FCC Assistance Available for the Broadband Data Collection Mandate

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FCC Assistance Available for the Broadband Data Collection Mandate

In its effort to ensure greater accuracy with its Broadband Map, the FCC is requiring that every provider of broadband service in the U.S. and U.S Territories to begin uploading their broadband serviceable locations into the FCC's new Broadband Data Fabric starting June 30th. The filing window is June 30th to September 1st. 

This is a mandate for *every* provider, regardless of whether you take any Federal funding. And, this is not just reporting on your current customers. For every broadband serviceable location in your service area you need to report the type of service you can provide (Cable, Fiber, DSL, Wireless, etc.), the maximum advertised download and upload speed available at that location, and whether the round-trip latency is less than 100 ms, regardless of whether you are currently providing service to that address. In other words, you need to report this information about every home and business you pass where you can do a standard installation and provide service.

You need to get your filing in on time, prior to the September 1st deadline. The FCC has said they are unlikely to extend the filing deadline or approve any waivers because of a Preliminary Fabric they made available to service providers back in April so they could get prepared for  properly uploading their data into the Production Fabric when it became available. That will be available June 30th when the filing window begins.

You can download the Public Notice about the Broadband Data Collection System here, which tells you how you can get access to the Production version of the Broadband Data Fabric. 

FCC Help Resources for Broadband Data Collection

The FCC is doing their best to provide assistance to filers. They have has created a Help Site with tutorials and other resources to assist with that Broadband Fabric filing. They also held a Webinar on June 29th on how to use their Broadband Data Collection System (BDCS). You can watch a recording of that here.  Since then they have also scheduled four additional workshops on the BDCS, which you can find here. And, they have produced a detailed BDC System User Guide and a BDC Data Specification document that have pretty much everything you would want to know about how to use the system to complete your submission and what to submit.   

What I expect to be one of the bigger challenges is how to sync your serviceable addresses with the FCC's Location IDs that are in the Fabric, because the file you upload to the Fabric can only have the FCC Location IDs. Here is a link to an FCC tutorial video that starts at the point where they show how you can match data between the physical addresses in your service area with those Location IDs using Excel. After the Excel portion of the video they demonstrate the other option for how you can upload your coverage data, which is using GIS software to create shapefiles by drawing polygons of your service area around the FCC-identified serviceable locations on the map. You can also read this FCC help page on text matching

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About the Author: Rick Yuzzi

Rick Yuzzi
Rick is ZCorum's Vice President of Marketing. He has over 30 years experience in sales, marketing and management. Hired in 1995 to establish the sales department for a fledgling Internet Service Provider that later became ZCorum, he is now a key member of the executive team, overseeing the company’s marketing efforts.

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