FCC Map in November, Settlement with Frontier, North Carolina Broadband Grants

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has set November as target date for broadband map.

FCC Map in November, Settlement with Frontier, North Carolina Broadband Grants
Photo of Connecticut Attorney General William Tong from Connecticut Law Tribune

September 6, 2022 – Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced Friday that the agency is aiming for November to release the first draft of its new broadband map.

Rosenworcel, who previously said that the map is expected to emerge this fall, said in a note from the FCC that it has completed the first filing window for submitting “extensive location-by-location data” on broadband availability, after service providers were required by the agency to submit such data by September 1 – the day before the release of the note.

Sources collected by the FCC include address records, tax assessment records, imagery and building footprints, census data, land use records, parcel boundaries, geo-spatial road and street data.

The Friday note also said that the commission’s fabric – a national dataset of individual locations that should have fixed broadband – will be opened for challenge in 10 days. Broadband Breakfast has reported that states have been creating their own maps in part to possibly challenge what the FCC comes up with.

Connecticut announces settlement with Frontier Communications

In a press release last week, Connecticut attorney general William Tong announced a $60-million settlement with telecom Frontier Communications that will see the company update DSL services to fiber broadband in rural and underserved communities following allegations the company was charging customers hidden fees.

The agreement provides a range of protections for consumers, information about internet subsidies offered through the FCC’s affordable connectivity program, a $1-million payment to the state, and $200,000 in credits and refunds to customers who filed complaints since 2019.

The settlement stems from allegations the company was charging hidden monthly fees to customers. A joint investigation by the attorney general’s office and the Department of Consumer Protection found 1,400 consumer complaints about Frontier’s alleged poor DSL service quality, hidden fees, and unsatisfactory customer service.

Grant winners in North Carolina

North Carolina announced last week that $206 million from the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology broadband grant program will be going to cover 85,000 households in 69 counties.

Service providers who will receive funding include AT&T, Connect Holding, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, Cloudwyze, Optimum, Focus Broadband, Lumos, Zito Media, InfinityLink, and Charter Communications.

“High-speed internet access is critical for people to work, learn, access telehealth and connect with one another,” said Governor Cooper in the release.

“Thanks to this significant GREAT grant award funding, many more North Carolina families and small business owners will have the tools they need to succeed in today’s digital world.” With this win for providers and consumers, leaves $90 million in GREAT funding out of the $350 million allocated, available,” he added.

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