digital US map

The FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force will hold a webinar on Wednesday, June 29, at 2 PM ET to provide information and preview the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) system for organizations mandated with submitting data during the filing window that begins the next day.

The filing period runs until September 1. During this time, facilities-based service providers must file granular data about their mass-market Internet access services.

The webinar is part of a larger effort being undertaken by the FCC to educate service providers on the broadband map initiative. Late last month, the commission announced its broadband help center. It includes tutorials and other resources to help ISPs prepare to submit data.

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The broadband data collection webinar can be viewed at both www.fcc.gov/live and www.youtube.com/c/FCC. A recording will be posted to www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData and tutorials will be available under the “education” tab at www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData/resources.

Upgrading broadband maps is key to fairly allocating tens of billions of dollars that have been made available from the federal government to cover some costs associated with broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas.

Clearly, it’s a big job and the collection of accurate and comprehensive information from ISPs is critical to knowing where investment is needed. In April, the FCC released a preliminary version of the broadband serviceable location fabric. At the time, the FCC encouraged providers to begin uploading availability data into it. The short-term goal was to ensure that ISPs had processes in place to correctly input the data. It was noted at the time that the data would need to be re-entered when the system went live.

The need for new maps stems from the reality that current maps are not up to the task of determining where there is no service. The heart of the problem is that an entire census block is considered to have service even if it only is available to a single location. The ambitious broadband maps effort is intended to meet that challenge.

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