Today, the FCC launched a process for the public to review the accuracy of broadband availability data currently listed on the National Broadband Map (See http://www.fcc.gov/document/connect-america-phase-i-challenge-process-public-notice). In particular, the FCC released a list census blocks without broadband service at speeds of at least 3 Mbps download/768 kbps upload that the FCC believes to be eligible for Phase I of the Connect America Fund broadband subsidy program. (For more information of this new reform see Connect America Fund Update: FCC to Establish Process for Challenging National Broadband Map Data: A Connected Nation Policy Brief).
In order to ensure that Connect America Fund subsidies are targeted at areas that are indeed underserved, the FCC today also opened a public mapping data “challenge” process. Interested parties are invited to provide feedback to the FCC regarding any areas they feel are understated or overstated in the National Broadband Map. The FCC invited industry and the public to review this list of data from the Map and to comment on its accuracy. Parties wishing to file comment are encouraged to work with state broadband mapping agents like Connected Nation and to base any such “challenge” on engineering studies and technical reviews. Comments in this process are due January 4th, 2013. Reply comments are due January 22, 2013.
Connected Nation strongly believes that sound policy decisions require sound data, and as a broadband mapping agent in the SBI program, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure the accuracy and comprehensiveness of broadband data collection and validation efforts. Connected Nation constantly strives to make its maps as accurate as possible, not only by double-checking data received from providers but also by independently validating and verifying coverage through a number of processes, including on-site field validation and engineering assessments in many locations. In order to encourage testing of our mapping data through crowdsourcing efforts and to maximize feedback from third parties, we also actively seek public comment to help improve the maps’ quality. Since the SBI program inception we have received and resolved over 17,000 inquiries from the industry and the public regarding the accuracy of state maps.
If you have any questions about the FCC data process, please contact the Connected Nation state program manager or mapping contact. If you have a question about the broadband map, please file a Broadband Inquiry through the form here.
Connected Nation believes that all parties will benefit from a challenge process that quickly engages state mapping agents who can then investigate the claims, perform further data validation tests where appropriate, and issue corrections based on the field tests and engineering certifications that the FCC requests to support any change. Connected Nation will proactively analyze the data released today by the FCC and will work collaboratively with all members of the industry and the public to assess and provide any feedback needed.
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