FCC Public Data-Reporting Option Seeks Input on Broadband 'Problems'

FCC Crowdsourcing
(Image credit: N/A)

As promised, the FCC has created an online destination for the public to go to provide 'first-hand" accounts of their "broadband availability experiences, but not only where broadband is and isn't, but the quality of the service they do get.

Also Read: Rosenworcel Says Mapping Improvements in Months is Doable

The FCC has long said that it would provide some form of crowdsourcing to help it improve the maps on broadband availability it uses and will use to hand out billions of dollars in broadband subsidies, but the form of that input is taking presumes that input is some form of complaint.

Under acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC has created www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData as both a place for the public to weigh in--via a “share your broadband experience” option--and a clearinghouse for information on its Broadband Data Collection BDC) program.

In announcing the public input effort, she said it would allow consumers "to share their experience with the Task Force to let us know when broadband has (and has not) reached where they live."

But, in fact, the "share your experience" option for consumers on the new broadband data page links to the FCC's "Consumer Complaint Center" and a presumption there is something wrong with their service. The form says: "Please describe your problem and what could be done to solve your problem."

Also Read: FCC Launching Public Input Mapping Tool

The FCC said that information on "the availability and quality of broadband services at your location will help to inform the FCC’s efforts to close the digital divide," though presumably if they are weighing in to let the FCC know they have service and that it is high-speed and reliable, that is not a problem that needs solving. 

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.