NCTA to FCC: Exclude Business Broadband from Data Act Regime

U.S. Capitol
(Image credit: Capitol)

Cable operator ISPs are telling the FCC it needs to prioritize protections for sensitive business information when it collects new broadband data per Congress' Broadband DATA Act, which means not requiring it to be reported "at this time."

That came in comments to the FCC Friday (Sept. 18).

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association said that the FCC has recognized that it could be problematic to require fixed providers to report business broadband availability and since the act does not specify that business broadband locations be included in the new data collection, the FCC should not go there.

Related: ACAC Wants Looser Data Reporting Requirements

"Instead the Commission should allow providers to report their service availability by indicating the maximum mass market service speed and business service speed, if different," it told the commission.

But if the FCC does decide to go there, NCTA has laid out a route. It said the FCC should allow ISPs to report the coverage area around existing customers where the operator is willing and able to provide service, although it may not be in the same 10-day time frame the FCC is requiring for an area deemed available to the residential customer.

Related: FCC Broadband Data Map Rules Go Into Effect Sept. 17

If the FCC does not agree, NCTA said it must allow business-only broadband to be identified on a confidential basis.

The law also requires that there be a public challenge process for deployment claims.

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.