FCC Investigating Map Reporting, Google Launches 5 Gigabit, FCC Targets Another Robocaller

There are ‘multiple’ investigations involving ‘several’ providers related to map data reporting.

FCC Investigating Map Reporting, Google Launches 5 Gigabit, FCC Targets Another Robocaller
Photo of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

February 21, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission said it is investigating service providers who may have been overreporting data for its broadband map.

Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a letter to senators earlier this month that it was investigating the matter.

“We have taken several steps to prevent systematic overreporting of coverage by broadband service providers,” said Rosenworcel in the letter. “We recognize also that as providers gain familiarity with this system, efforts to intentionally misstate service may be subject to enforcement action. In fact, we already have an investigation underway.”

Bloomberg confirmed in a Thursday story, citing an agency spokesperson, that the FCC has “multiple investigations involving several service providers.”

The data are going to make improvements to a map that will be integral to the disbursal of $42.5 billion from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, which is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Research firm New Street Research said in a note it is “likely” that the “FCC is investigations allegations of inaccurate information…many carriers may be involved, though the FCC is likely only to care about material amounts of misrepresentations.”

The research note adds that if the FCC is considering penalties, it is likely to face an “optical problem” with fining entities receiving BEAD money; the alternative of withholding BEAD funds could also reduce the effectiveness of the program, it said.

Google Fiber launches 5 Gigabit service

Google Fiber announced last week it has launched its 5 Gigabit per second (Gbps) internet product in certain cities for $125 per month.

Kansas City, Kansas, West Des Moines, Iowa, and Salt Lake City, Utah will get the symmetrical high-speed internet service with a next-generation Wi-Fi 6 router.

The installation also includes a 10 Gbps Fiber connecter, “which means your home will be prepared for even more internet when the time comes,” the blog said.

The company had already announced multi-gigabit service tiers last year, after its fiber product hit download speeds of 20.2 Gbps in a home test in Kansas City.

“This means that a fiber network alone will no longer be the differentiating factor it once was for internet providers,” Google said in a previous blog post. “The unique selling points will be how that network is built to deliver symmetrical multi-gig speed at accessible pricing — all with a focus on enabling service that takes advantage of that speed not just to the home but in the home, as well.”

Google Fiber is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

FCC allows voice providers to block traffic to and from One Eye

The Federal Communications Commission has given the green light to voice service providers to cut traffic from One Eye LLC, a company the commission is accusing of transmitting robocalls.

The regulator had sent a cease-and-desist letter to One Eye, asking it to stop transmitting robocalls.

In the decision on February 15, the FCC noted that the company was a “gateway provider for substantial volumes of apparently unlawful robocalls related to various fraudulent schemes.

“We hereby notify all U.S.-based voice service providers that if One Eye fails to mitigate the identified traffic described in the cease-and-desist letter…they may block voice calls or cease to accept traffic from One Eye, without liability under the Communications Act or the Commission’s rules,” the regulator said.

The commission began enforcing in June 2021 robocall rules under its STIR/SHAKEN regime, which requires voice service providers to incorporate analytical tools to mitigate illegal robocalls that often lead to Americans being scammed.

The FCC has taken increased actions against illegal robocallers. On December 21, the commission proposed a nearly $300 million fine against an apparently fraudulent robocall and spoofing operation called Cox/Jones Enterprise.

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