FCC Mapping Data Open, Google-Waze Challenged in Court, Florida Co-op and Conexon Connect Team Up

Fixed wireless providers will be given an opportunity to view data about their served regions ahead of fabric roll-out.

FCC Mapping Data Open, Google-Waze Challenged in Court, Florida Co-op and Conexon Connect Team Up
Photo of Sen. Josh Hawley taken 2022 by Gage Skidmore

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2022 –The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday that it has made the preliminary serviceable location fabric available to providers.

Though CostQuest’s recently approved fabric will not be fully operational until June 30, 2022, the FCC announced Thursday that internet service providers could access preliminary data sets that will be featured in the fabric in order to “establish and refine methods to align their availability data with the Fabric and better position themselves to meet their filing obligations during the initial filing window.”

According to the FCC, the information available to ISPs ranges from “satellite imagery, building footprints, address databases, land and local tax records, and other sources that the vendor finds as either necessary or beneficial for determining, as completely as possible, the locations of structures throughout the United States where fixed broadband service can be installed.”

The FCC encouraged providers to take advantage of this data and file early. The filing deadline is currently schedule for September 1, 2022. The data is currently only available to fixed broadband providers that filed fixed broadband deployment data through past Form 477 filings that are used to report ISP coverage.

ISPs will only be qualified to view data from census blocks they reportedly serve. Additionally, because CostQuest licenses its data from third-party groups to create the fabric, “eligible fixed broadband service providers must execute a license agreement with CostQuest in order to access the data.”

Google faces another antitrust challenge

Google’s parent company Alphabet is squaring up for another antitrust battle over its alleged dominance of the GPS service market.

Dream Big Media Inc. alleges in an April 13 class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California that Alphabet has used Waze, which it purchased in 2013, and Google Maps to corner the navigation market. The suit alleged that once companies have signed on to use Google’s products, the company “ratchets up the prices.”

The Federal Trade Commission has previously declined to challenge the purchase.

Tri-County Electric Co-op partners with Conexon Connect

Fiber ISP Conexon Connect announced Thursday it has partnered with Florida’s Tri-County Electric Co-op to deploy its 2,400-mile fiber-to-the-home build – the first such build in the state.

The construction project will be managed by Conexon and will be built out to serve between 12-15,000 rural homes and businesses in Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, and Dixie counties; every Tri-County Co-op member will have access to fiber once the project is complete.

The network is expected to take two to four years to complete and comes with a $65 million price tag.

“Like many rural areas, these north Florida communities have been disadvantaged for too long by the lack of vital high-speed broadband services,” Conexon Connect CEO Randy Klindt said in a release. “Today’s announcement marks our shared commitment with Tri-County Electric to change that, and improve the lives and communities of those served by the co-op.”

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