Broadband Providers Can Challenge Location Data Starting This Month

Stephouse Networks
(Image credit: Stephouse Networks)

Cable broadband operators, local governments and others who want to challenge data the FCC has collected on the locations of fixed broadband service as part of its Broadband Data Collection (BDC) effort can do so starting September 12, the agency said.

That “location fabric” data provides the basis of the congressionally mandated improved broadband maps. Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel said last week the agency planned to have a first draft of the maps ready for public consumption by November.

Also: The FCC Broadband Map Will Be Wrong

The maps are meant to more accurately target the tens of billions of dollars in broadband subsidies that are being given out to achieve the Biden administration’s pledge of universal broadband access by decade's end.

The fabric is made up of “all locations in the United States where fixed broadband Internet access service is or can be installed” and could help reduce overbuilding or identify overlaps in different subsidies.

Fixed broadband providers that report they are providing high-speed internet service to a specific location must base that determination on the data in the fabric.

Providers who take issue with where the fabric says broadband is and isn’t can file corrections and bulk challenges, which the FCC said will help it refine the data for the next version of the fabric, which it expects to release in December.

To help with that challenge process, the FCC will host a September 7 webinar. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.