Broadband: FCC Publishes Final Rule and Proposed Rulemaking on the Digital Opportunity Data Collection
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, which requires all fixed broadband providers to submit granular maps of the areas where they have broadband-capable networks and make service available. To complement this granular broadband availability data, the Report and Order published in the August 22 FEDERAL REGISTER also adopts a process to begin collecting public input, sometimes known as “crowdsourcing,” on the accuracy of fixed providers' broadband deployment data. In addition, the Report and Order leaves in place for now the existing Form 477 data collection, but makes targeted changes to reduce reporting burdens for all providers by removing and clarifying certain requirements and modifying the collection.
The Rule and Order is effective on September 23, 2019, except for paragraphs 44 through 51 and 57 through 65 of the Report and Order and the addition of 47 CFR 54.1401 and 54.1402(b) and (c), (d)(2), and (e), which are delayed. The Commission will publish a document in the FEDERAL REGISTER announcing the delayed effective date.
In a separate August 22 FEDERAL REGISTER document, the Federal Communications Commission) adopts a Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second FNPRM). This document seeks comment on certain aspects of the Digital Opportunity Data Collection to enhance its accuracy and usefulness. The Second FNPRM seeks comment on ways to develop location-specific data that could be used in conjunction with the polygon-based data in the new collection to precisely identify the homes and small businesses that have and do not have access to broadband services.
With respect to mobile wireless coverage, the Second FNPRM seeks comment on how to align the Digital Opportunity Data Collection with changes in mobile broadband deployment technology, markets, and policy needs. The Second FNPRM also seeks comment on how to improve satellite broadband deployment data given the unique characteristics of satellites.
For the Second FNPRM comments are due on or before September 23, 2019, and reply comments are due on or before October 7, 2019. Written comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements must be submitted by the public, OMB, and other interested parties on or before October 21, 2019.