FCC New Rules on Broadband Map

FCC Sets New Rules for Collection of Data for Broadband Availability Map

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted new rules that will help the Commission enhance its collection data for mapping broadband availability.

The FCC released a Second Report and Order (R&O) and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the matter of establishing the Digital Opportunity Data Collection and Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program on July 16.

An R&O is part of the decision making process of the FCC. A Petition for Reconsideration may be filed within 30-days from the date the R&O appears on the Federal Register if the public feels that the R&O failed to define or resolve a certain issue.

Fixed Wireless Broadband Service Availablity Reporting Standards

The Broadband DATA Act that was passed in March 2020 requires the FCC to issue final rules for collecting granular data from providers on the availability and quality of broadband Internet access service.

There is a section in the newly released report on fixed wireless broadband service availability reporting standards. In that section, the FCC mentions the frameworks for reporting fixed wireless coverage that were proposed by USTelecom and WISPA.

USTelecom and WISPA proposed that the Commission adopt a 50% loading factor for fixed broadband service coverage reporting.

The same section also states rules for WISPs for reporting availability using propagation maps and propagation model details.

You may access the full document from the FCC here.

Seeking Public Comments

The Commission seeks further comment from the public to challenge the availability data in the broadband maps and the processes for verifying the data submitted by providers.