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions
FCC1 month ago
Telephony Industry Rises to the Challenge of Robocalls, With Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement Close Behind