A preliminary version of the broadband serviceable location fabric is now available, and the FCC encourages broadband providers to begin inputting broadband availability data into it.

It’s an important step in creating a more accurate broadband map, which in turn is needed in order to allocate tens of billions of dollars in funding that federal legislators have made available to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to unserved areas.

The short-term goal is to ensure that providers have processes in place to correctly input broadband availability data into the preliminary location fabric. The commission noted that providers will need to re-input data when the final version of the fabric is made available but cautioned against waiting for the final fabric to begin inputting data.

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All broadband providers will be required to submit location data about areas where they offer service into the final location fabric by September 1, 2022. The final location fabric is scheduled to be ready to accept data beginning June 30, 2022 and may include additional inputs and features not included in the preliminary version, the FCC noted in a public notice released late Thursday.

“Filing broadband availability data based upon the fabric is a new process, so we expect that it will take providers some time to work through their methodology for aligning their internal served location data with the fabric, and then to generate the data required for filing in the . . . system,” the FCC cautioned in the public notice. “While we understand that fixed providers cannot produce their broadband availability data as of June 30, 2022 prior to that date, establishing and testing a methodology and processes to create such data will take time and resources and can be started now.”

The public notice closes with an ominous warning to providers, noting that the commission previously made clear that “any requests for waivers or extensions of the filing deadline will ‘face a high hurdle even at the starting gate’ and that a failure to timely file required data in the . . . system may lead to enforcement action and/or penalties as set forth in the Communications Act and other applicable laws absent circumstances beyond a filer’s control.”

Broadband Availability Data

The broadband serviceable location fabric is designed to include the location of every home and business in the U.S. that has or could have broadband available to it. The fabric includes a unique identifier, as well as street address and latitude/ longitude for each location.

Providers have the option of submitting broadband availability information as shapefiles, also known as polygons, showing the borders within which the company offers service. Alternatively, providers can submit a list of locations that have service available, but the list must use the unique identifier for each location created in the location fabric, and those identifiers may change in the final version.

To gain access to the preliminary location fabric, providers will need to enter into a license agreement with CostQuest, the company that is creating the location fabric. CostQuest will be sending an email explaining how to do this to the certifying individual for each June 2021 Form 477 filing with fixed broadband deployment, the FCC said.

The commission also noted that it will give providers the opportunity to challenge broadband serviceable location data and will provide details about that in a future public notice.

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One thought on “More Accurate Broadband Map Draws Closer: Providers Can Enter Broadband Availability Data into Preliminary Location Fabric

  1. We have no options for broadband here after AT&T stopped DSL service, the broadband map that the government uses shows we have a ton of options and speeds up to 1GBps but we infect have 0 I’ve called every single one of the often for 12 years. Contacted many state & federal agencies several times. Spoken to AT&Ts corporate officer in charge of expansion about 5 years ago they quoted me personally $74,000 to get up to 25mbps cable services at my house. It hasn’t changed anything despite trying for 12 years I live in Reidsville NC 27320 14000 feet from the big metal connection box on the side of the road where Gigabit is available. I really really really hope they actually get accurate data and if they don’t thst they will have a way to contact them and get it corrected because I tried at minimum 6 times to get in touch with different people there through email. No responses and never a change to the map. We’ll see what happens I guess

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