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Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program

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Released: June 27, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-87

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program
)
WC Docket No. 11-10

REPORT AND ORDER

Adopted: June 27, 2013

Released: June 27, 2013

By the Commission: Acting Chairwoman Clyburn and Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai issuing
separate statements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND.................................................................................................................................... 6
A. Development and Evolution of the Form 477 Data Program .......................................................... 6
B. Uses of Form 477 and SBI Data .................................................................................................... 14
III. DISCUSSION ...................................................................................................................................... 20
A. Deployment Data ........................................................................................................................... 22
1. Collection of Broadband Deployment Data ............................................................................ 24
2. Collection of Voice Deployment Data .................................................................................... 51
B. Subscription Data........................................................................................................................... 56
1. Speed Data............................................................................................................................... 61
2. Geographic Area...................................................................................................................... 64
C. Further Ways to Reduce Form 477 Filing Burdens ....................................................................... 69
D. Company Identification and Contact Information ......................................................................... 71
E. Disclosure of Data Collected on Form 477.................................................................................... 78
IV. LEGAL AUTHORITY......................................................................................................................... 88
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 89
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 93
APPENDIX A -- Final Rules
APPENDIX B -- List of Commenters
APPENDIX C -- Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
The Commission is committed to robust, data-driven decision making. Data about
broadband and voice deployment and subscription are essential to the Commission's ability to fulfill its
statutory obligations and play a vital public interest role for other state, local, and federal agencies,
researchers, and consumers. To carry out our commitment, we need adequate and reliable data.
2.
For the last three years, data on broadband deployment have been collected by the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to populate the National
Broadband Map. But NTIA's collection program is nearing its completion. In today's Order, we assume
the responsibility for collection of broadband deployment data, with some modifications to streamline and

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reduce the burdens on providers while making other modest improvements. We applaud NTIA for its
collection in coordination with the states through the State Broadband Initiative (SBI). We are proud to
carry the torch forward.
3.
In addition, this Order makes a number of targeted changes to reduce reporting burdens
and enhance the usefulness of data collected through the Form 477. Specifically, we modify our Form
477 program in the following ways:
To ensure continuity with the National Broadband Map, we collect network deployment data
for fixed and mobile broadband as well as mobile voice network deployment data. Fixed
broadband data will be collected by census block, while mobile broadband and mobile voice
providers will provide data showing their network coverage areas.
To streamline and reduce burdens, we:
will not require providers to submit broadband deployment data in predetermined speed
tiers, and instead will require providers of broadband services simply to provide
advertised speeds--the maximum advertised speed in each census block for fixed
broadband, and the minimum advertised speed in each coverage area for mobile
broadband. Streamlining the collection in this manner will give the Commission greater
flexibility to group and analyze broadband speed data in useful ways.
allow providers to file all data in a single, uniform format, rather than potentially
different formats across the states.
To analyze competition for residential versus business customers, fixed broadband providers
must distinguish, where appropriate, between deployment of residential and nonresidential
services.
4.
With regard to our collection of subscription and other data, we also take measures to
reduce burdens while improving the quality of our data:
To reduce burdens we:
eliminate the use of speed tiers for broadband subscription data, as we do with broadband
deployment data, and require filers to provide the number of broadband connections by
the advertised speeds associated with each product subscribed to in the relevant
geographic area, census tracts for fixed and states for mobile. Fixed providers will report
connections by the maximum advertised upload and download speeds, while mobile
providers will report connections by minimum advertised upload and download speeds.
eliminate various questions on the current Form 477 in order to streamline the Form,
avoid duplication with the new deployment collection, and reduce the burden on filers.
To improve the quality of the subscription data we collect, we require providers of fixed
voice and interconnected VoIP services to file subscription data by census tract, as we
currently do for fixed broadband subscription data, rather than the current process of
requiring such providers to submit the list of ZIP codes in which they provide service to end-
user customers.
To enhance our ability to meet public safety needs and obligations, we collect emergency
contact information from providers.
Finally, we require filers to report certain company identification information, which will
facilitate transaction reviews, as well as ongoing vigilance against waste, fraud, and abuse of
universal service funding.
5.
We are committed to improving the data that the Commission collects even as we
continue to explore ways to make the Form 477 filing less burdensome. To that end, we direct the
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Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to explore
technical improvements to the Form 477 filing mechanism that may make the process easier for filers,
and to examine ways to collect more granular data without increasing burdens.

II.

BACKGROUND

A.

Development and Evolution of the Form 477 Data Program

6.
The Commission's Form 477 was established in 2000 to provide the Commission with
uniform and reliable data not comprehensively available elsewhere.1 The information submitted through
the Form 477 program improves the Commission's ability to comply with statutory requirements and
develop, evaluate, and revise policy, and provides important benchmarks for Congress, the Commission,
other policy makers, academic researchers, and consumers.2 The Commission has revised the nature of
the information collected via the form several times during the last decade to ensure that we collect data
relevant to a changing marketplace. Nearly four years ago, the National Broadband Plan recommended
that the Commission revise its Form 477 data collection to better monitor broadband availability,
adoption, and competition.3 In turn, the Commission launched its Data Innovation Initiative--a whole-
agency effort to modernize and streamline how we collect, use, and disseminate data.4 This Order acts on
the commitment to ensure that the Commission has the information it needs for data-driven decision
making while minimizing the burden on industry.
7.
May 2000 Form 477. The Commission established Form 477 to collect data regarding
broadband services, local telephone service competition, and mobile telephony services on a single form
and in a standardized manner.5 The original Form 477 collected subscribership data for local telephone
service, including data from incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) and competitive LECs, on the
number of voice-grade equivalent lines and fixed wireless channels in service for the provision of local

1 Form 477 also currently collects limited information from broadband providers about the availability of broadband
service. FCC Form 477 Instructions at 910, http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form477/477inst.pdf.
2 Local Competition and Broadband Reporting, CC Docket No. 99-301, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 7717, 7718,
772429, paras. 1, 1118 (2000) (2000 Data Gathering Order).
3 Federal Communications Commission, Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan, GN Docket No.
09-51, at 9, 29 (2010) (National Broadband Plan or Plan). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
directed the Commission to develop a national broadband plan to ensure that all people of the United States have
access to broadband. See American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 6001(k), Pub. L. No. 111-5,
123 Stat. 115, 516 (2009).
4 See FCC, Data Innovation Initiative, http://www.fcc.gov/data/data-innovation-initiative (last visited June 20,
2013). Since the launch of the Data Innovation Initiative, the Commission has delivered several reforms to its data-
related activities. For example, we recently reformed our international data collections to advance the
Commission's needs while avoiding unnecessary or excessive burdens on international service providers. Reporting
Requirements for U.S. Providers of International Telecommunications Services, Amendment of Part 43 of the
Commission's Rules
, IB Docket No. 04-112, Second Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 575 (2013) (amending the
Commission's two international data collections and reducing the overall burdens industry-wide by nearly 30
percent by eliminating reporting requirements for over a thousand small carriers and reducing the level of detail
submitted by international service providers by over 75 percent). The Commission has also released an interactive
map to illustrate areas that will see new broadband deployment through Connect America Fund "Phase I." FCC
Releases New, Interactive Map Illustrating States Set to Receive Connect America Fund Support to Bring 400,000
Americans High-Speed Broadband
, News Release (July 26, 2012); see also FCC, Connect America Fund (CAF)
Phase I Map, http://www.fcc.gov/maps/connect-america-fund-caf-phase-i.
5 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7717, 7718, 774950, 775354, 775657, 777290, paras. 1, 66, 75,
84, App. B.
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exchange or exchange access service to end-user customers and for resale.6 The form required
broadband7 and local telephone service providers to provide a list, by state, of the five-digit ZIP codes in
which they provided service to end-user customers. The form required mobile telephony providers to
report total subscribers served over their facilities, by state, and the percentage of those subscribers billed
directly by the reporting provider.
8.
The initial Form 477 collected data from facilities-based broadband providers on the
numbers of connections to the Internet in service to end users in each state.8 The Commission tracked
connections with information transfer rates exceeding 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in at least one
direction.9 The Commission required providers to identify the technology used to provide the
connections,10 the percentage of connections used by residential customers and small businesses as a
group,11 whether the connections used the provider's own "last mile" facilities,12 and each ZIP code in
which the provider had at least one connection in service by means of any broadband technology.13
9.
2004 Revisions. To capture a more comprehensive picture of broadband deployment in
rural areas, in 2004 the Commission required submissions from all facilities-based providers of
broadband connections.14 The Commission further required filers to report the percentage of their
connections that fell into five speed tiers.15 Incumbent LECs were required to report the percentage of
residential end-user premises in their service areas where DSL connections were available, and cable
system operators were required to report comparable information for their cable modem service.16 Also,

6 In addition, LECs reported the percentage of lines provided over the carriers' own facilities, the percentage
provided over UNE loops obtained from other LECs, and the percentage provided by competitive LECs using a
collocation arrangement in an incumbent LEC switching center. Id. at 7752, para. 71.
7 The Form required facilities-based broadband providers to report their lines based upon the category of distribution
technology: asymmetric xDSL services; other traditional wireline services including symmetric xDSL services,
coaxial cable carrier systems; optical carrier (SONET) to the customer premises; satellite; terrestrial fixed wireless
service including services provided over unlicensed spectrum; terrestrial mobile wireless service; and all other
technologies. Id. at 7751, para. 67.
8 Id. at 774950, para. 66.
9 Id.
10 Id. at 7750, para. 67.
11 Id. at 7751, para. 69.
12 Id. at 7752, para. 71.
13 Id. at 7721, para. 6.
14 Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Reporting, WC Docket No. 04-141, Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd
22340, 22346, para. 9 (2004) (2004 Broadband Data Gathering Order) ("Based on our experience with the Form
477 over the past nearly five years, we now conclude that the current thresholds render impossible a thorough
understanding of the dynamics of broadband deployment in states with rural and/or underserved areas."). The
original Form 477 Order did not require small providers to file reports. 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at
773743, paras. 3447.
15 2004 Broadband Data Gathering Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 2234748, para. 14. These tiers were: (1) greater than
200 kbps and less than 2.5 megabits per second (Mbps); (2) greater than or equal to 2.5 Mbps and less than
10 Mbps; (3) greater than or equal to 10 Mbps and less than 25 Mbps; (4) greater than or equal to 25 Mbps and less
than 100 Mbps; and (5) greater than or equal to 100 Mbps.
16 Id. at 22348, para. 16.
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filers were required to identify which particular fixed-location broadband technologies were being used to
provide connections in individual ZIP codes.17
10.
2008 Revisions. In 2008, the Commission again revised the Form 477 data program to
collect more granular subscription data and improve the quality of data on mobile wireless broadband
services.18 The Commission determined that all wireline, terrestrial-fixed wireless, and satellite
broadband service providers must report the numbers of subscribers by census tract, broken down by
technology and more disaggregated speed tiers,19 and the percentage of subscribers that are residential.20
The Commission extended filing requirements to providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) service, requiring them to report the number of subscribers they serve in each state, the percentage
of those who are residential, the number of subscribers who purchase the service in conjunction with the
purchase of a broadband connection and, of those, the types of connections purchased.21 The
Commission also required interconnected VoIP service providers to report the percentage of subscribers
who can use the service over any broadband connection and to report a list of five-digit ZIP codes within
each state in which they have at least one subscriber.22 The Commission determined that terrestrial
mobile wireless broadband service providers would continue to submit their broadband subscriber totals
on a state-by-state basis, rather than by census tract, and list the census tracts that "best represent" their
broadband service footprint for each speed tier they offer.23
11.
2008 Further Notice. In the 2008 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the
Commission sought comment on several matters, including whether it should collect information on
actual speeds of broadband services; how generally to maintain the confidentiality of broadband data;
whether the Commission should conduct and publish periodic consumer surveys on broadband services;24
and whether and how to institute a national broadband availability mapping program. The Commission

17 Id. at 2234950, para. 18. Acknowledging that mobile broadband service differs in some respects from fixed
broadband service, the Commission required filers reporting mobile wireless broadband subscribers to list the ZIP
codes that "best represent the filers' mobile wireless broadband coverage areas." Id.
18 Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate Reasonable and Timely Deployment of Advanced
Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless Broadband Subscribership Data, and Development of Data on
Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol Subscribership
, WC Docket No. 07-38, Report and Order and Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 23 FCC Rcd 9691 (2008) (2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further
Notice
); Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate Reasonable and Timely Deployment of Advanced
Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless Broadband Subscribership Data, and Development of Data on
Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol Subscribership
, WC Docket No. 07-38, Order on Reconsideration,
23 FCC Rcd 9800 (2008) (2008 Broadband Data Gathering Reconsideration Order).
19 The Commission updated the broadband reporting tiers to consist of an upload speed tier of 200 kbps or less and
upload and download speeds of: (1) greater than 200 kbps but less than 768 kbps; (2) equal to or greater than 768
kbps but less than 1.5 Mbps; (3) equal to or greater than 1.5 Mbps but less than 3.0 Mbps; (4) equal to or greater
than 3.0 Mbps but less than 6.0 Mbps; (5) equal to or greater than 6.0 Mbps but less than 10.0 Mbps; (6) equal to or
greater than 10.0 Mbps but less than 25.0 Mbps; (7) equal to or greater than 25.0 Mbps but less than 100.0 Mbps;
and (8) equal to or greater than 100 Mbps--for a total of 72 speed-tier combinations. 2008 Broadband Data
Gathering Order and Further Notice
, 23 FCC Rcd at 970001, para. 20.
20 Previously, the Commission had required providers to list the ZIP codes in which they had at least one end-user
connection in service, but collected subscriber counts only at the state level and in accordance with less granular
speed tiers. See, e.g., 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7761, 777273, para. 94, App. B, Cover Page &
Part I.
21 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, 23 FCC Rcd at 970507, paras. 2631.
22 Id. at 9707, paras. 3031.
23 See id. at 969899, para. 16.
24 Id. at 9708, para. 33.
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tentatively concluded that it "should collect information that providers use to respond to prospective
customers to determine on an address-by-address basis whether service is available."25
12.
National Broadband Plan. The National Broadband Plan emphasized the necessity of
"continuous collection and analysis of detailed data on competitive behavior" and the need for the
Commission to conduct "more thorough data collection to monitor and benchmark competitive
behavior."26 The Plan also recommended that the Commission "revise Form 477 to collect data relevant
to broadband availability, adoption and competition."27
13.
2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. On February 8, 2011, the Commission released a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) seeking comment on whether and how to reform the Form 477
data program to improve the Commission's ability to carry out its statutory duties, while also streamlining
and minimizing the overall costs of the program, including the burdens imposed on providers.28 The
Commission sought comment on the collection of five specific categories of data--deployment, price,
subscription, service quality and customer satisfaction, and ownership and contact information--asking
whether and how to collect such data and seeking comment on the Commission's authority to do so.29
The Notice also sought comment on the use of third-party data,30 which entities should be required to
report,31 and the frequency of reporting.32

B.

Uses of Form 477 and SBI Data

14.
Data collected through Form 477 and NTIA's SBI program play an essential role in the
Commission's work: we use these data to meet our statutory obligation to assess annually the state of
broadband availability,33 update our universal service policies and monitor whether our statutory universal

25 Id. at 9709, para. 35.
26 National Broadband Plan at 9, 29.
27 Id. at 43. Recommendation 4.2 states: "[The Commission] should collect broadband availability data at the
census block level, by provider, technology and offered speed. Availability for mobile service should be defined in
terms of coverage specifications to be determined by the FCC and include information on spectrum used by
facilities-based providers. In addition, the FCC should collect broadband service providers' ownership and
affiliation data and clarify and refine all reporting standards to ensure data consistency and comparability." Id.
(emphasis in original).
28 Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program; Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate
Reasonable and Timely Deployment of Advanced Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless Broadband
Subscribership Data, and Development of Data on Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Subscribership;
Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, Infrastructure and Operating Data Gathering; Review of Wireline Competition
Bureau Data Practices
, WC Docket Nos. 11-10, 07-38, 08-190, 10-132, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd
1508 (2011) (Notice). Today's Order addresses issues that were first raised in WC Docket Nos. 07-38, 08-190, and
10-123 that relate to the Commission's data programs. Given the changes that the industry has experienced since
the 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, the increased focus on broadband issues by the
Commission and Congress, and the administrative efficiencies that will result from consolidating these issues in a
single docket, the Commission incorporated the comments and ex parte presentations of WC Docket Nos. 07-38,
08-190, and 10-123 into new docket WC Docket No. 11-10. See id. at 1513, para. 10 n.34.
29 Id. at 152642, paras. 47104. This Order addresses the collection of deployment data, subscription data, and
company identification and contact information. We do not address the collection of price data or service quality
and customer satisfaction data at this time, and those issues remain open for consideration.
30 Id. at 152425, paras. 4142.
31 Id. at 152526, paras. 4345.
32 Id. at 152627, para. 46.
33 See id. at 152123, paras. 3234. A number of commenters support our conclusion that broadband deployment
data are essential to meet our statutory obligation to assess annually the state of broadband availability. See, e.g.,
(continued....)
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service goals are being achieved,34 and meet our public safety obligations.35 We also make the data
available to states, researchers, and the public to inform their own activities and decisions regarding voice
and broadband networks and services.36
15.
Many of these obligations flow directly from statute. Significantly, the Broadband Data
Improvement Act (or BDIA, which built on section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) requires
that the Commission conduct an annual inquiry concerning the "availability of advanced
telecommunications capability to all Americans."37 As part of this inquiry, the Commission must
(Continued from previous page)
AT&T Comments at 12 (agreeing that the Commission has a legitimate need to understand the dynamics of
broadband availability); Letter from Gene I. Kimmelman, Chief Counsel for Competition Policy and
Intergovernmental Relations, et al., U.S. Department of Justice, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket
Nos. 11-10, 07-38, 08-190, 10-132, at 1 (filed June 3, 2011) (DOJ June 3, 2011 Ex Parte Letter) (explaining that
deployment data enables comparisons of rural versus urban deployment and state-by-state deployment); CWA
Comments at 5 (commenting that deployment data enables the Commission to identify gaps in, and barriers to,
broadband adoption). Unless otherwise noted, all comments referenced in this Order were filed in response to the
Notice in WC Docket No. 11-10.
34 See Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 151718, paras. 2425. Commenters have stated that the Commission must collect
data, including deployment data, to fulfill its statutory obligations under section 254 and to modernize the Universal
Service Fund to focus on broadband. See, e.g., AT&T Comments at 10, 1214 (arguing that the Commission could
benefit from having more complete data on the deployment of, and subscribership to, voice services and may have a
legitimate need to understand the dynamics of broadband subscribership below the census tract in order to more
precisely target its broadband policymaking activities, such as reforming the universal service program to support
broadband); CWA Comments at 2, 5, 8 (stating that without access to reputable data, sufficiently granular and
collected over time, the Commission is hamstrung in its efforts to fulfill its statutory obligations regarding universal
service; also stating that tracking the availability of broadband networks is necessary for the Commission to target
universal service funds to unserved areas in order to meet its statutory obligations to ensure that "quality services"
be "available at just, reasonable and affordable rates" and to implement the goals of the National Broadband Plan as
it transitions the Universal Service Fund to the nascent Connect America Fund; arguing that such data will help
policymakers and other interested parties analyze the reasons for gaps in broadband adoption; and asserting that
service quality data are essential to assess compliance with statutory mandates to provide affordable quality service
to all Americans); Free Press Comments at 9 (stating that the Commission collects infrastructure information from
the phone and cable industries and that such data are an indispensable component to responsible USF administration
and oversight); California PUC Comments at 2 (stating that its proposed changes to the 477 program will enhance
the ability of the Commission to meet its goals of ensuring universal service at just, reasonable and affordable
prices, meeting public safety requirements, promoting broadband deployment and adoption, promoting competition
and protecting consumers); see also Verizon July 12, 2010 Comments, WC Docket No. 10-90, at 67 (stating that
the Commission must have reliable data to identify areas that are truly unserved by broadband to implement USF
reform); NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Sept. 2, 2008 Reply, WC Docket 07-38, at 19, 26; CWA July 17, 2008
Comments, WC Docket 07-38, at 3.
35 See Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 151819, paras. 2627; see also CWA Comments at 2 (asserting that without access to
reputable data, sufficiently granular and collected over time, the Commission is hamstrung in its efforts to protect
consumers and fulfill its statutory obligations, including those regarding public safety); MDTC Comments at 2, 8;
NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Reply at 4 (concurring with CWA's assertion).
36 See infra subpart III.E.
37 47 U.S.C. 1302(b). The BDIA defines advanced telecommunications capability as "high-speed, switched,
broadband telecommunications capability that enables end users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data,
graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology." 47 U.S.C. 1302(d)(1). In the Broadband Progress
Reports released to meet this reporting obligation, the Commission has used the term "advanced telecommunications
capability" synonymously with "broadband." See, e.g., Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced
Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to
Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the
Broadband Data Improvement Act
, GN Docket No. 11-121, Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd 10342,
10344, para. 1, n.2 (2012) (2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report); Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of
(continued....)
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"determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a
reasonable and timely fashion."38 If the Commission's conclusion is negative, it must "take immediate
action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and
by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."39 The Commission has observed that the
data collected on Form 477 to date have been imperfect for the purpose of assessing broadband
deployment and availability.40 Prior to the 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, the Commission
used Form 477 broadband subscription data41 as a proxy for fixed broadband deployment.42 Subscription
data are a highly imperfect proxy for network deployment.43 Deployment may be understated if no
household in an area has chosen to subscribe to a service offering provided by a network, for example,
and capability may be understated if no household has subscribed to the highest speed offering.44
Because of the limitations of Form 477 subscription data, in the 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report,
the Commission relied solely on NTIA's SBI deployment data to assess broadband deployment.45 The
(Continued from previous page)
Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible
Steps to Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended
by the Broadband Data Improvement Act
, GN Docket No. 10-159, Seventh Broadband Progress Report and Order
on Reconsideration, 26 FCC Rcd 8008, 8009, para. 1, n.2 (2011) (2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report).
38 47 U.S.C. 1302(b).
39 Id.
40 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1522, para. 33; see also 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10364
65, 10386, paras. 30 & 94; 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 802427, 808690, paras. 28
34 & App. F, paras. 2234.
41 See Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a
Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act; A National Broadband
Plan for Our Future
, GN Docket Nos. 09-137, 09-51, Sixth Broadband Deployment Report, 25 FCC Rcd 9556,
956870, paras. 1922 (2010) (Sixth Broadband Deployment Report) (relying on Form 477 subscription data to
estimate broadband deployment and also to provide subscriptions rates); 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report,
26 FCC Rcd at 802426, 803739, paras. 2831, 5861. In the 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, the
Commission relied primarily on the first round of SBI data collected by NTIA to determine broadband deployment
levels for the report's finding, but also presented an estimate of broadband deployment based on Form 477
subscription data to maintain consistency with past reports. 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd
at 8022, paras. 2122. The Commission also relied on the Form 477 subscription data to estimate fixed adoption,
but recognized the limitations of this approach. See id. at 8027, 803738, paras. 34 n.133, 58; see also id. at 8027,
para. 34 n.133 ("Form 477 subscription data, as currently collected, are also an imperfect measure of
adoption . . . .").
42 The Commission must use a "de minimis threshold" to estimate deployment with subscription data and has in the
past used a "1 percent de minimis threshold," under which it found broadband not to be deployed in a county if
fewer than one percent of the households in that area subscribe to a broadband service meeting 4 Mbps/1 Mbps
speed benchmark. See Sixth Broadband Deployment Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 956970, para. 21; 2011 Seventh
Broadband Progress Report
, 26 FCC Rcd at 8026, para. 31 (showing that Form 477 analysis based on counties and
a 1 percent "de minimis threshold" results in an estimate of 12.2 million unserved Americans, but an analysis based
on census tracts and a 5 percent de minimis threshold results in an estimate of 51.0 million unserved Americans).
43 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 8027, 808690, para. 34 & App. F, paras. 2234; see
also
JSI Comments at 6 ("Subscribership of broadband service has never been a good proxy for deployment.").
44 See 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 8087, App. F, para. 25 ("Subscribership data may
also underestimate the deployment of broadband networks that can operate at higher speeds because broadband
networks may be capable of higher speeds than are offered commercially.").
45 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 1035960, 1036365, paras. 17, 28, 30; see also, e.g.,
JSI Comments at 5 (arguing that it is important to track actual deployment of facilities, because without such data
the Commission risks making policy decisions based upon erroneous information).
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Commission also calculated, for the first time, fixed broadband adoption rates using both Form 477
subscription data and SBI deployment data.46
16.
Deployment and subscription data are also needed to fulfill our universal service
mandate. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended,47 requires the Commission to base its universal
service policies on a number of principles, including that "[c]onsumers in all regions of the Nation,
including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular, and high cost areas, should have access to
telecommunications and information services . . . that are reasonably comparable to those services
provided in urban areas."48 The Commission currently relies on SBI data for a number of universal
service policies.49 For example, the Commission has relied on the SBI data to determine areas eligible for
support in Connect America Phase I,50 and has stated that it will rely on SBI data for determining areas
eligible for support in Connect America Phase II.51 In addition, the Commission has sought comment on
using SBI data to determine areas eligible for the Remote Areas Fund.52 Over time, the Commission's
reliance on the SBI data to support its universal service policies will transition to reliance on data
collected on Form 477. Thus, the data collected on Form 477 are critical to measuring whether we are
meeting our universal service mandate.
17.
Accurate, detailed data about deployment and subscription also help further the
Commission's public safety goals. In disaster situations, for example, we use these data to identify
service providers likely to be affected and alternative sources of critical communications. The collection
of deployment and subscription data help the Commission monitor the performance of both legacy

46 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10386, paras. 9496; id. at para. 95 (stating that "we
combine the Form 477 Data reported at the census tract level with SBI Data aggregated up to the census tract level, and
calculate an adoption rate: the ratio of residential connections to fixed broadband at a specified level of service quality
(i.e., speed) (Form 477 Data) divided by the total number of households in the area with access to advertised broadband
services of that service quality (SBI Data)").
47 Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq. (2006).
48 47 U.S.C. 254(b)(3).
49 See, e.g., Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establishing Just and Reasonable
Rates for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing a Unified Intercarrier
Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Lifeline and Link-Up; Universal Service
Reform--Mobility Fund
; WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45,
GN Docket No. 09-51, WT Docket No. 10-208, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17681, paras. 5152 (measuring the performance goal of ensuring universal availability of
modern networks capable of delivering broadband and voice service to homes, businesses, and community anchor
institutions by relying on National Broadband Map data and/or FCC Form 477), 17701, para. 103 n.168 (using
National Broadband Map data as a proxy for identifying areas where an unsubsidized competitor offers broadband),
17720, para. 146 (using National Broadband Map data to identify unserved areas for purposes of Connect America
Phase I incremental support) (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order and FNPRM); pets. for review pending sub
nom.
In re: FCC 11-161, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 8, 2011); see also Connect America Fund et al., WC
Docket No. 10-90 et al., Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 14566, 1456978, paras. 1048
(seeking comment on using the National Broadband Map for a challenge process to identify areas eligible for an
additional round of Connect America Phase I incremental support); Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Further
Comment On Issues Regarding The Design Of The Remote Areas Fund
, WC Docket No. 10-90, Public Notice, 28
FCC Rcd 265 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013) (seeking comment on using the National Broadband Map to identify
areas eligible for the Remote Areas Fund) (Remote Areas Fund Public Notice).
50 Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order, FCC 13-73, para. 19 (rel. May 22,
2013).
51 Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, DA 13-1113, para. 5 (Wireline Comp. Bur. rel.
May 16, 2013).
52 Remote Areas Fund Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd at 267, paras. 57.
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circuit-switched networks and broadband networks, to ensure that consumers can access emergency
services as service providers transition from one technology to the other.53
18.
Moreover, in addition to the Commission's use of the data, there have been tremendous
public interest benefits to other federal and state agencies and the general public from the FCC's and
NTIA's data collections. Use of the National Broadband Map application, and access to the data via
download or Application Programming Interfaces, has been extensive. The Federal Geographic Data
Committee highlighted the success and use of the data in its annual report.54 The Homeland Infrastructure
Foundation Level Working Group has consistently used the broadband deployment data as part of its
17-sector critical infrastructure data asset,55 and the National States Geographic Information Council have
an active working group set up to address the National Broadband Map.56 Researchers have used these
data to address a range of technical and social issues on the communications landscape.57 Finally,
consumers and policy makers alike are more informed about deployment with the open access to data that
the National Broadband Map provides, as a recent case study by the Wilson Center made clear.58
19.
We provide state public utility commissions with access to disaggregated Form 477
subscribership data, provided the commissions have appropriate confidentiality protections in place.59
Additionally, pursuant to section 106(h)(1) of the Broadband Data Improvement Act, the Commission
provides State Broadband Data and Development grant recipients ("eligible entities" under the BDIA)
with access to "aggregate" Form 477 subscribership data to support the activities that are funded through
the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program.60 The data are available to help eligible
entities identify and track areas in each state that have low levels of broadband service deployment, and
identify barriers to adoption of broadband service by individuals and businesses.61

III.

DISCUSSION

20.
The Commission is committed to meeting its obligations through decisions that are
supported by current, reliable data. In the Notice, the Commission sought comment on a number of
proposals to improve and streamline the Form 477 collection process. As discussed below, we conclude
that we should revise our Form 477 collection to include data on deployment of fixed and mobile

53 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 151819, para. 26.
54 See Federal Geographic Data Committee, 2011 Annual Report, http://www.fgdc.gov/library/whitepapers-
reports/annual%20reports/2011/2011-AR-lowres.pdf.
55 See Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data (HIFLD) Working Group, https://www.hifldwg.org/.
56 See National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), Broadband Mapping Work Group,
http://www.nsgic.org/broadband-work-group.
57 See TechNet, The National Broadband Map: Early Results from Social Science Research,
http://www.technet.org/the-national-broadband-map-early-results-from-social-science-research/.
58 Bastian, Zachary and Byrne, Michael, Wilson Center, The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open
Innovation for National Policy, available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/109998799/The-National-Broadband-Map-
A-Case-Study-on-Open-Innovation-for-National-Policy.
59 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 776162, paras. 9596.
60 47 U.S.C. 1304(h)(1). Section 106(i)(2) of the BDIA defines "eligible entity" as: (A) an entity that is either
(i) an agency or instrumentality of a State, or a municipality or other subdivision (or agency or instrumentality of a
municipality or other subdivision) of a State; (ii) a nonprofit organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code; or (iii) an
independent agency or commission in which an office of a State is a member on behalf of the State; and (B) is the
single eligible entity in the State that has been designated by the State to receive a grant under this section.
47 U.S.C. 1304(i)(2).
61 47 U.S.C. 106(e)(2), (3).
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broadband networks and mobile voice networks, as well as company identification and emergency contact
information. We will not require providers to submit broadband deployment data in predetermined speed
tiers, and we eliminate the use of speed tiers for broadband subscription data. Instead, we require
providers of broadband services simply to provide advertised speeds: the maximum advertised speed for
fixed broadband and the minimum advertised speed for mobile broadband. Streamlining the collection in
this manner will give the Commission greater flexibility to group and analyze broadband speed data in
useful ways.62
21.
Shortly after release of this Order, the Wireline Competition Bureau will release a data
specification that reflects the changes necessary to implement this Order. As they have with every
previous revision of Form 477, Wireline Competition Bureau staff will work with providers to ensure that
the providers have the tools they need to complete and file the form in the least burdensome manner
possible. We delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, to implement any technical improvements or other clarifications to the
filing mechanism and forms that will make compliance easier for filers.

A.

Deployment Data

22.
The Notice sought comment on whether voice and broadband deployment data are
necessary to fulfill a number of the Commission's statutory and policy goals.63 Based on the record
before us, we conclude that it is in the public interest for the Commission to collect data on deployment of
fixed and mobile broadband networks and mobile voice networks. As noted above, many commenters
agree that we should collect deployment data in order to help meet statutory obligations.64
23.
We continue the important collection of deployment data initiated by NTIA's SBI
program and make modest but important adjustments to that collection.65 We will collect data on where
people have access to broadband service (what locations have services available), as well as the nature of
the broadband services offered in those areas (for example, the speed and technology of the offering). As
noted above, most providers have already been submitting deployment data through NTIA's SBI data
collection process, but such collection will end next year. The changes we adopt to the SBI collection are
designed to reduce filing burdens and increase reliability of the data. For example, the collection will
occur in a single, unified process rather than on a state-by-state basis. A single, nationwide filing (that
includes both deployment and subscription data) will help eliminate potential variations among states, and
reduce to one the number of entities with which a multistate provider must coordinate for its filing. In
addition, the elimination of speed tiers will reduce burdens associated with categorizing data into those
tiers. The data will also be more reliable because all providers must file, and must certify to the accuracy
upon filing. In short, and as we describe more fully below, the collection is carefully tailored to provide
the Commission the data it needs to fulfill its mission, while taking steps to minimize the burden on filers.
As a result, we expect that communications providers' overall reporting burden will decrease even though
the Commission will be collecting more data.
1.

Collection of Broadband Deployment Data

24.
Our collection of deployment data will differ in some ways from NTIA's SBI data
collection in order to ensure that these data will support our efforts to fulfill statutory directives and

62 We do not make any changes to the categories of providers that are required to file Form 477. See Notice, 26 FCC
Rcd at 152526, paras. 4345.
63 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1527, para. 49.
64 See supra para. 14 & notes 3335.
65 NTIA's collection of SBI deployment data will end October 1, 2014, when providers submit data as of June 30,
2014.
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policy goals.66 We make several modest but important improvements to enhance the reliability and
usefulness of the data. First, under the SBI collection, providers submit data to the states, so there may be
as many as 56 different methodologies for collecting SBI data.67 The Form 477 collection will be a
single, uniform filing for all providers, which will reduce potential for distortion or misleading
comparisons of the data. A national system should also reduce the burden on multistate filers, who today
must often file their deployment data in different ways with different entities. Second, submission of data
for NTIA's SBI program is voluntary;68 the Form 477 filing is mandatory and requires filers to certify that
the data are accurate, which will promote complete and accurate data.69 Third, the SBI does not routinely
separate residential from business data. The Form 477 deployment collection will require filers to
distinguish, where appropriate, between residential and nonresidential deployment. This will help the
Commission to better estimate the level of competition in a market and the number of providers that
compete for a particular class of customers.70 Fourth, the SBI program collects data by speed tiers that
differ from the speed tiers the Commission uses to collect subscription data.71 We eliminate the use of
speed tiers for both deployment and subscription data, thus ensuring that speed data are reported
consistently across the collection. Fifth, the Form 477 collection will include information on the type of
network technology deployed and spectrum bands used for mobile broadband deployment, which will
refine our analysis of broadband deployment and spectrum utilization.72 Finally, Form 477 will not
collect existing portions of NTIA's SBI data collection that are not essential to the production of the
National Broadband Map, including subscriber-weighted average speeds by county.
25.
Some commenters argue that the Commission need not collect broadband deployment
data at this time because broadband deployment and availability information is available through NTIA's
SBI data collection, which is made available through the National Broadband Map.73 As noted above,

66 The Government Accountability Office has recognized that the data set produced under the SBI program might
not allow the Commission to perform the analyses required and that this could undercut our policy goals. See
United States Government Accountability Office, Telecommunications: Current Broadband Measures Have
Limitations, and New Measures Are Promising but Need Improvement
, GAO 10-49, at 56 (Oct. 2009) (October
2009 GAO Report
), available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1049.pdf.
67 Id. at 56.
68 Department of Commerce, NTIA, State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, Docket No. 0660-
ZA29, Notice of Funds Availability, 74 Fed. Reg. 32545, 32556 (July 8, 2009), available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/fr_broadbandmappingnofa_090708.pdf (NTIA State Mapping NOFA)
(indicating that furnishing the SBI Data is voluntary); 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at
8079-80, App. F, para. 5.
69 See October 2009 GAO Report at 56; 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 8079, 8082,
App. F, paras. 5, 10. The Commission found that there was incomplete data for some broadband providers for
certain areas in which other sources indicate they provide services. See 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report,
26 FCC Rcd at 8082, App. F, para. 11. Additionally, the Commission found that some awardees did not submit data
on the speed of broadband service for all of their service areas. See id. at 808283, App. F, para. 12.
70 See 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 8083, App. F, para. 15. We recognize that in many
cases, providers do not distinguish between deployment for residential versus nonresidential purposes, which is why
we limit this aspect of the collection to distinguishing between those deployments where appropriate.
71 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1532, para. 60.
72 Because mobile service providers use these spectrum and technology data for network design and in their ordinary
course of business, adding these attributes to the collection will impose little additional burden. See infra paras. 42
43.
73 See AT&T Comments at 13; California PUC Comments at 6; CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 14; CWA
Comments at 2, 45; NCTA Comments at 9; T-Mobile Comments at 6; USTelecom Comments at 89; Verizon
Comments at 9-10; NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Reply at 10 (all arguing that the Commission should collect
(continued....)
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NTIA's SBI collection of deployment data is scheduled to expire in 2014; given the critical role such data
play in meeting the goals of Congress and the Commission, it is our responsibility to ensure that no gap
exists in the collection of these data.74 We are, however, designing the transition such that it will likely
include one overlapping collection: we anticipate that our first collection of deployment data on
Form 477 will take place in September 2014, for data as of June 30, 2014. An overlapping collection
helps us ensure that our own collection systems are functioning properly by allowing us to cross-check
our results against NTIA's.75 More than one overlap would provide us greater assurance, but would also
increase the burden on filers, which we are striving to minimize. In any event, the Commission is likely
to rely heavily on SBI data collected in the overlap collection, as the SBI collection is more settled and
providers may still be adjusting to the revisions to Form 477.
26.
We disagree with commenters who argue that the BDIA, which revised section 706,
specifies that the collection of broadband deployment data needed to meet the requirements of section 706
should be accomplished through periodic surveys and reliance on Census Bureau data.76 While the BDIA
makes mention of these tools, section 706 does not identify these tools as the sole source of data for
meeting our statutory responsibilities.77 Nor does section 706 preclude the Commission from seeking
broadband data from service providers.78 Furthermore, whereas the section 706(a) inquiry involves
broadband deployment and availability, the consumer survey is focused on "the national characteristics of
the use of broadband service capability,"79 and the Census data focus exclusively on subscribership.80
Thus the consumer survey and Census Bureau data alone are insufficient to complete the section 706(a)
inquiry. Finally, the deployment data that will be reported on Form 477 are not used by the Commission
solely to fulfill its duties under section 706. As explained above, we use these data to meet other statutory
obligations as well.81 We have evaluated existing data sources, and we believe that the changes to the
(Continued from previous page)
broadband deployment information beginning in 2015, or at such time as NTIA's broadband mapping program
ends).
74 See Letter from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, United States
Department of Commerce, to Mignon L. Clyburn, Acting Chairwoman, FCC, WC Docket No. 11-10, at 1 (filed
June 5, 2013). NTIA has offered guidance to the Commission as it assumes responsibility for the collection of the
broadband deployment data that populates the National Broadband Map. Id.
75 NTIA's final SBI data collection will include data as of June 30, 2014. It will take some time to implement the
revised Form 477. After the adoption of this Order, Commission staff will finalize the form, develop the
information technology necessary for any collection, and obtain approval for the collection from the Office of
Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and provide training opportunities and educational
tools to providers before requiring them to submit data on the revised form.
76 See, e.g., CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 56; CTIA Comments at 3 (arguing that the BDIA calls for certain
data to be collected through consumer surveys). Specifically, CenturyLink and Qwest assert that the Commission
should not adopt new or enhanced data collections for service providers without first demonstrating that the data it
seeks is necessary in order for it to fulfill its nondiscretionary, statutory duties and that it has exhausted all other
available and less burdensome alternatives. See CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 7.
77 See 47 U.S.C. 1302. CenturyLink and Qwest acknowledge this. CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 67.
78 Indeed, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated that it "readily accepts that
certain assertions of Commission authority could be `reasonably ancillary' to the Commission's statutory
responsibility to issue a report to Congress. For example, the Commission might impose disclosure requirements on
regulated entities in order to gather data needed for such a report." Comcast Corp. v. FCC, 600 F.3d 642, 659 (D.C.
Cir. 2010).
79 47 USC 1303(c)(1).
80 47 USC 1303(d).
81 See supra paras. 14, 1617.
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Form 477 data collection that we adopt today represent the least burdensome means of obtaining the data
the Commission needs to fulfill its statutory duties.
27.
We also disagree with commenters who assert that data already collected on Form 477, in
conjunction with data available from Mosaik82 and other sources, including providers' websites, are
sufficient to inform the Commission about the expansion of broadband networks.83 While we do use
commercial data routinely, we do not agree, in this case, that reliance on third-party deployment data will
meet our needs.84 Among the problems the Commission faces in using commercial data are restrictions
on reuse and publication of the data on which the Commission would rely. In addition, the Commission
found in the 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report that while Mosaik data provide a useful tool for
measuring developments in mobile broadband deployment, they may overstate the extent of mobile
broadband coverage.85 Furthermore, because Mosaik reports advertised coverage as reported to it by
mobile wireless providers, each of which may use a different standard for determining coverage, the
Mosaik data are not consistent across geographic areas and service providers.86 Finally, tracking down
deployment information on providers' websites would not provide consistent data for analysis, would be
time consuming, and might not be comprehensive.87 The information on providers' websites is not
certified and is generally not available in a format consistent enough to provide the level of geographic
granularity the Commission requires.
28.
We find that it is necessary for the Commission to collect nationally standardized
deployment data from all providers of broadband and mobile voice services to meet our obligations to
assess the state of broadband availability, update our universal service policies and monitor whether our
statutory universal service goals are being achieved, and meet our public safety obligations.88 Satellite
broadband providers urge the Commission to exempt them from any required reporting of deployment
information on Form 477, arguing that it would be redundant because the extent of a satellite broadband

82 Mosaik Solutions (formerly American Roamer) is an independent consulting firm.
83 See, e.g., CTIA Comments at 9; USTelecom Comments at 13 (recommending that the Commission rely on,
among other things, the Centris online database, a national database that includes information on broadband
services, and is updated quarterly with historical information back to 2004).
84 See California PUC Comments at 3, 6 (arguing that the Commission should require wireline and wireless
providers to report information directly); NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Reply at 10 (arguing that the Commission
should not rely on existing third-party or publicly available data, or data from NTIA because "it is not an acceptable
or sufficient substitute for the FCC's specific and direct collection of data from the multi-billion dollar industry that
it regulates and that continues to undergo substantial market concentration").
85 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 1036768, paras. 3940. The Commission had similar
concerns regarding the SBI data estimates of mobile broadband deployment. Specifically, the Commission had
concerns that providers are reporting services as meeting the broadband speed benchmark when they likely do not.
See id. at 1036667, paras. 3538. However, as explained above, we are making modifications to that collection to
make the data more useful. See supra para. 24.
86 See 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 1036768, para. 40; Implementation of Section
6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market
Conditions With Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile Services
, WT Docket No. 11-186,
Sixteenth Report, 28 FCC Rcd 3700, 3704, para. 2, n.5 (Sixteenth CMRS Competition Report).
87 Such searches would require Commission staff to be aware of all applicable websites, and assumes that each
provider has a website containing the relevant data. See NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Reply at 3 ("The FCC, a
government agency with limited resources, should not be compelled to go chasing after information on providers'
web sites, private analysts' reports, and elsewhere.").
88 See, e.g., CWA Comments at 3 ("The FCC should not rely on individual states to collect this data which would
result in patchwork information with different sets of standards and gaps between types of data from one state to the
next."); DC PSC Reply at 4; Pa. PUC Comments at 2.
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provider's coverage area is already a matter of record as part of a satellite application or letter of intent.89
Although the Commission requires space station applicants to provide predicted antenna gain contour(s)
for each satellite transmit and receive beam,90 the antenna gain contour is part of the general description
of the satellite's capabilities and is not the same as deployment information.91 Without a comprehensive,
uniform dataset with which to evaluate the state of broadband deployment by all providers, the
Commission's analyses will be incomplete.92 This is particularly important given the difference in speed
and capacity offered by different generations of satellites and their different service areas. Accordingly,
we will require satellite broadband providers, in addition to all providers of broadband and mobile voice
services, to submit deployment data on Form 477.93
29.
We continue our current practice of requiring all providers to submit relevant data.
While we recognize that submitting any information imposes burdens, which may be most keenly felt by
small providers,94 we conclude that the benefits of having comprehensive data substantially outweigh the
burdens. One of the primary objectives of Form 477 is to inform the Commission's efforts to encourage
broadband deployment on a reasonable and timely basis to all Americans. We would miss important data
relevant to this objective if we were to exempt small providers, which are likely to serve rural or insular
areas of the United States, where barriers to deployment are typically the highest.95 Additionally,

89 See Hughes Comments at 34; ViaSat Comments at 3 (arguing that these data provide an excellent indicator of
where a broadband satellite can provide service once it is operational, and therefore the Commission should allow
satellite broadband providers to incorporate into their Form 477 submissions data already on file in connection with
their underlying satellite authorizations); Satellite Industry Association Nov. 14, 2008 Comments, WC Docket No.
08-190, at 3 (asserting that the Commission should not require satellite broadband providers to produce
infrastructure data). Satellite operators must provide the Commission with detailed technical information about their
coverage areas, including beam plans, GXT files, and other Schedule "S" data, as part of their satellite license
applications. 47 C.F.R. 25.114(d)(3).
90 47 C.F.R. 25.114(d)(3).
91 While useful for licensing purposes, the antenna gain contour does not indicate whether the geography of a
particular location precludes use of the satellite for consumer broadband. For example, it would not indicate
whether an individual consumer's home had a clear line of sight to the satellite or if, in contrast, geographic features
or tall buildings obstruct line of sight to the satellite. Further, the antenna gain contour does not provide information
regarding whether the beam is devoted wholly to individual consumer broadband or whether it is used for some
combination of services by the satellite operator.
92 See 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10368, para. 41 (excluding satellite broadband from
the Commission's deployment finding because "[a]lthough the uniformity of satellite reporting has improved in the
SBI Data over the past year, as of June 30, 2011, there was not a commercially available satellite offering that could
provide a 4 Mbps/1 Mbps broadband service to consumers"); 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC
Rcd at 8023, para. 26 n.112 (excluding satellite due to incomplete SBI Data and evidence that these services were
offered below 4 Mbps/1 Mbps); see also Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications
Capability of All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such
Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data
Improvement Act
, GN Docket No. 12-228, Ninth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry, 27 FCC Rcd 10523, 10537,
para. 36 (2012) (seeking comment on how the Commission can best estimate satellite deployment).
93 For purposes of Form 477, satellite voice and broadband providers are treated as fixed voice and broadband
providers.
94 See, e.g., OPASTCO, NTCA & WTA Joint Comments at 4 (arguing that "detailed new reporting requirements
could provide difficult for small providers that manually maintain physical plant records, instead of using
sophisticated computerized systems"); TSTC Comments at 2, 10 (arguing that if the Commission does decide to
require significant changes to its current data collection requirements that will cause undue hardship upon small
companies, rural LECs should be exempt from those requirements or allowed some alternative to the type of data
collected).
95 See AT&T Comments at 4849.
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obtaining this information from small and rural providers helps ensure that Connect America Fund
support is indeed increasing broadband deployment and will help the Commission keep its universal
service policies appropriately tailored over time.96 At the same time, we are cognizant of the burdens of
data collections. We therefore have taken steps to minimize burdens, including by making our
deployment collection consistent, to a large extent, with NTIA's SBI data collection. For all of these
reasons, we conclude that the benefits of collecting deployment data outweigh the burdens on small
providers that may be associated with collection of these data.
30.
State Expertise in Broadband Deployment Collection. As described above, our collection
of broadband deployment data will be similar--although not identical--to NTIA's current SBI program
collection of broadband deployment data. The filing mechanisms for the two collections, however, will
differ significantly. Notably, in NTIA's SBI data collection, providers file their data with state entities,
rather than directly with the federal government.97
31.
While we believe that filing deployment data with a single agency, rather than with as
many as 56 separate entities, should make the mechanics of submitting deployment data less burdensome
for filers, we also recognize that as a result of the SBI collection, the states have gained valuable
experience with the collection of broadband deployment data. Indeed, many states have created new
offices or agencies focused on broadband deployment issues, or tasked existing offices with such duties,
and they potentially continue to play an important role in broadband issues. We encourage providers to
continue to work with states on broadband issues. In addition, while the states will no longer participate
directly in the collection and collation of broadband deployment data, there may be another role the states
might play, such that the Commission, other government agencies, industry, and consumers continue to
benefit from their expertise. We therefore direct the Wireline Competition Bureau to explore ways in
which we might use the states' expertise to strengthen our own collection of broadband deployment data.
a.

Fixed Broadband

32.
We require each facilities-based provider of fixed broadband service to provide a list of
all census blocks in which it makes broadband service available to end users.98 Facilities-based providers
of fixed broadband service will also be required to report the maximum speed offered in each census
block where they offer service, breaking out reporting for residential and nonresidential services where
appropriate, and by technology. We delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to determine
whether the categorization of fixed-location technologies in the current Form 477 is adequate for
collecting deployment information and to specify different categories if necessary.99

96 See USF/ICC Transformation Order and FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 1767983, paras. 4659 (adopting the
following performance goals for the Commission's efforts to preserve and advance service in high cost, rural, and
insular areas through the Connect America Fund and existing support mechanisms: (1) preserve and advance
universal availability of voice service; (2) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing
voice and broadband service to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions; (3) ensure universal
availability of modern networks capable of providing mobile voice and broadband service where Americans live,
work, and travel; (4) ensure that rates are reasonably comparable in all regions of the nation, for voice as well as
broadband services; and (5) minimize the universal service contribution burden on consumers and businesses).
97 NTIA State Mapping NOFA, 74 Fed. Reg. at 32552; 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at
8079, App. F, para. 5.
98 As noted above, for purposes of Form 477, satellite broadband service providers are considered to be providers of
fixed broadband service.
99 Currently, entities that report they have fixed broadband connections in service must place each connection into
one of nine mutually exclusive fixed-location technology categories: asymmetric xDSL, symmetric xDSL, other
wireline (i.e., all copper wire-based technologies other than DSL, and including Ethernet over copper), cable
modem, optical carrier (fiber to the end user, and including Ethernet over fiber), satellite, terrestrial fixed wireless,
electric power line, and all other (i.e., a placeholder category for newly evolving technologies).
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33.
Geographic Area. Based on the record, we conclude that we should continue the SBI's
practice of collecting fixed broadband deployment data by census block, but discontinue disparate
treatment of census blocks larger than two square miles. Several commenters agree that deployment data
should be collected at this geographic level.100 We disagree with commenters who assert that reporting by
census block is too burdensome.101 We find that reporting by census block will not be unduly
burdensome for the majority of fixed broadband service providers, as many of these providers already
voluntarily report deployment data by census block to NTIA's SBI program.102 Fixed broadband
providers have, since June 2010, submitted the characteristics of their broadband deployment by census
block to state mapping designees.
34.
We recognize that the Commission currently collects fixed broadband subscription data
by census tract, whereas we will collect fixed broadband deployment data by census block.103 Some

100 See AT&T Comments at 1113; Verizon Comments at 11; USTelecom Comments at 1213; CWA Comments at
2, 56; California PUC Comments at 4, 6, 78; ATIS Reply at 45 (all asserting that the FCC should collect
availability data by census block, but only close to the expiration of the broadband mapping program); JSI
Comments at 67 (recommending that deployment should be measured by census block, which provides sufficient
granularity to identify where facilities are located while still providing some security for the exact location of
facilities). Commenters in prior proceedings have advocated for more granular data for broadband services. See,
e.g.
, Consumers Union et al. Aug. 1, 2008 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 2 (asserting that the Commission needs
to collect detailed availability data by census block to help deployment and demand-stimulation efforts); GVNW
Comments at 5 (commenting that Form 477 should be consistent with the National Broadband Map and therefore
should be reported by census block unless over two miles); Letter from Ben Scott, Policy Director, Free Press, et al.
to Chairman Julius Genachowski, FCC, WC Docket Nos. 07-38 and 08-190, GN Docket Nos. 09-67 and 09-81, at 1
(filed Aug. 11, 2009) ("We recommend issuing a Report and Order requiring all providers to report their service
footprints by Census Block, broken down by technology type and speed tier."); Letter from Helen M. Mickiewicz,
Assistant General Counsel, California Public Utilities Commission, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
WC Docket No. 07-38, at 12 (filed Aug. 18, 2008). Commenters in prior proceedings have also suggested that
policymakers need more granular data about voice services, particularly to address competition issues. See, e.g.,
NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Sept. 2, 2008 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 15 ("[M]ore granular data with respect to
local exchange competition is required to assess fully the extent to which local competition is emerging and the
goals of the Act have been fulfilled."); People of the State of Illinois Sept. 2, 2008 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at
12 ("[G]ranular data must be collected on a federal level, and shared with the states, their designees, and with the
public if states are going to produce accurate and comprehensive mapping and analysis.").
101 See, e.g., Sprint Comments at 6 (asserting that reporting by census block is too burdensome); TSTC Comments at
89 (asserting that reporting broadband deployment by census block would create a hardship for small companies).
102 See GVNW Comments at 5; CWA Reply at 7 (explaining that collecting data by census block would place "no
additional burden . . . on carriers since census block granularity is already required by" another agency and that
collection of this information would also "harmonize data sets between the Commission and NTIA, allowing more
opportunities to cross-reference data between the two").
103 Census blocks are smaller than census tracts. There are approximately 11 million census blocks and
approximately 74,000 census tracts. See U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1, Technical
Documentation, at A-10 and A-12 (Sept. 2012), available at http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/sf1.pdf; U.S.
Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1 Urban/Rural Update (Sept. 2012). According to 2010 Census
documentation, census blocks "are statistical areas bounded by visible features, such as streets, roads, streams, and
railroad tracks, and by nonvisible boundaries, such as selected property lines and city, township, school district, and
county limits and short line-of-sight extensions of streets and roads. Census Tracts are small, relatively permanent
statistical subdivisions of a county or equivalent entity that are updated by local participants prior to each decennial
census as part of the Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program. The Census Bureau delineates census
tracts in situations where no local participant existed or where state, local, or tribal governments declined to
participate. The primary purpose of census tracts is to provide a stable set of geographic units for the presentation of
statistical data. Census tracts generally have a population size between 1,200 and 8,000 people, with an optimum
size of 4,000 people. A census tract usually covers a contiguous area; however, the spatial size of census tracts
(continued....)
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commenters assert that the Commission should collect both deployment and subscription data at the same
geographic area level.104 While we recognize that there may be benefits to collecting deployment and
subscription data at the same geographic level, we find that continuing with the SBI collection's level of
granularity for deployment data offers us opportunities for analysis at roughly the same or lesser burden
to filers that they experience now. Therefore, we find that, on balance, the benefits of retaining the census
block collection for deployment data, even while subscription data are collected at a more aggregated
level, outweigh the burdens and the disadvantages of an asymmetrical collection.105
35.
At this time, we decline to gather fixed broadband deployment data at a level more
granular than the census block because the added complexity and burden are unlikely at this time to
provide a significant insight into how many residences and businesses lack access to service.106 Although
some commenters advocate for address-level reporting,107 many providers do not maintain broadband
network deployment data on an address-by-address basis.108 Also, rural areas where networks are
deployed may not have "street" addresses assigned. We are not persuaded that the benefits of requiring
address-level data would outweigh the overall increase in the filing burden.109 We acknowledge that
(Continued from previous page)
varies widely depending on the density of settlement. Census tract boundaries are delineated with the intention of
being maintained over a long time so that statistical comparisons can be made from census to census."
104 See, e.g., Level 3 Reply at 3 (urging the Commission to adopt consistent geographic reporting formats for all
data); GVNW Comments at 5 (asserting that "any new data collection efforts by the FCC should be coordinated").
105 See, e.g., Free Press Comments at 3, 1011 (calling for collecting availability data by census block, and for no
changes at the present time to the subscription collection); JSI Comments at 67, 10 (recommending that the
Commission track deployment data by census block, and subscribership data by census tract); cf. AT&T Comments
at 1011 (urging the Commission to collect voice availability data by census block and to collect voice
subscribership data by census tract).
106 Collecting fixed broadband deployment data at a level less granular than the census block may provide confusing
and misleading information. For example, Maps 4 and 5 of the latest Internet Access Services Report show more
providers of fixed data services in some rural tracts than in more populated parts of the region. Internet Access
Services: Status as of June 30, 2012
, Report, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition
Bureau (May 2013), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-321076A1.pdf (May 2013
Internet Access Services Report
). Block-level data will permit us to explore this apparent anomaly in greater depth.
Collecting fixed broadband deployment data at this granular level will also enable more sophisticated competitive
analyses. See DOJ June 3, 2011 Ex Parte Letter at 2 (asserting that the Commission needs more precise data than is
now publicly available if it is to perform more sophisticated competitive analyses).
107 See Level 3 Reply at 3 (arguing that address level is less onerous than the current census tract); TSTC Comments
at 89 (asserting that it is less burdensome to report these data on an address-by-address basis than by census tract or
census block, particularly for those rural LECs that have street addresses assigned throughout their deployment
area); California PUC Comments at 11; APPA et al. July 17, 2008 Comments, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 3;
OPASTCO-RICA Nov. 24, 2008 PRA Comments, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 23 (requesting that the Commission
allow them to provide address-level data because that would reduce reporting burdens on small businesses serving
high-cost rural areas).
108 See TSTC Comments at 8; NCTA Comments at 9; American Cable Association July 17, 2008 Comments,
WC Docket No. 07-38, at 3.
109 OPASTCO et al. Comments at 5 (noting that when the address-level option was initially proposed, providers
were not required to submit data by census tract, and at that time did not maintain these data in their normal course
of business, but now that this requirement is in place, the benefits of address-level reporting option may not be as
pronounced today); AT&T Comments at 37 (asserting that address-level reporting would represent an enormous
incremental data production burden for service providers); ITTA Comments at 23 (asserting that collecting data at
the individual address level would significantly increase the burden of completing Form 477); Verizon Comments at
11 (stating that it would be inappropriate for the Commission to require data reporting at a level more granular than
that required by NTIA, generally the census block, unless a provider voluntarily determined that a more granular
level (such as address) would be less burdensome for it to provide); Time Warner Comments at 10 (asserting that
(continued....)
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NTIA's SBI program collects address- and/or street-segment data for fixed broadband service in
particular census blocks--those larger than two square miles.110 Not only do we not expand this
requirement to other census blocks, but we remove it for large blocks as well, thus reducing the burden on
filers that serve large blocks. While there are approximately 6.2 million populated census blocks, there
are approximately 118.1 million households, approximately 133.3 million housing units, and millions of
business locations in the United States.111 Thus, moving from census block to address-level reporting
could lead to a significantly higher burden.112 In addition, while there is a definitive source for the
location and size of census blocks (the U.S. Census Bureau), there is no similar source for the location of
all homes, making it substantially harder to map provider submissions and relate those to end-user
locations. Some commenters point out that accuracy may actually decrease when granularity increases to
the address level because all service providers do not necessarily record addresses in a standardized,
uniform manner.113 We conclude that requiring providers to report fixed broadband deployment data by
census block appropriately balances the burdens of reporting this information to the Commission with the
level of granularity required to carry out our statutory duties.
36.
Speed data. Instead of defining speed tiers for the reporting of fixed broadband
deployment data, as the SBI collection does, we will require filers to provide the maximum advertised
speed for each technology used to offer service in each census block.114 For consistency in our collection,
we adopt the same approach for subscription data, which will also reduce filing burdens by avoiding the
need to categorize the same service offering differently for deployment and subscription collections.115
37.
Relevant speeds and broadband technologies evolve over time.116 As a result, the
Commission has found it necessary in the past to revise the speed tiers it uses to collect data.117 Speed
tiers may be revised for a variety of reasons, including reflecting modern service offerings for purposes of
(Continued from previous page)
forcing broadband providers to report address-level data would require providers to undo their recent system
modifications and "start over again"); Windstream July 17, 2008 Comments, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 2 (asserting
that Windstream and other small providers would incur substantial costs if it had to report address-by-address
deployment data); Connected Nation July 17, 2008 Comments, WC Docket No. 07-38, at ii-iii; California PUC July
17, 2007 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 15, 18; Consumers Union, Consumers Federation of America, and Free
Press July 17, 2007 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 2, 1315.
110 For the 2010 Census, large-blocks represent about 2.3% of blocks (253,358/11,155,486) and about 3 percent of
the population (9,067,698/312,471,327) of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary
File 1 Urban/Rural Update (Sept. 2012).
111 See U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1, Technical Documentation, at A-10 and A-12 (Sept.
2012), available at http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/sf1.pdf; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary
File 1 Urban/Rural Update (Sept. 2012).
112 As computer and GIS technology evolve, however, such a collection might be less burdensome in the future.
113 See, e.g., NCTA Comments at 9 (asserting that census blocks are likely more accurate than address level
reporting); AT&T Comments at 3637; AT&T Reply at 8.
114 We believe that the relatively predictable nature of demand in a fixed network (that is, a known number of
customers per aggregation point) and the relative stability of the signal strength in a fixed network mean that the
maximum advertised speed is a reasonably reliable indicator of the speed of service that subscribers receive. Office
of Engineering and Technology & Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC, Measuring Broadband
America: A Report on Consumer Wireline Broadband Performance in the U.S.
16 (2011) (First Measuring
Broadband America Report
), available at http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/measuringbroadbandreport/Measuring_U.S._-
_Main_Report_Full.pdf.
115 See infra para. 62.
116 See 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10346, paras. 67.
117 See, e.g., 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, 23 FCC Rcd at 96999703, paras. 1922.
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assessing broadband availability in the Commission's broadband progress reports and reflecting Connect
America policies and requirements.118 But when broadband providers assign their services a specific
speed tier, any changes to those tiers are significantly delayed until the providers report, and the
Commission publishes, data sorted into the revised tiers. In addition, changes to the speed tiers limit the
Commission's (and others') ability to analyze data over time by potentially removing tiers that had been
used previously. We believe that requiring the submission of maximum advertised speed per census
block, rather than requiring filers to organize their deployment data into speed tiers before submitting it,
will increase the usefulness of the data by allowing the Commission to define speed tiers as needed for its
purposes, without requiring modifications to the form itself. It will also allow the Commission and others
to analyze speeds over time without regard to the categories of speed into which providers reported in
past years. Finally, we believe that not requiring providers to categorize their offerings into our tiers will
reduce their reporting burden.
38.
For fixed broadband deployment data, we also tailor our treatment of speed reporting to
reflect how services are offered to residential and nonresidential consumers. For residential broadband
deployment, as with the SBI collection, Form 477 will collect the fastest advertised speed providers offer
potential subscribers in each census block covered by their deployment. For nonresidential broadband
deployment, the form will collect the maximum contractual committed information rate offered on
nonresidential Internet access services. Form 477 will require filers to distinguish between residential and
nonresidential deployment where appropriate.119 Accordingly, to the extent that a provider does not make
the distinction in its filing between residential and nonresidential deployment, it will not distinguish
between advertised and contractually committed speeds.
39.
Advertised vs. Actual Speeds. The Commission currently collects data on advertised
speeds. The Commission sought comment on whether it should continue to collect data only on
advertised speeds, or whether, for example, providers should provide information about actual speeds by
geographic area, or speeds that extend beyond the access network (for example, end-to-end speeds that
reflect an end user's typical Internet performance).120 We conclude that it is not appropriate or feasible to
collect actual speed information from broadband providers via Form 477. Many commenters expressed

118 See, e.g., 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10360, para. 7 (stating that in the Sixth
Broadband Deployment Report
, the Commission updated its speed benchmark from 200 kbps in both directions to
4 Mbps/1 Mbps services); USF/ICC Transformation Order and FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 17697, paras. 9495
(adopting an initial minimum broadband speed benchmark for Connect America Fund recipients of 4 Mbps
downstream and 1 Mbps upstream other than for the Phase I Mobility Fund); id. at 17673, 17702, paras. 22, 105
(explaining that price cap carriers electing to receive additional support must provide broadband with actual speeds
of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream); id. at 17674, para. 27 (explaining that rate-of-return carriers
receiving legacy universal service support, or Connect America support to offset lost intercarrier compensation
revenues, must offer broadband service with actual speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream,
upon their customers' reasonable request); id. at 17700, 17703, paras. 101, 105 (requiring carriers in areas with no
terrestrial backhaul to offer broadband service speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream within
the supported area served by satellite middle-mile facilities); id. at 17703, para. 105 (requiring 3G speeds (200
kbps/50 kbps minimum at cell edge) or 4G speeds (768 kbps/200 kbps minimum at cell edge) to receive support
under the Mobility Fund Phase I).
119 In some instances, the same network facilities provide services to both residential and nonresidential services in
the same area; in such cases we would not expect providers to make a distinction between residential or
nonresidential deployment. In some places, however, providers may target only residential or nonresidential
subscribers, or they may have deployed facilities capable of delivering different services, including higher speeds, to
nonresidential subscribers than those facilities serving residences. For example, a provider might offer 1 Gbps
service on dedicated facilities to a single enterprise customer in a block, while providing the surrounding residential
neighborhood 10 Mbps service. In such cases, we expect providers to be able to differentiate between residential
and nonresidential deployment.
120 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1531, para. 59.
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concern because there is no way for providers to report actual speed information in a meaningful way.121
Commenters explain that the collection of these data is a highly complex, time consuming, and expensive
undertaking that requires the use of specialized equipment in the providers' networks and at their
customers' premises.122 As the Commission found in 2008, "the record of this proceeding does not
identify a methodology or practice that could be applied, consistently and by all types of broadband filers,
to measure the information transfer rates actually observed by end users."123 We continue to believe that
conclusion is correct.
40.
The Commission has undertaken a program to measure actual speeds directly for a
sample of end users of fixed broadband, and is considering a similar program for mobile broadband.124
These initiatives are more cost effective than using the Form 477 data collection for this information, and
have produced speed information useful to policymakers, consumers, and other stakeholders. In August
2011, the Commission released a report on actual broadband speeds, based on data submitted by
broadband providers and end-user volunteers.125 The report established for the first time that the majority
of residential wireline broadband consumers are receiving performance close to the level advertised by
their providers.126 It also identified providers that fell short of advertised speeds.127 On July 19, 2012, the
Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
released the Second Measuring Broadband America Report.128 The Second Measuring Broadband
America Report
found "striking across-the-board improvements on key metrics underlying user
performance."129 In particular, the Second Measuring Broadband America Report found that Internet
service provider (ISP) promises of performance are more accurate, providers are more consistent in their
ability to deliver advertised speeds, and consumers are subscribing to faster speed tiers and receiving
faster speeds.130 Further, the Commission is considering questions concerning the types of metrics for

121 AT&T Comments at 4041; CTIA Comments at 1214; GVNW Comments at 6; Hughes Comments at 4; ITTA
Comments at 4; Sprint Comments at 78; T-Mobile Comments at 1012; USTelecom Comments at 15; Level 3
Reply at 3; Verizon Comments at 1112.
122 AT&T Comments at 40; USTelecom Comments at 15; Level 3 Reply at 3; Verizon Comments at 1112; Verizon
Reply at 67.
123 2008 Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, 23 FCC Rcd at 970203, para. 22.
124 The Commission is engaged in an effort, in partnership with the industry and the public research community to
measure the actual speed and performance of broadband service. See First Measuring Broadband America Report;
FCC to Launch Mobile Broadband Services Testing and Measurement Program, CG Docket No. 09-158, Public
Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 10875 (2012) (proposing a program to develop information on mobile broadband service
performance in the United States utilizing the collaborative model underlying the success of the Commission's fixed
broadband program).
125 See First Measuring Broadband America Report. The Report was the culmination of a yearlong effort involving
the cooperation of ISPs representing 86% of all residential wireline broadband consumers in the United States to
measure broadband performance to the homes of a representative sampling of thousands of volunteers. More than
100 million individual tests were performed on each volunteer's broadband service.
126 See id. at 1516, Charts 13.
127 See id.
128 Office of Engineering and Technology & Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC, 2012 Measuring
Broadband America July Report: A Report on Consumer Wireline Broadband Performance in the U.S.
4 (2012)
(Second Measuring Broadband America Report), available at
http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/measuringbroadbandreport/2012/Measuring-Broadband-America.pdf.
129 Id. at 4.
130 Id. at 45.
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speed or other performance characteristics that could prove useful to consumers.131 We expect to
continue our efforts to improve the availability of information describing broadband performance in the
United States.132
41.
As an alternative to requiring the reporting of actual speeds, the Commission sought
comment in the Notice on whether it should collect data on contention ratios (the ratio of the potential
maximum demand to the actual bandwidth available) or some other measure of network congestion.133 In
response, Free Press asserts that contention ratios are a useful proxy for actual speeds because they reflect
the degree to which customers share capacity, and thus the level of oversubscription on a local network.134
However, several commenters dispute the usefulness of contention ratios, asserting that a contention ratio
"would mean nothing to the typical consumer and little, if anything, to most policymakers," and that
given the many variables that would go into determining a contention ratio, "the resulting data are
unlikely to be of any practical use or relevance."135 These commenters assert that a requirement to report
contention ratios would be complex and burdensome, as there is no single "contention ratio" applicable to
a given subscriber or network because broadband traffic traverses numerous segments in a network, each
of which has a different contention ratio.136 Although we believe that understanding network capacity
and congestion concerns is useful, we agree that it would be impractical to collect such data through Form
477. We agree with those commenters who argue that the burden of calculating contention ratios would,
at this time, outweigh any useful benefits that the Commission might glean from such information. We
thus decline to require providers to report contention ratios.
b.

Mobile Broadband

42.
As with fixed broadband, we continue NTIA's SBI collection of mobile broadband
coverage areas, with certain modifications to reduce burdens while improving the data to fulfill our
statutory purposes and policy goals.137 These modifications include additional technology codes,
separation of coverage areas by unique combinations of technology, spectrum and speed, and minimum,
rather than maximum, advertised speed. Specifically, for each mobile broadband network technology
(e.g., EV-DO, WCDMA, HSPA+, LTE, WiMAX) deployed in each frequency band (e.g., 700 MHz,
Cellular, AWS, PCS, BRS/EBS), facilities-based mobile broadband providers should submit polygons
representing the nationwide coverage area (including U.S. territories) of that technology. The data
associated with the coverage area should depict the coverage boundaries where, according to providers,
users should expect the minimum advertised upload and download data speeds associated with that

131 Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on "Need for Speed" Information for Consumers of
Broadband Services
, Public Notice, CG Docket No. 09-158, 26 FCC Rcd 5847 (2011).
132 FCC Announces Commencement of 2012 Measuring Broadband America Performance Study of Residential
Broadband Service in the United States
, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 1680 (2012) ("A key part of the FCC's
Consumer Empowerment Agenda will be expanding the Measuring Broadband project this year, including publishing
two reports in 2012, and expanding the study to include more technologies, extending the study into new regions of
the country, and planning to publish more kinds of data.").
133 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1531, para. 59.
134 See Free Press Comments at 56.
135 See Verizon Comments at 13; NCTA Comments at 1415; AT&T Comments 41. AT&T explains, for example,
that a large number of moderate users sharing a particular link with a relatively high contention ratio (e.g., 100
residents of a retirement community browsing the web and sending email) may experience less congestion than a
small number of heavy users sharing a particular link with a relatively low contention ratio (e.g., 10 residents of a
college dormitory using peer-to-peer applications). AT&T Comments at 41.
136 Verizon Reply at 78; NCTA at 1415; AT&T Comments at 41.
137 See, e.g., California PUC Comments at 8 (recommending that the Commission collect wireless deployment
information in the form of shapefiles with speed and spectrum information).
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network technology in that frequency band.138 If a provider advertises different minimum upload and
download speeds in different areas of the country using the same technology and frequency band (e.g.,
HSPA+ on AWS spectrum), the provider should submit separate polygons showing the coverage area for
each speed. If a provider does not advertise the minimum upload and/or download speeds, the provider
must indicate the minimum upload/download data speeds that users should expect to receive for the
deployed technology in the given frequency band.
43.
Collecting these deployment data on mobile broadband network technologies, in
conjunction with data on spectrum and minimum advertised speeds, will improve the data needed to
fulfill our statutory purposes and policy goals. As with fixed broadband deployment data, we direct filers
to report data on advertised speeds and reduce the burden of associating these speeds with predetermined
speed tiers. To reduce burdens, we also allow mobile broadband providers to submit coverage maps on a
nationwide rather than state-by-state basis. To reflect changes in both Geographical Information Systems
(GIS) and mobile technologies and spectrum bands used over time, the Wireline Competition Bureau, in
consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will update coverage resolution, network or
transmission technologies and spectrum bands used on Form 477 as necessary.
44.
Currently, the Form 477 collection requires facilities-based mobile wireless broadband
service to submit data indicating census tracts in which "service is advertised and available to actual and
potential subscribers,"139 and such service offerings must be grouped into predetermined speed tiers.140
We retain this collection while taking measures to reduce the burden by eliminating the requirement that
providers group their offerings into speed tiers. These data remain necessary to determine accurately
mobile broadband service availability in cases where a provider's mobile network deployment footprint
differs from its facilities-based service footprint, that is, where service is advertised and available to
actual and potential subscribers.141 Deployment and availability are often the same for providers but, in

138 In contrast with fixed broadband, where the maximum advertised speed is a reasonably reliable indicator of the
speed of service that subscribers receive, wireless broadband data speeds vary tremendously depending on the user's
location (signal quality), the serving cell capacity, and traffic loads in the service area. Wireless broadband users are
more likely to consistently experience data speeds at the lower end of the advertised speed range and could also
experience the higher speeds under certain conditions. Typically, a service provider's targeted minimum data speed
in a market is a primary driver of the wireless network design that determines the market coverage boundaries.
Consistent with that, the submitted coverage boundaries would depict where users should expect the minimum
upload/download data speeds for the deployed technology in the given frequency band.
139 In 2004, the Commission adopted the requirement that "filers reporting mobile wireless broadband subscribers on
Form 477 also provide a list of Zip Codes that best represent the filer's mobile wireless broadband coverage areas."
2004 Broadband Data Gathering Order, 19 FCC Rcd 22340, 2234950, para. 18 (2004). As explained in the
accompanying Form 477 instructions adopted in that Order, "the Zip Codes reported" as those that best represent
the filer's mobile wireless broadband coverage areas "should be the Zip Codes in the state in which the mobile
wireless broadband service provider's service is advertised and available to actual and potential subscribers." 2004
Broadband Data Gathering Order
, 19 FCC Rcd at 2239394. The existing census tract collection was implemented
in the 2008 Form 477 Order, which increased the granularity of the prior zip code based collection, but did not
otherwise modify the substance of what must be reported. 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further
Notice
, 23 FCC Rcd 9691, 969899, para. 16 (2008) ("In the current Form 477 data collection process, mobile
wireless broadband service providers report the number of connections they provide in particular states, and they
report the 5-digit ZIP Codes that best represent their broadband service footprint. . . . [W]e find that the benefits of
reporting service footprints at the Census Tract level outweigh the costs of the additional reporting. Therefore, we
require mobile wireless broadband service providers to report the Census Tracts that best represent their broadband
service footprint for each of the speed tiers in which they offer service.").
140 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, 23 FCC Rcd 9691, 969899, para. 16.
141 In the annual Wireless Competition Reports, the Commission has noted that mobile deployment data alone is not
an accurate indicator of where service is actually available. See, e.g., Sixteenth CMRS Competition Report, 28 FCC
Rcd 3700, 3705, para. 2 (2013) ("We also note that these data estimate the number of providers with network
coverage in these census blocks, which can often differ from the number of providers actually offering service to
(continued....)
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some instances, they are not. The combination of data on network deployment, service availability, and
subscription will assist the Commission in a number of analyses, including those in the Broadband
Progress Reports and Mobile Wireless Competition Reports, the state of competition in the mobile
wireless industry, and review of mergers and spectrum transactions.142
45.
The mobile broadband deployment data, in conjunction with similar data on mobile voice
deployment, will enable the Commission to analyze the extent of deployment in different spectrum bands,
and technologies. These data will enable us to analyze deployment in different spectrum bands, and to
structure our spectrum, infrastructure, and competition polices effectively and efficiently in a rapidly
evolving mobile marketplace. The National Broadband Plan states that mobile broadband is poised to
become a key platform for innovation in the United States over the next decade. For mobile service
deployment, spectrum is an essential input as the transmission pipe. Understanding how spectrum bands
and technologies have actually been deployed in different areas will greatly facilitate the formulation of
sound and informed spectrum policies, including how best to make additional spectrum available for
licensed, unlicensed and opportunistic uses. The mobile broadband deployment data, indicating speed,
technology, and spectrum band used, will enable us to better assess the wireless marketplace to ensure
that our spectrum and competition policies accommodate growing demand and evolving technologies in
the provision of mobile broadband services.
46.
Today, NTIA's SBI collection includes information on speed and spectrum used for the
provision of wireless broadband services.143 Spectrum information, however, is not clearly linked to
coverage boundaries. Defining the standard for reporting network coverage boundaries that reflect the
broadband speeds of a deployed technology in a given frequency band will ensure that we have consistent
and comparable deployment data by various providers. Collecting spectrum information in this manner
also will give us better information on the actual use of spectrum bands, enabling informed spectrum
management policies.
47.
Certain commenters argue that other sources of data on spectrum use are already
available to the Commission and that the collection of spectrum data through Form 477 is unnecessary.144
However, the sources cited by commenters, including the Spectrum Dashboard and license build-out
notifications, are insufficient for analyzing deployment by technology and by band. The Spectrum
Dashboard provides information on spectrum holdings but not the extent to which providers are using
their spectrum to deploy networks and offer services. The licensee build-out notifications do not indicate
the type of service or technology deployed, are filed infrequently, and in some cases, are not a reflection
of networks that are being used to offer service. Sprint suggests that the Commission could ask providers
to respond on an ad hoc basis to inquiries about their spectrum use in particular areas.145 However, this
(Continued from previous page)
consumers who live in these census blocks."); Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1993; Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Mobile
Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile Services
, WT Docket No. 10-133, Fifteenth Report, 26 FCC Rcd 9664,
9707, para. 47 (2011) ("Because a facilities-based service provider may offer service to consumers in only part of
any given CMA, which often is made up of several counties, a consumer may have fewer choices of service
providers than the total number of providers offering service in his or her CMA.").
142 See, e.g., 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10366, para. 35; Sixteenth CMRS Competition
Report
, 28 FCC Rcd at 374344, para. 42.
143 National Broadband Map, Blog, Geodatabase Documentation, http://www.broadbandmap.gov/blog/wp-
content/uploads/2011/02/ Transfer_Model_Tech_Spec.html#DomainSPECTRUMUSED.
144 See T-Mobile Comments at 18 (asserting that the Commission has already conducted a spectrum inventory, the
results of which are available on the Spectrum Dashboard); Verizon Comments at 16 (explaining that the
Commission already collects deployment data in the form of its spectrum license build-out requirements); CTIA
Comments at 1516 (arguing that neither the BDIA nor the Act requires collection of these data).
145 See Sprint Comments at 6.
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method would not provide us with the complete set of data necessary to perform the comprehensive
analyses described above.
48.
We find that burdens on mobile wireless providers associated with providing digital
representations of and geospatial data on their network coverage areas are not significant, and are
outweighed by the public interest benefits associated with our collection. The geospatial data we are
collecting on spectrum and technology are used by mobile service providers for radio frequency (RF)
network design and are an integral part of every mobile service provider's ordinary course of business.
Accordingly, mobile deployment data by spectrum bands and network technology should be readily
available to mobile service providers given that any mobile network deployment plan would include both
the spectrum and the network technology to be used for such deployment.
49.
In addition, many providers develop and maintain such data in order to publish maps of
their coverage areas on their websites and in other promotional materials, and certain operators have
provided network coverage boundaries to Mosaik.146 Certain providers also have submitted coverage area
boundaries to the Commission as part of wireless transaction proceedings,147 and many providers have
submitted coverage area boundaries in the SBI data collection.148 There are multiple GIS (Geographical
Information Systems) platforms capable of creating and managing geospatial data on mobile network
coverage areas,149 and there are many GIS specialists and engineering consultants in the United States
who are able to provide expertise and develop such data for providers that do not have internal GIS
resources.150
50.
In the Notice, the Commission sought comment on how any reporting should account for
the variability of signal strength and capacity in a network that includes mobile users.151 The record
indicates that measuring signal strength is a complex and time-consuming endeavor due in significant part
to the extreme variability in the propagation and reception of wireless signals. The strength of the signal
received by any given subscriber can be affected by a broad range of factors, including topography,
foliage, weather, type of structure for in-building reception, the number and behavior of other subscribers
connected to the same cell site, and whether and how fast the subscriber is moving through the cell site's
coverage area.152 As a result, mobile signal strength, speed, and capacity measurements can change from
minute to minute or between locations. While the data would be valuable, we are not convinced that there
is a practical, reliable way at this time to assess signal strength and capacity through a standardized data
collection. We therefore decline to revise Form 477 to require providers to account for these variables.

146 Sixteenth CMRS Competition Report, 28 FCC Rcd at 3704, para. 2, n.5.
147 See, e.g., Letter from Richard Rosen, Counsel for AT&T, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
WT Docket No. 11-65, at 1-2 (filed Aug. 8, 2011) ("Shapefiles corresponding to AT&T's estimated coverage area
for its pre- and post-merger LTE deployment plans in certain states are being filed with the Highly Confidential
version of this submission.").
148 For a comprehensive list of providers that contributed data to the National Broadband Map and how the data
were received, see National Broadband Map, NBM Broadband Provider List,
http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/files/broadband-data/NBM_Broadband_Provider_List_June_2012.xlsx (last visited June
26, 2013).
149 See University of Kentucky, http://www.uky.edu/KGS/gis/DVGQ/format.html#converting (last visited Oct. 17,
2012).
150 For a list of associations representing GIS professionals, see Esri, Professional Organizations,
http://edcommunity.esri.com/aboutGIS/professionalOrganizations.cfm (last visited Oct. 10, 2012).
151 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1532, para. 61.
152 AT&T Comments at 4243; CTIA Comments at 1013; T-Mobile Reply at 3; Sprint Comments at 78; Verizon
Comments at 1112.
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2.

Collection of Voice Deployment Data

a.

Fixed Voice

51.
In the Notice, the Commission sought comment on whether the collection of fixed voice
network deployment data is warranted.153 The national telephone subscription rate has remained high
over the last decade, indicating expansive (indeed, nearly ubiquitous) availability of service.154 The
Wireline Competition Bureau recently collected data on the areas served by incumbent local exchange
carriers through the Study Area Boundary Data Collection, and these boundaries typically show the area
that an incumbent LEC is obligated to serve with fixed voice service.155 For other fixed providers, we
will be able to infer voice availability from their fixed broadband deployment data, as many providers
offer both voice and broadband over the same network. Collecting additional fixed voice network
deployment data on Form 477 would be largely redundant and would impose an additional burden on
voice providers. Therefore, we will not require providers of fixed voice services to report deployment
data on Form 477.
b.

Mobile Voice

52.
We will require facilities-based mobile wireless voice providers to submit geospatial data
of their coverage area boundaries. Unlike fixed voice availability, which, as we explain above, is
relatively stable, the combination of footprint, technology, and spectrum for mobile voice services is
changing more rapidly. Collecting mobile voice deployment data therefore provides significant public
interest benefits that outweigh the burdens associated with the collection. In any event, we find that
requiring mobile wireless providers to submit their coverage area boundaries will not add a significant
burden.156
53.
Providers should submit polygons representing geographic coverage nationwide
(including U.S. territories) by transmission technology (e.g., GSM, CDMA, HSPA, VoLTE) and by
frequency band (e.g., 700 MHz, Cellular, PCS, AWS). For example, if a provider offers both GSM and
CDMA voice services in both the Cellular band and the PCS band, then this would result in four different
polygons: (1) GSM in the Cellular band; (2) CDMA in the Cellular band; (3) GSM in the PCS band; and
(4) CDMA in the PCS band. The polygons should represent voice coverage boundaries where providers
expect users to be able to make, maintain, and receive voice calls. To reflect changes in both GIS and
mobile technologies, and spectrum bands used over time, the Wireline Competition Bureau, in
consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will update coverage resolution, network or
transmission technologies, and spectrum bands used on Form 477.
54.
As discussed above, the Spectrum Dashboard and license build-out notifications are
insufficient for analyzing deployment.157 The Spectrum Dashboard or the licensee build-out notifications

153 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1527, para. 50.
154 See Telephone Subscribership in the United States, Report, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline
Competition Bureau, FCC, at 6, tbl. 1 (May 2011) (showing that the percentage of households with telephones in the
United States has ranged between 94.6 and 96 percent since 2001); see also, e.g., TSTC Comments at 45 (asserting
that the only people lacking access to fixed voice service are likely to be residents of uncertificated areas and since
small incumbent LECs are not in a position to provide service data about these residents, they should not be subject
to this additional data requirement); Verizon Comments at 14 (arguing that to the extent that any data are needed,
they should be sought in a targeted way for small areas where there could be a problem, rather than through a broad
and burdensome new reporting obligation).
155 See Connect America Fund; High-Cost Universal Service Support, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 05-337, Report and
Order, 27 FCC Rcd 13528 (2012); Order on Reconsideration, 28 FCC Rcd 1489 (2013).
156 See supra paras. 4849.
157 See supra para. 47.
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do not indicate the type of service or technology deployed, are filed infrequently, and in some cases, are
not a reflection of networks that are being used to offer service. The Commission currently licenses a
dataset from a commercial source, Mosaik, for data on mobile voice network deployment.158 Mosaik
provides coverage boundary maps for every facilities-based mobile wireless provider and each mobile
network technology a provider has deployed, including those networks used to provide mobile voice
service.159 However, Mosaik reports advertised coverage as reported to it by many mobile wireless
operators, each of which may use a different definition of or standard for determining coverage.160
Therefore, the data are not consistent across geographic areas and service providers.161 In addition, the
Mosaik data do not capture any information about the spectrum bands that operators use for mobile
network deployment. Hence, we conclude that the Mosaik data are not sufficient for monitoring mobile
voice network deployment and the mobile voice technology transition at this time, and that it is now
necessary to collect mobile voice deployment data through Form 477.162
55.
Accordingly, we will require providers of mobile wireless voice service to end users to
submit digital representations, with the associated data discussed above, depicting their mobile voice
network coverage areas. These data, in conjunction with similar data on mobile broadband deployment
discussed above, will enable the Commission to analyze the extent of deployment in different spectrum
bands. It also will help the Commission project market trends and adjust its spectrum and competition
policies. We also find that collection of mobile voice deployment data will assist in the Commission's
efforts in the areas of emergency response and disaster relief by identifying the providers that typically
serve an affected area.163

B.

Subscription Data

56.
Subscription information enables the Commission to fulfill its statutory and regulatory
duties. For the past thirteen years, the collection of subscription data via Form 477 has served as the
Commission's principal tool for monitoring telephone and broadband subscriptions and competition.164
Form 477 subscription data also enable the Commission to evaluate barriers to adoption, administer and
reform the universal service program, monitor the PSTN-to-IP conversion by providing insight into how
many customers rely on each type of network technology in each area, and better assess which services
are purchased independently or in combination with other services. These data also support the
Commission's efforts to ensure public safety by providing a measure of what networks and providers
customers rely on in each area.

158 Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993; Annual Report and
Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions with Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile
Services
, WT Docket No. 09-66, Fourteenth Report, 23 FCC Rcd 11407, 11413, para. 4 (2010).
159 Id. at 11442, n.88.
160 See Sixteenth CMRS Competition Report, 28 FCC Rcd at 3704, para. 2, n.5.
161 See id.
162 See, e.g., CTIA Comments at 67, 89; Verizon Comments at 1415.
163 See, e.g., MDTC Comments at 2; Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1519, para. 27 (seeking comment on whether mobile
service deployment data would allow the Commission to identify areas where consumers lack access to 911 service,
such as rural highways or remote worksites).
164 As explained above, the Form 477 subscription data has also been used by the Commission to assess broadband
deployment and adoption pursuant to its section 706 obligations. See, e.g., Sixth Broadband Deployment Report,
25 FCC Rcd at 9568, para. 19; 2011 Seventh Broadband Progress Report, 26 FCC Rcd at 8024, 803738, paras. 28,
58; 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10386, para. 94.
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57.
Commenters generally support the continued collection of subscription information for
voice and broadband services.165 Indeed, many commenters acknowledge the importance of collecting
subscribership data because, for example, "it provides valuable insight for both competition monitoring
and public safety purposes, especially because it indicates the degree to which subscribers are reliant upon
particular networks for services and E-911 delivery."166 Because subscription data are necessary to allow
the Commission to fulfill its statutory purposes, we continue to collect broadband and voice subscription
data. For the reasons set forth below, we revise the subscription data speeds to better reflect current
market offerings and improve the Commission's ability to assess broadband deployment and adoption.
We also will now collect fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data by census tract.
58.
We eliminate questions and requirements on the current Form 477 that require certain
broadband providers to report information about the availability of broadband service, as opposed to
information about actual subscribership to broadband service. These questions are no longer necessary in
light of the new Form 477 collection of broadband deployment data, discussed above. Specifically, we
will eliminate Part I.B of the current form, which requires, by state: (1) each incumbent LEC with any
DSL connections in service to report its best estimate of the percentage of residential end user premises in
its service area to which its DSL connections could be provided using installed distribution facilities,
(2) each cable system with any cable modem connections in service to report its best estimate of the
percentage of residential end user premises in its service area to which its cable modem connections could
be provided using installed distribution facilities, and (3) each network operator serving any terrestrial
mobile wireless broadband subscribers to report the total number of subscribers (i.e., including
broadband, broadband plus voice, and voice-only subscribers) whose mobile device is capable of sending
or receiving data at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction. In addition,
we eliminate the requirement that fixed broadband providers submit data for every census tract within
their "defined service territory" regardless of the number of subscribers in the tract. By eliminating these
questions, we protect against duplication in our collection and reduce the burden on filers by narrowly
tailoring our collection of data to those most useful to the Commission.
59.
In addition, we eliminate the requirement that broadband providers submit state-level
data on the percentage of their connections that are billed to end users and the percentage that are
equipped over their own facilities. The Commission typically does not rely on these metrics at this level
for competitive analysis, nor has it reported them in its semiannual Internet Access Services reports.
Eliminating them would greatly simplify the revised Form 477 and its data collection interface, and would
reduce burden for filers.
60.
We also modify our current data collection in several ways to eliminate unnecessary
information and produce data better suited to competitive analysis. We remove the requirement that
providers of local exchange telephone service report the number of lines provided to unaffiliated
communications carriers as UNE-Platform (UNE-P). We also eliminate reporting of the percentage of
end-user lines provided over UNE-P.167 In addition, providers of interconnected VoIP service will no

165 See, e.g., MDTC Comments at 78; California PUC Comments at 1112; AT&T Comments at 10; CWA
Comments at 2 (urging the Commission to maintain and strengthen its current voice and broadband reporting rules);
CTIA Comments at 19 ("The current Form 477 and other sources provide the Commission with ample data about
wireless voice and data connections."); Free Press at 910; Hughes Comments at 6; JSI Comments at 10; NCTA
Comments at 13; USTelecom Comments at 5; Verizon Comments at 2022.
166 See MDTC Comments at 8; see also California PUC Comments at 11 ("The CPUC supports the continued
collection of voice subscription data--from both wireline and wireless service providers, as well as from VoIP
service providers. Such information is necessary to meet the [Commission's] goals . . . .").
167 UNE-P was the combination of incumbent LEC loop, switching, and transport unbundled network elements. The
Commission directed competitive local exchange carriers to migrate their retail customers served by UNE-P to an
alternative arrangement within 12 months of the effective date of the Triennial Review Remand Order, that is, by
March 11, 2006. See 47 C.F.R. 51.319(d)(2)(ii).
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longer be required to report the number of companies purchasing their VoIP components or service for
resale. The Commission typically does not rely on this metric at this level for competitive analysis. We
also simplify the categories of information interconnected VoIP providers must provide. Currently, the
Form requires filers to report the percentage of VoIP subscriptions with nomadic functionality. We find
the burdens of this reporting distinction do not outweigh the benefits and so eliminate the nomadic
category.168 Finally, we will require local exchange telephone service providers to report, by state, how
many of their access lines are bundled with broadband. This information about bundling can be evidence
of consumers' willingness to switch voice service providers, and hence improves our competitive
analysis.169
1.

Speed Data

61.
The Notice sought comment on whether the Commission should reduce the number of
speed tiers that broadband providers report, and whether to adopt the same speed tiers for subscription
and deployment.170 We currently collect subscribership data for eight tiers of advertised download speeds
and nine tiers of advertised upload speeds, leading to 72 possible combinations.171
62.
In order to conform our collection of broadband subscription data to the approach we take
for broadband deployment data, we eliminate the use of speed tiers for broadband subscription data.
Providers will no longer organize broadband subscription data into predetermined tiers. Instead, filers
will be required to provide the number of broadband connections by the advertised speeds associated with
each product subscribed to in the relevant geographic area. Fixed providers will report connections by the
maximum advertised upload and download speeds in each census tract, while mobile providers will report
connections by minimum advertised upload and download speeds in each state.172 These changes to how
we collect speed data will permit the Commission to conduct a consistent analysis of subscription and
deployment data and, because they will no longer be required to categorize the number of connections
into our speed tiers, will reduce burdens on filers. Despite some commenter assertions to the contrary,173
we conclude that on balance, there are advantages to having a consistent collection of deployment and
subscription speed data. For example, a consistent collection will make the Commission's analysis of
broadband availability simpler and more reliable. Moreover, over the long term, unifying the collection
of speed data for deployment and subscription will minimize providers' burdens.174
63.
For the reasons stated above in the section addressing deployment data, we find that it is
not appropriate or feasible to collect actual speed information from broadband providers via Form 477 at

168 We will continue to collect information about over-the-top interconnected VoIP services.
169 Interconnected VoIP providers currently submit information about bundled services, so this modification will
standardize our data.
170 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1538, para. 88.
171 Current breakpoints for reporting speed are at 200 kbps, 768 kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps, 10 Mbps,
25 Mbps, and 100 Mbps. See 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and Further Notice, 23 FCC Rcd at 970001,
para. 20.
172 See supra paras. 3637, 4243.
173 See NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel Reply at 13; Free Press Comments at 9 (both asserting that the Commission
should not disrupt the current speed tiers because it will disrupt the continuity of the historical data sets); cf. Sprint
Comments at 7 (asserting that the current speed tiers are sufficient, although the Commission could add two
breakpoints at 50 Mbps and 1 Gbps to conform to the NTIA breakpoints).
174 JSI Comments at 11 (commenting that the speed ranges chosen for reporting subscription should be the same as
those tracked for deployment); NCTA Comments at 13 (commenting that a system with different speed tiers for
different categories of data would increase the burden for reporting entities while dramatically reducing the potential
benefit of such data).
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this time.175 Accordingly, providers will report subscription speed tier information based on advertised
speed.
2.

Geographic Area

a.

Fixed Voice and Interconnected VoIP

64.
Form 477 currently collects fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data at the
state level and requires providers of these services to submit a list, by state, of the five-digit ZIP codes in
which they provide service to end-user customers.176 For the reasons set forth below, we will now collect
the number of total and residential fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscriptions by census tract,
much like we currently do for fixed broadband subscription data.177 We will no longer require providers
of these services to submit the list of ZIP codes in which they provide service to end-user customers.
65.
Collecting fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data by census tract will
improve the Commission's ability to measure and conduct analyses of retail voice competition.178 We
currently collect fixed broadband subscription data by census tract, and consumers often purchase fixed
broadband and voice services together. Collecting fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data
at the same geographic level as fixed broadband data will allow us to calculate retail market shares for
voice services by census tract in most census tracts, and will give us a better understanding of competition
in the remainder. The state-level fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data currently
collected on 477 are insufficiently granular to provide insight into competition, and, for example, does not
enable calculation of retail market shares--even at the state level because providers' footprints do not
cover entire states.
66.
Collecting fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data at a more granular
geographic level will permit the Commission to analyze subscription patterns for particular populations
that are identifiable at the census tract, such as consumers residing in rural areas. Collecting fixed voice
and interconnected VoIP subscription data by census tract will also help the Commission analyze fixed
voice adoption in rural, insular, and high-cost areas of the country with greater refinement than at the state
level, in accordance with the Commission's universal service policies to ensure that "[c]onsumers in all
regions of the Nation, including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular, and high cost areas, . .
. have access to telecommunications and information services . . . that are reasonably comparable to those
services provided in urban areas."179 Further, collecting data for these services by census tract will
provide more insight into incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) access line loss trends. ILECs
frequently point to their overall line losses as justification for regulatory relief.180 We currently lack data

175 See supra paras. 3941.
176 As noted above, for purposes of Form 477, satellite providers of voice services are considered fixed voice service
providers.
177 In 2008, the Commission determined that all wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service
providers must report the numbers of subscribers by census tract. 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and
Further Notice
, 23 FCC Rcd at 969698, paras. 1214.
178 See, e.g., JSI Comments at 67, and 10 (recommending that the Commission track deployment data by census
block, and subscribership data by census tract); MDTC Comments at 23 & 8 (recommending that the Commission
collect deployment data at the address level, and subscription data by census tract); AT&T Comments at 1011
(recommending that the Commission collect voice subscribership by census tract with supplemental census block
data).
179 47 U.S.C. 254(b)(3).
180 See, e.g., Petitions of Verizon Telephone Companies for Forbearance Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160 in the Boston,
New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Virginia Beach Metropolitan Statistical Areas
, WC Docket
No. 06-172, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 21293, 21310-11, para. 32 (2007) (Verizon 6 MSA
Forbearance Order
) (rejecting "Verizon's attempt to demonstrate that a particular MSA is competitive by
(continued....)
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showing the geographic distribution of these line losses, and whether customers leaving ILECs are going
to cable or cutting the cord.
67.
We recognize that some fixed voice and interconnected VoIP service providers may not
be accustomed to reporting subscription data by census tract and may not currently have the internal
capability to associate subscriber addresses with census tracts.181 However, providers that offer both
fixed broadband and fixed voice services already report fixed broadband subscription data to the
Commission by census tract, and those who also participate in NTIA's SBI program also report fixed
broadband deployment data by census block. Accordingly, many fixed voice and interconnected VoIP
service providers already have experience using census data. The burden associated with requiring these
providers to file fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data by census tract will likely be small
because such providers will be able to leverage existing processes for voice subscriptions. To the extent
that filers do not have prior experience using census data, we believe that collecting subscription data for
fixed voice and interconnected VoIP by census tract will improve the quality of the data we receive to
such a degree that the benefits outweigh any additional burden on providers.182 As the Commission has
explained, census tracts "are more stable and static" than ZIP codes, "correspond more consistently to
actual locations, are less likely to reveal individual identifiable information about consumers, and can be
correlated with valuable demographic data (including race, income, and education)."183
68.
Some commenters assert that the Commission should collect both subscription and
deployment data at the same geographic area level.184 Although we recognize that there may be benefits
to collecting deployment and subscription data at the same geographic level, we decline to collect
subscription data at a level more granular than the census tract at this time. As we have discussed,
collecting fixed voice, interconnected VoIP, and broadband subscription data by census tract provides
(Continued from previous page)
calculating percentage reductions in retail lines" because "[t]here are many possible reasons for such decreases
unrelated to the existence of last-mile facilities-based competition"), remanded, Verizon Tel. Cos. v. FCC, 570 F.3d
294 (D.C. Cir. 2009), petition withdrawn, Letter from Kathleen Grillo, Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory
Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 06-172 (filed Aug. 23, 2010), proceeding
terminated
, Verizon 6 MSA Forbearance Petitions Withdrawn; Proceeding Terminated, WC Docket No. 07-97,
Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd 12632 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2010); see also Verizon 6 MSA Forbearance Order,
22 FCC Rcd at 21308, para. 27 n.92 (explaining the Commission was unable to calculate market shares in the New
York MSA because the incumbent cable operator in that MSA had not filed complete and corrected data in the
proceeding); AT&T Petition to Launch a Proceeding Concerning TDM-to-IP Transition, GN Docket No. 12-353, at
45 (Nov. 7, 2012) (requesting relief from certain requirements and arguing that incumbent LECs have operated at a
competitive disadvantage in areas where there are providing traditional TDM-based services, as shown by line
losses to wireless alternatives); Petition of USTelecom for Forbearance Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160(c) from
Enforcement of Certain Legacy Telecommunications Regulations, WC Docket No. 12-61, at ii, 45, Attach. B (filed
Feb. 16, 2012).
181 See TSTC Comments at 78 (arguing that if the Commission requires subscription data by census block, the
small companies will have to incur the considerable expense of determining census block information on an
individual address-by-address basis, plus additional expenses to update billing systems); OPASTCO et al.
Comments at 5 (urging the Commission to consider options to report by study area or wire center for small and rural
LECs); OPASTCO et al. Comments at 4 (explaining that detailed new reporting requirements could prove difficult
for small providers that manually maintain physical records, instead of using sophisticated computerized systems).
182 Cf. 2008 Data Gathering Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 969597, paras. 1012 (describing the superiority of census
tracts to ZIP codes).
183 Id. at 969697, para. 12.
184 See, e.g., Level 3 Reply at 3 (urging the Commission to adopt consistent geographic reporting formats for all
data); GVNW Comments at 5 (asserting that "any new data collection efforts by the FCC should be coordinated").
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substantial benefits without unduly burdening filing entities.185 At the same time, we believe that more
granular subscription data would be preferable, if the burden on filers were not significantly increased. If
there were no or minimal additional burden to file by census block than by census tract, we would favor
collecting subscription and deployment data at the same geographic level.186

C.

Further Ways to Reduce Form 477 Filing Burdens

69.
We are committed to improving the data that the Commission collects even as we
continue to explore ways to make the Form 477 filing less burdensome. We therefore direct the Wireline
Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to explore technical
improvements to the Form 477 filing mechanism that may make the process easier for filers. The
Bureaus should explore, for example, whether a client-side software application that would automate for
providers some of the potentially burdensome tasks of sorting, formatting, and geocoding their data might
reduce the burden of filing Form 477.187 The Bureaus should test any client-side software application
with different filers representing different segments of the industry and obtain their feedback. If, through
this process, the Bureaus identify a way to make the filing process less burdensome, we direct the
Bureaus to make such software application available to assist filers in complying with the obligations set
forth in this Order.
70.
In addition to making current filing obligations less burdensome, technical improvements
to the filing mechanism may also make it possible to collect more granular data without a significant
increase in burden to filers. For example, a software solution may reduce the filing burden sufficiently to
justify collecting more granular subscription data. If the development and testing process described
above proves this to be the case, we may consider moving voice and broadband subscription data, for
fixed and possibly mobile services, to the census block. Even if the Commission chooses not to collect
mobile subscription data by census block, any technical improvements developed to collect fixed
subscribership data by census block may be useful in collecting mobile subscribership at another sub-state
geography (such as counties) with minimal burden. Technical improvements to the Form 477 filing
process may also enable the Commission, in the future, to consider collecting additional data.

D.

Company Identification and Contact Information

71.
We require entities filing Form 477 to provide additional company identification and
contact information. In addition to the current Form 477 requirements,188 we will require filers to report
the company's Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) study area codes, USAC 499
identification numbers, and website address. We will also require that filers report the title of their

185 Some commenters support this conclusion. See, e.g., JSI Comments at 67, 10 (recommending that the
Commission track deployment data by census block, and subscribership data by census tract); cf. AT&T Comments
at 1011 (urging the Commission to collect voice availability data by census block and to collect voice
subscribership data by census tract); see also Free Press Comments at 3, 1011 (calling for collecting availability
data by census block, and for no changes at the present time to the subscription collection).
186 See infra para. 70.
187 A client-side application could be provided by the Commission to run on providers' computers to analyze
providers' data. Such an application would allow providers to maintain the privacy of their customers' data while
significantly reducing the burden of providing data to the Commission.
188 Currently, each officially submitted Form 477 must include the following company identification and contact
information: FCC Registration Number (FRN) and entity name associated with that FRN; a single name, such as a
holding company name, that serves to identify all commonly owned or commonly controlled entities submitting
Form 477 data; the name, telephone number, and email address of the person who prepared the submission (who
will be the first point of contact for any follow-up questions about the submitted data); and the name, telephone
number, and email address of the corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor whose signature certifies
the accuracy of the submitted data. We continue these requirements and also continue the current requirement to
distinguish between data reported for incumbent LEC operations and data reported for other operations.
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certifying official and the name, phone number, and email address of their emergency operations contact.
This information will assist the Commission in fulfilling its universal service mandate, evaluating merger,
forbearance, and other applications, and protecting public safety.189
72.
We require additional company identification information for several reasons. The
Commission currently allows Form 477 filers to consolidate data for multiple operations within a state on
a single submission,190 and filers are permitted to determine the organizational level at which they submit
their filings.191 As noted in the Notice, a parent or holding company may file on behalf of its subsidiaries
or the subsidiaries may file their own Form 477.192 Accordingly, we will now require filers to report, in
each 477 filing, the company's Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) study area codes,
USAC 499 identification numbers, and website address. This information enables us to aggregate,
compare, and analyze, by a common provider, the various data we collect through different forms and
filing requirements.
73.
Some commenters assert that additional company identification information is not
necessary and will not "meaningfully enhance the Commission's general understanding of the broadband
ecosystem, or its general understanding of the state of local competition."193 We disagree. Companies
reporting data to the Commission via Form 477 often have multiple relationships with the Commission,
and collection of these data would improve our understanding of the ownership and corporate affiliations
of voice and broadband providers. In addition, knowledge of common ownership relationships among
different operating companies in a region is essential to understanding competition, including conducting
merger analyses, as well as ongoing vigilance against waste, fraud, and abuse of universal service
funding. The current reporting requirements do not provide a sufficiently clear picture of the
interrelationships that may exist among various providers and of the markets for which data are reported.
74.
We recognize that the Commission currently collects some company identification
information in other contexts.194 Although these collections do not duplicate the information collection
we adopt in this Order--they apply to small subsets of the universe of Form 477 filers and do not request
the same level of detail--we nonetheless take precautions to ensure that no entity is burdened with
duplicative filings. Accordingly, we direct the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to identify any circumstances in which the collection of company

189 See supra para. 14. In the Notice, the Commission specifically inquired whether ownership and contact
information are needed to: (1) better facilitate the Commission's purposes of reducing waste, fraud, and abuse and
increasing accountability in our universal service programs by simplifying the process of determining the total
amount of public support received by each recipient regardless of corporate structure; (2) ensure public safety by
providing a means for Commission staff to contact network operations centers rapidly in the event of an emergency;
and (3) monitor telephone and broadband competition by revealing whether service providers with overlapping
service footprints are in fact under common ownership or control. Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1541, paras. 100104.
190 FCC Form 477 Instructions at 4, http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form477/477inst.pdf.
191 Id.
192 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1541, para. 101; see also FCC Form 477 Instructions at 4,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form477/477inst.pdf.
193 See Verizon Comments at 29; AT&T Comments at 4950 (both asserting that Form 477 already requires
providers to include their FRN and to "identify all commonly owned or commonly controlled entities," and
commenting that the Commission should get wireless contact information from the Form 602); Hughes Comments
at 8 (commenting that current information is adequate and Form 602 already exists); CTIA Comments at 24; see
also
Qwest Comments at 17; NCTA Comments at 15.
194 For example, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau collects information from mobile service providers, via
Form 602, on the real party of interest whenever there is a change in ownership or when an application for change is
filed. In addition, the Commission requires certain eligible telecommunications carriers to submit ownership
information. 47 C.F.R. 54.313.
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identification information on Form 477 may duplicate another Commission collection, and to exempt
filers from the latter in those instances.
75.
We will also require that filers report the name, phone number, and email address of their
emergency operations contact. The information currently collected by Form 477 is not sufficient for use
in promptly contacting providers' network operating centers during emergencies. Some commenters
support the collection of additional emergency contact information. For example, Qwest states that this
information should be collected, since "[e]mergency contact information could be added to Form 477
without placing any material burden on the service providers."195 However, other commenters argue that
Form 477 is not the appropriate vehicle for the Commission to collect this contact information.196
76.
The Commission needs this emergency operations contact information to fulfill its
statutory public safety mandates. The Commission must be able to directly contact individuals who can
provide information on network status during natural disasters or other emergencies.197 As a mandatory,
recurring filing by providers of telephone and broadband service, we find that Form 477 will be a
particularly effective vehicle for collecting emergency contact data that are comprehensive and current,
with a relatively small burden on filers. The Commission currently has no structured, recurring,
mandatory collection of contact information in place specifically for use in emergencies affecting
telephone and/or broadband networks. The Commission's Disaster Information Reporting System
(DIRS) does collect contact information, but only on a voluntary basis for use during large-scale disasters.
It is important for the Commission to have contact information from all providers that file Form 477,
including those providers that do not choose to participate in DIRS, and that this information is updated
consistently.198
77.
Finally, filers of Form 477 will be required to report the name, title, and contact
information of their certifying official. This essential information provides assurance and the ability to
confirm if needed that the certifying official has the authority to certify that the data submitted is accurate
and truthful.

E.

Disclosure of Data Collected on Form 477

78.
NTIA's SBI deployment data are available to the public and have proved to be a valuable
resource to academic researchers and federal and state government agencies. While we make no changes
to our current treatment of subscription data, we expect that increased public access to disaggregated
subscription data could provide similar benefits.199 The Commission already makes provider-specific

195 See Qwest Comments at 17.
196 See Verizon Comments at 2829 ("There is no reason to conclude that Form 477 would be the most efficient or
effective means for serving [waste, fraud and abuse, USF, and public safety] interests . . . [and there is no need to
collect] additional information on spectrum licenses when it already has detailed information [from Form 602] in
ULS." ); AT&T Comments at 5051; NCTA Comments at 15 (arguing that emergency contact information may be
collected but not through Form 477). AT&T argues that its emergency contact information is highly confidential
and should be collected by the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau through appropriate and
secure means. See AT&T Comments at 5051. NCTA asserts that contact information is collected through the
Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), and collecting similar contact information on Form 477 may be
harder to update, is unnecessary, and may lead to confusion or delay in an emergency situation. See NCTA
Comments at 15; see also Verizon Comments at 2829 (arguing that Form 477 will not be "more useful than
existing sources such as the Disaster Information Reporting Center").
197 The Communications Act states that the Commission was created to ensure the availability of "wire and radio
communications service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges" for the purpose of "promoting safety of life
and property through use of wire and radio communications." 47 U.S.C. 151. The Commission also has a key
role in guaranteeing that Americans have access to emergency service via 911.
198 We address the confidentiality of these data in subpart III.E, infra.
199 See supra para. 18 and infra paras. 7980.
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subscription data available to state commissions that are able to maintain their confidentiality, to "eligible
entities," as that term is defined in the BDIA, and to other federal agencies upon request, pursuant to
confidentiality conditions.200 We believe that greater access to the subscription data might be feasible,
and beneficial, without compromising competitively sensitive information. Accordingly, we delegate
authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, to explore ways to allow greater public access to Form 477 subscription data, and to increase
access to such data if the Bureaus determine, after seeking public comment, that this can be accomplished
in a manner that addresses concerns about the competitive sensitivity of the data and precludes public
disclosure of any confidential information.201
79.
Subscription Data. In the Notice, the Commission sought comment on how best to
provide stakeholders with useful data while protecting filers' legitimate confidentiality interests.202
Specifically, the Commission asked whether it should retain the simple check-box on Form 477 that filers
can use to request confidential treatment for data submitted on that form, or whether there are classes of
information that should always be considered public.203 Based on the record before us, we retain our
existing procedures with respect to subscription data.204 We thus will continue to allow filers to request
confidential treatment of their reported subscription data by checking a box on Form 477.205 At the same
time, we recognize that there may be benefits to increasing public access to Form 477 subscription data,
and some commenters argue that the public should have access to this information.206 For now, we find

200 See 47 C.F.R. 1.7001(d); Providing Eligible Entities Access to Aggregate Form 477 Data, WC Docket No. 07-
38, Order, 25 FCC Rcd 5059 (2010); 47 C.F.R. 0.442. In this Order, we revise rule 1.7001 based on the revisions
adopted in the 2010 Order.
201 The Commission has recognized the potential sensitivity of some of the data collected on Form 477 and has thus
limited disclosure in some respects. See 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 775762; 2004 Broadband
Data Gathering Order
, 19 FCC Rcd at 2235253.
202 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 154344, paras. 108109.
203 Id. The first page of Form 477 includes a check box that allows providers to request nondisclosure of all or
portions of their submitted data without filing at this point in the process the detailed confidentiality justification
required by section 0.459 of our rules. If the Commission receives a request for, or proposes disclosure of, the
information contained in Form 477, the provider will be notified and required to make the full showing under
section 0.459 of our rules. As the Commission noted in the 2000 Data Gathering Order, "[g]iven the unique nature
of this data collection, these streamlined procedures for requesting non-disclosure should greatly improve the ability
of smaller providers and providers that are less familiar with the Commission's rules to request confidential
treatment of their data. We expect that this will lead to a greater level of compliance with this information collection
and will give providers confidence that protectable data will not be published in our regular reports." 2000 Data
Gathering Order
, 15 FCC Rcd at 7759, para. 90.
204 See AT&T Comments at 19, 5053; Qwest Comments at 18; USTelecom Comments at 2122; ITTA Comments
at 3 (all arguing that the Commission should retain the "checkbox" for requesting confidential treatment and
maintain the existing limits on disclosure of confidential information to third parties (e.g., researchers)); see also
CTIA Comments at 26; OPASTCO et al. Comments at 89; NCTA Comments at 16 (all arguing that the
Commission should only release data in aggregated form).
205 Upon receipt of a request for inspection of information contained in a submitted Form 477, the Commission will
notify the provider, and the provider will be required to make the full showing under our rules as to why
confidentiality is warranted. See 47 C.F.R. 0.459(a)(4), (b); see also Local Competition and Broadband
Reporting
, CC Docket No. 99-301, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 7717, 7759, para. 90 (2000) (explaining that if
the Commission receives a request for, or proposes disclosure of, the information contained in Form 477, the
provider will be notified and required to make a full showing under the Commission's rules).
206 Free Press Comments at 12 (commenting that the Commission should follow the National Broadband Plan's
recommendation to allow outside researchers to access the 477 data); NJ Rate Counsel Comments at ii, 12 (asserting
that the Commission should limit the use of proprietary treatment whenever possible).
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that our current approach appropriately balances the filers' disclosure concerns with the public need for
access to this information.207
80.
While we do not expand public access to Form 477 subscription data at this time, we
delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, to explore ways to allow greater public access to Form 477 subscription
data, and to increase public access to such data if this can be accomplished in a manner that addresses
concerns about the competitive sensitivity of the data. In particular, in the Notice, the Commission asked
whether the Commission should allow researchers to review disaggregated Form 477 data, consistent
with the recommendations of the National Broadband Plan.208 We direct the Bureaus to develop a plan to
enable such access. The Bureaus should propose a definition of "researcher," identify reasonable terms
and conditions of access, and define a standard to ensure that sensitive data are not revealed through
disclosure by such researchers. The Notice also sought comment on whether "the passage of time
diminish[es] the commercial sensitivity of certain types of data."209 We direct the Bureaus to develop a
process or standard under which the Commission could make disaggregated Form 477 subscription data
available to the public after the passage of a certain period of time (three years, for example), and under
what terms or conditions, if any, the data should be disclosed. For example, the Bureau should consider
whether historical data should be available only pursuant to protective order, or whether other restrictions
on use or publication would be appropriate. If the Bureaus identify ways to increase public access to
subscription data while addressing concerns about the competitive sensitivity of the data, we direct the
Bureaus to increase public access accordingly.
81.
Deployment Data. We are collecting deployment data for the first time and thus must
make a determination regarding the confidential treatment of such data. Some commenters argue that this
information should be available to the general public.210 Other commenters make general arguments that
all data collected by Form 477 should be given confidential treatment.211 We believe that deployment
data should be made public to at least the same extent as NTIA has been making them public via the
National Broadband Map. Unlike subscription data, which may be sensitive vis--vis competitors and of
relatively low value to the general public, deployment data are very useful to the public, particularly to
potential customers that wish to understand and compare their service options. Indeed, many providers
make such data available to the public on their web sites.

207 See 2000 Data Gathering Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7759, para. 89 ("[W]e agree with those commenters who
suggest that we can aggregate much of the data [for which confidentiality is sought] for example, by carrier class
and to the state level so that it does not identify the individual provider in our regularly published reports."). The
Industry Analysis and Technology Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau regularly publishes an analysis of
the Form 477 data. See, e.g., May 2013 Internet Access Services Report.
208 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1544, para. 109; National Broadband Plan at 4344; see also Comment Sought on Free
Press Request to Review Form 477 Data and Request for Protective Order
, WC Docket No. 10-75, Public Notice,
25 FCC Rcd 2704 (2010) (seeking comment on Free Press's request to review Form 477 data); News Release, FCC
Launches Data Innovation Initiative
(June 29, 2010), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-299269A1.pdf ("`Smart policies depend on quality data,
and public data should be accessible to the public in meaningful ways using modern digital tools.'" (quoting
Chairman Genachowski)).
209 Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1544, para. 109.
210 See People of the State of Illinois Sept. 2, 2008 Reply, WC Docket No. 07-38, at 12 ("[G]ranular data must be
collected on a federal level, and shared with the states, their designees, and with the public if states are going to
produce accurate and comprehensive mapping and analysis."); see also NJ Rate Counsel Comments at ii, 12
(arguing that carriers should be required to demonstrate that proprietary treatment is appropriate and that the
Commission should limit the use of proprietary treatment whenever possible).
211 See CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 18 (asserting that the Commission should retain the current "check box" on
Form 477 that allows service providers to request confidential treatment for all data submitted on the form).
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82.
We find that dissemination of deployment data promotes a more informed, efficient
market. By allowing public release of as much of the information as possible, associations, scholars, and
others will be able to use the information in their independent analyses of Commission policies, thereby
aiding the Commission in crafting regulations that address specific market problems and eliminating
those regulations that have outlived their usefulness. Finally, making these data available to the public
provides consumers, states, and experts the opportunity to review the data to ensure the accuracy of the
information. However, we note that mobile deployment data will include certain specific spectrum and
speed parameters that may be used by providers for internal network planning purposes. Filers may
request confidential treatment of those specific elements of their deployment data on Form 477.212
83.
All other deployment data will be treated as public data. While filers are not precluded
from seeking confidential treatment pursuant to the Commission's rules for the deployment data they
file,213 the streamlined check-box option will not apply to the deployment data collected on Form 477.
Thus, consistent with our rules, filers seeking confidential treatment of deployment data must submit a
request that the data be treated as confidential with the submission of their Form 477 filing, along with
their reasons for withholding the information from the public.214
84.
Company Identification Information. Some commenters argue that all data collected by
Form 477 should be given confidential treatment.215 In this instance, the type of company identification
information collected on Form 477 is not competitively sensitive information of the type that the
Commission has in the past treated as confidential.216 Accordingly, we will not limit disclosure of
company identification information by allowing filers to check a box on Form 477 requesting confidential
treatment of that information. While filers are not precluded from seeking confidential treatment of
company identification information pursuant to the Commission's rules,217 there will be no streamlined
check-box option. Filers seeking confidential treatment of company identification information must

212 We plan, however, to make the mobile coverage areas by technology and by an aggregated range of speeds
available to the public.
213 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 0.459.
214 See id.
215 See, e.g., CenturyLink/Qwest Comments at 18; ITTA Comments at 3 (both asserting that the Commission should
retain the current "check box" on Form 477 that allows service providers to request confidential treatment for all
data submitted on the form); AT&T Comments at 53 (urging the Commission to maintain its existing limits on the
disclosure of confidential 477 information to third parties).
216 See, e.g., Johan Karlsen on Request for Inspection of Records; Rally Capital, LLC on Request for Confidential
Treatment
, FOIA Control No. 2008-465, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 12299, 12303, para. 13
(2009) (declining to afford confidential treatment to ownership information because that information was publicly
identified in financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other websites, and to the
extent information is in the public domain, the information is not confidential); Applications Filed by Frontier
Communications Corporation and Verizon Communications Inc. for Assignment or Transfer of Control
, WC Docket
No. 09-95, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 5972, 597476, paras. 47 (2010) (describing the
corporate structures of Verizon and Frontier); Domestic Section 214 Application Filed for the Transfer of Control of
Community Telephone Company, Inc. to Hilliary Communications, LLC
, WC Docket No. 10-151, Public Notice, 25
FCC Rcd 10929 (2010) (describing the structural ownership of two LECs); Applications of Cellco Partnership
D/B/A Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. For Consent To Assign or Transfer Control of Licenses and Authorizations
and Request for Declaratory Ruling on Foreign Ownership
, WT Docket No. 09-121, File Nos. 0003888722, et al.,
ITC-ASG-20090630-00309, File No. ISP-PDR-20090630-00004, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Declaratory
Ruling, 25 FCC Rcd 10985, 1098790, paras. 38 (2010) (describing the corporate structures of Cellco d/b/a
Verizon Wireless and AT&T).
217 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 0.459.
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therefore submit a request that the information be treated as confidential with the submission of their
Form 477 filing, along with their reasons for withholding the information from the public.218
85.
Emergency Contact Information. As noted above, we will now collect the name, phone
number, and email address of each Form 477 filer's emergency operations contact.219 The Commission
needs this information to promptly contact providers' network operating centers during emergencies. We
agree with commenters that this information is confidential.220 Accordingly, for the reasons set forth
below, we find that these emergency operations contact data are information that should not be routinely
available for public inspection.221 Form 477 is filed securely through an online password protected
system. Providers submitting this information on Form 477 will not be required to submit a request for
nondisclosure of the emergency operations contact information.222 Requests for inspection of this
information must include a persuasive showing as to the reasons for inspection of the data.223 When
considering such requests, the Commission will weigh the policy considerations favoring nondisclosure
against the reasons cited for permitting inspection in the light of the facts of the particular case.224
86.
We find that emergency operations contact information is confidential and subject to
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Exemption 4, which protects "trade secrets and commercial or
financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential."225 In circumstances in
which commercial information is required to be submitted to the government, FOIA Exemption 4 permits
us to withhold such records where release would likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position
of the submitting party.226 Communications providers do not make information about how to contact
their network operations centers available to the public. Instead, they provide contact information to the
public that will not disrupt their network operations. The release of this commercial information to the
public would likely result in direct commercial and financial harm to the providers' business operations.
Public disclosure of this information could present an unacceptable risk of disrupting communications
providers' operations, including repair operations during communications outages or other emergencies.
Network operations centers could be flooded with calls during emergencies when the staff at those centers
should be focused on providing or restoring communications services. Interference with a
communications provider's work to ensure the continued, robust operation of its communications services
would clearly result in commercial harm to business operations.227
87.
Under FOIA Exemption 4, we are also obliged to consider any adverse impact that
disclosure might have on government programs, including the impact on the Commission's ability to

218 See id.
219 See supra paras. 7576.
220 See AT&T Comments at 5051 (arguing that its emergency contact information is highly confidential and should
be collected by the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau through appropriate and secure
means).
221 See 47 C.F.R. 0.457.
222 47 C.F.R. 0.459.
223 See 47 C.F.R. 0.457, 0.461.
224 See 47 C.F.R. 0.457. We will provide notice to relevant filers of requests to review this information pursuant to
the Commission's FOIA rules. 47 C.F.R. 0.461.
225 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).
226 See Critical Mass Energy Project v. NRC, 975 F.2d 871, 880 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (en banc); National Parks & Cons.
Ass'n v. Morton
, 498 F.2d 765 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
227 See New Part 4 of the Commission's Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications, ET Docket No. 04-35,
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 16830, 16855, para. 45 (2004)
(discussing application of Exemption 4 to support treatment of outage reports as confidential).
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implement its statutory responsibility under section 1 of the Act228 to ensure that communications services
are adequate to promote "safety of life and property."229 Public disclosure of this information would
likely result in increased call volume to providers' network operations centers. This could result in
potential harm to public safety by interfering with communications providers' network operations and
ability to provide communications service. Further, the Commission and other government agencies
might be unable to contact network operations centers when needed, adversely impacting their ability to
fulfill statutory and other obligations to ensure adequate communications services. Finally, access to
providers' emergency operations contact information will not advance the public's interest in learning of
Commission actions and communications service providers publicize contact information that does not
interfere with their operations. Accordingly, we conclude that this information is sensitive data entitled to
confidential treatment and should be exempt from routine public disclosure under FOIA.230

IV.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

88.
The Notice set out several sources of legal authority that support the proposals to collect
additional data, stated that the Commission believed that its authority was sufficient, and sought comment
on that conclusion.231 To the extent that commenters questioned the Commission's authority to collect
the types of data required under this Order, we have addressed those comments above.232 Our authority to
adopt this Order and the accompanying rules lies in sections 4(i), 201, 214, 218220, 251252, 254,
303(r), 310, 332, and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), as well as section
706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.233 As discussed elsewhere in this Order, for example, these
data are important inputs into the annual Broadband Progress Reports required by section 706.234
Deployment and subscription data are also critical for the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities under
section 254, including the requirement that its universal service policies ensure that consumers in all
regions "have access to telecommunications and information services, including interexchange services
and advanced telecommunications and information services, that are reasonably comparable to those
services provided in urban areas,"235 and is critical to measuring whether we are meeting those
responsibilities.236 As discussed above, we also need deployment and subscription data to further public
safety goals.237 With respect to mobile broadband deployment and subscription data, we also note that
such data will help the Commission to carry out its spectrum management related responsibilities under
Title III of the Act.238 To the extent that the Form 477 data collection applies to interconnected VoIP

228 47 U.S.C. 151.
229 See, e.g., Critical Mass, 975 F.2d at 879 (recognizing third, program impairment prong of Exemption 4); 9 to 5
Org. for Women Workers v. Bd. Of Governors of the Fed. Reserve Sys.
, 721 F.2d 1, 10 (1st Cir. 1983); Pub. Citizen
Health Research Group v. NIH
, 209 F. Supp. 2d 37, 42-43 (D.D.C. 2002) (alternative holding); Allnet Comm. Srvs.
v. FCC
, 800 F. Supp. 984, 990 (D.D.C. 1992).
230 See 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4); 47 C.F.R. 0.457(d).
231 See Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 1543, para. 107.
232 See supra para. 26 (refuting commenter arguments that the BDIA constrains the Commission's ability to collect
broadband deployment data).
233 See 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 201, 214, 218220, 251252, 254, 303(r), 310, 332, 403, 1302(b) (2010).
234 See, e.g., supra para. 15.
235 47 U.S.C. 254(b)(3); see, e.g., supra paras. 14, 16.
236 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 1767983, paras. 4659 (discussing performance goals and
measures).
237 See supra paras. 4, 14, 17, 5657, 71.
238 See, e.g., 47 U.S.C. 303, 309, 310, 332.
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providers, and to the extent that interconnected VoIP services are not telecommunications services,239 we
have both direct authority,240 as well as ancillary authority, to require the submission of these data based
on the necessity of collecting such information in order for the Commission to be able to carry out its
statutory obligations with regard to carriers.241

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

89.
This document contains new and modified information collection requirements subject to
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public,
and other federal agencies are invited to comment on the new and modified information collection
requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought
specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.
90.
In this present document, we have assessed the effects of revising Form 477 to collect
additional subscription data on fixed voice and interconnected VoIP services; deployment data on voice
and broadband services; and company identification and contact information, and find that these
collections must be collected from all providers, including small business providers, to be effective in
helping the Commission meet its statutory requirements.

B.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

91.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended, the Commission has
prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for this Report and Order, of the possible
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules addressed
in this document. The FRFA is attached to this item as Appendix C. The Commission will send a copy
of this item, including the FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration (SBA).

C.

Congressional Review Act

92.
The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

93.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i), 201, 214, 218-220, 251-
252, 254, 303(r), 310, 332, and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.

239 The Commission has not determined whether interconnected VoIP services should in all cases be classified as
"telecommunications services" or "information services" under the Communications Act, and we do not decide that
issue here.
240 For example, the Commission's authority under section 218 of the Act is not limited to the collection of
information solely from carriers. See 47 U.S.C. 218 ("The Commission may obtain from [carriers subject to this
chapter] and from persons directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common
control with, such carriers full and complete information necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties
and carry out the objects for which it was created.").
241 See United States v. Southwestern Cable Co., 392 U.S. 157, 177-78 (1968); American Library Ass'n v. FCC, 406
F.3d 689, 69193 (D.C. Cir. 2005). The Commission previously has held that interconnected VoIP services
constitute communication by wire or radio, and thus fall within the Commission's general subject matter jurisdiction
under section 1 of the Act, and we do not reach a different conclusion here.
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154(i), 201, 214, 218-220, 251-252, 254, 303(r), 310, 332, and 403, 409, 502, and 503, and section 706 of
the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 1302, this Report and Order IS ADOPTED.
94.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Parts 0, 1 and 43 of the Commission's rules ARE
AMENDED as set forth in Appendix A.
95.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 1.4(b)(1) and 1.103(a) of the
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.4(b)(1), 1.103(a), this Report and Order SHALL BE EFFECTIVE
30 days after publication of a summary in the Federal Register, except for the amendments to sections
1.7001, 1.7002, 43.01 and 43.11 of the Commission's rules, which will become effective upon
announcement in the Federal Register of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval and an
effective date of the rules.
96.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission SHALL SEND a copy of this Report
and Order to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional
Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
97.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and the
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
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APPENDIX A

Final Rules

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR
parts 0, 1, and 43 to read as follows:

PART 0 COMMISSION ORGANIZATION

1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:
Authority: Sec. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 155, 225, unless otherwise noted.
2. Amend 0.91 by revising paragraph (f) to read as follows:
0.91 Functions of the Bureau.
* * * * *
(f) Develop and administer recordkeeping and reporting requirements for telecommunications carriers,
providers of interconnected VoIP service (as that term is defined in section 9.3 of this chapter), and
providers of broadband services.
* * * * *
3. Amend 0.457 by adding paragraph (d)(1)(viii) as follows:
0.457 Records not routinely available for public inspection.
* * * * *
(d)(1)(viii) Emergency contact information reported on FCC Form 477.
* * * * *

PART 1 PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

4. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 15 U.S.C. 79 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 225, 227, 303(r), and 309, Cable
Landing License Act of 1921, 47 U.S.C. 35-39, and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of
2012, Pub. L. 112-96.
5. Amend 1.7001 by deleting paragraph (a)(2), redesignating paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4) as (a)(2) and
(a)(3), and revising paragraphs (a)(2), (b), (c) and (d) to read as follows:
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1.7001 Scope and content of filed reports.
(a) Definitions. Terms used in this subpart have the following meanings:
(1) Facilities-based providers. Those entities that provide broadband services over their own facilities or
over Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs), special access lines, and other leased lines and wireless
channels that the entity obtains from a communications service provider and equips as broadband.
(2) One-way broadband lines or wireless channels. Lines or wireless channels with information carrying
capability in excess of 200 kilobits per second in at least one direction, but not both.
(3) Own facilities. Lines and wireless channels the entity actually owns and facilities that it obtained the
right to use from other entities as dark fiber or satellite transponder capacity.
(b) All commercial and government-controlled entities, including but not limited to common carriers and
their affiliates (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153 (1)), cable television companies, terrestrial fixed wireless
providers, terrestrial mobile wireless providers, satellite providers, utilities, and others, that are facilities-
based providers shall file with the Commission a completed FCC Form 477, in accordance with the
Commission's rules and the instructions to the FCC Form 477.
(c) Respondents identified in paragraph (b) of this section shall include in each report a certification
signed by an appropriate official of the respondent (as specified in the instructions to FCC Form 477) and
shall report the title of their certifying official.
(d) Disclosure of data contained in FCC Form 477 will be addressed as follows:
(1) Emergency operations contact information contained in FCC Form 477 are information that
should not be routinely available for public inspection pursuant to 0.457 of this chapter.
(2) Respondents may make requests for Commission non-disclosure of the following data
contained in FCC Form 477 under 0.459 of this chapter by so indicating on Form 477 at the time
that the subject data are submitted:
(i) provider-specific subscription data and
(ii) provider-specific mobile deployment data that includes specific spectrum and speed
parameters that may be used by providers for internal network planning purposes.
(3) Respondents seeking confidential treatment of any other data contained in FCC Form 477
must submit a request that the data be treated as confidential with the submission of their Form
477 filing, along with their reasons for withholding the information from the public, pursuant to
0.459 of this chapter.
(4) The Commission shall make all decisions regarding non-disclosure of provider-specific
information, except that the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau may release provider-
specific information to:
(i) a state commission provided that the state commission has protections in place that
would preclude disclosure of any confidential information,
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(ii) "eligible entities," as those entities are defined in the Broadband Data Improvement
Act, in an aggregated format and pursuant to confidentiality conditions prescribed by the
Commission, and
(iii) others, to the extent that access to such data can be accomplished in a manner that
addresses concerns about the competitive sensitivity of the data and precludes public disclosure
of any confidential information.
* * * * *
6. Amend 1.7002 to read as follows:
1.7002 Frequency of reports.
Entities subject to the provisions of 1.7001 shall file reports semi-annually. Reports shall be filed each
year on or before March 1st (reporting data required on FCC Form 477 as of December 31 of the prior
year) and September 1st (reporting data required on FCC Form 477 as of June 30 of the current year).
Entities becoming subject to the provisions of 1.7001 for the first time within a calendar year shall file
data for the reporting period in which they become eligible and semi-annually thereafter.

PART 43 REPORTS OF COMMUNICATION COMMON CARRIERS AND CERTAIN
AFFILIATES

7. The authority citation for part 43 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154; Telecommunications Act of 1996; Pub.L. 104-104, sec. 402(b)(2)(B), (c), 110
Stat. 56 (1996) as amended unless otherwise noted. 47 U.S.C. 211, 219, 220, as amended; Cable Landing
License Act of 1921, 47 U.S.C. 35-39.
8. Amend 43.01 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) to read as follows:
43.01 Applicability.
(a) The sections in this part include requirements which have been promulgated under authority of
sections 211 and 219 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, with respect to the filing by
communication common carriers and certain of their affiliates, as well as certain other providers, of
periodic reports and certain other data, but do not include certain requirements relating to the filing of
information with respect to specific services, accounting systems and other matters incorporated in other
parts of this chapter.
(b) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, carriers and other providers becoming
subject to the provisions of the several sections of this part for the first time, shall, within thirty (30) days
of becoming subject, file the required data as set forth in the various sections of this part.
* * * * *
(d) Common carriers and other service providers subject to the provisions of 43.11 shall file data semi-
annually. Reports shall be filed each year on or before March 1st (reporting data required on FCC Form
477 as of December 31 of the prior year) and September 1st (reporting data required on FCC Form 477 as
of June 30 of the current year). Common carriers and other providers becoming subject to the provisions
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of 43.11 for the first time within a calendar year shall file data for the reporting period in which they
become eligible and semi-annually thereafter.
9. Amend 43.11 to revise paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) to read as follows:
43.11 Reports of local exchange competition data
(a) All common carriers and their affiliates (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(1)) providing telephone
exchange or exchange access service (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(16) and (47)), commercial mobile
radio service (CMRS) providers offering mobile telephony (as defined in 20.15(b)(1) of this chapter),
and Interconnected Voice over IP service providers (as defined in 9.3 of this chapter), shall file with the
Commission a completed FCC Form 477, in accordance with the Commission's rules and the instructions
to the FCC Form 477.
(b) Respondents identified in paragraph (a) of this section shall include in each report a certification
signed by an appropriate official of the respondent (as specified in the instructions to FCC Form 477) and
shall report the title of their certifying official.
(c) Disclosure of data contained in FCC Form 477 will be addressed as follows:
(1) Emergency operations contact information contained in FCC Form 477 are information that
should not be routinely available for public inspection pursuant to 0.457 of this chapter.
(2) Respondents may make requests for Commission non-disclosure of the following data
contained in FCC Form 477 under 0.459 of this chapter by so indicating on Form 477 at the time
that the subject data are submitted:
(i) provider-specific subscription data and
(ii) provider-specific mobile deployment data that includes specific spectrum and speed
parameters that may be used by providers for internal network planning purposes.
(3) Respondents seeking confidential treatment of any other data contained in FCC Form 477
must submit a request that the data be treated as confidential with the submission of their Form
477 filing, along with their reasons for withholding the information from the public, pursuant to
0.459 of this chapter.
(4) The Commission shall make all decisions regarding non-disclosure of provider-specific
information, except that the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau may release provider-
specific information to:
(i) a state commission provided that the state commission has protections in place that
would preclude disclosure of any confidential information, and
(ii) "eligible entities," as those entities are defined in the Broadband Data Improvement
Act, in an aggregated format and pursuant to confidentiality conditions prescribed by the
Commission, and
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(iii) others, to the extent that access to such data can be accomplished in a manner that
addresses concerns about the competitive sensitivity of the data and precludes public disclosure
of any confidential information.
* * * * *
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APPENDIX B

List of Commenters

Comments in WC Docket No. 11-10

Commenter

Abbreviation

AT&T Inc.
AT&T
California Association of Competitive
CALTEL
Telecommunications Companies
California Public Utilities Commission
California PUC
CenturyLink, Inc. and Qwest Communications
CenturyLink/Qwest
International Inc.
Communications Workers of America
CWA
CTIA--The Wireless Association
CTIA
Daniel Kelley
Daniel Kelley
Free Press
Free Press
GVNW Consulting, Inc.
GVNW
Hughes Network Systems, LLC
Hughes
Independent Telephone and Telecommunications
ITTA
Alliance
John Staurulakis, Inc.
JSI
Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications MDTC
and Cable
Michigan Public Service Commission
Michigan PSC
National Cable & Telecommunications Association NCTA
New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel
NJ Rate Counsel
Organization for the Promotion and Advancement
OPASTCO et al.
of Small Telecommunications Companies; National
Telecommunications Cooperative Association;
Western Telecommunications Alliance
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Pa. PUC
Sprint Nextel Corporation
Sprint
Telogical Systems, LLC
Telogical
Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
TSTC
Time Warner Cable Inc.
Time Warner
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
T-Mobile
United States Telecom Association
USTelecom
Verizon and Verizon Wireless
Verizon
ViaSat, Inc.
ViaSat
Voice on the Net Coalition
VON Coalition
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Reply Comments in WC Docket No. 11-10

Reply Commenter

Abbreviation

Alliance for Telecommunications Industry
ATIS
Solutions
AT&T Inc.
AT&T
Communications Workers of America
CWA
Level 3 Communications, LLC
Level 3
National Association of State Utility Consumer
NASUCA/NJ Rate Counsel
Advocates and the New Jersey Division of Rate
Counsel
Public Service Commission of the District of
DC PSC
Columbia
SpeedNet LLC
SpeedNet
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
T-Mobile
Verizon and Verizon Wireless
Verizon
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APPENDIX C

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 an Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the 2011 Data Gathering Notice.2 The
Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the 2011 Data Gathering Notice,
including comment on the IRFA.3 The comments received are discussed below. This present Final
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.4

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

2.
In this Report and Order (Order), the Commission modifies the FCC Form 477 data
collection to streamline the collection and improve the quality of the data collected. Form 477 is the
Commission's primary tool for collecting data about broadband and local telephone networks and
services. The revisions to the form adopted today will expand and refine the data available to the
Commission to fulfill its statutory duties.
3.
For the last three years, data on broadband deployment have been collected by the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to populate the National
Broadband Map. But NTIA's collection program is nearing its completion. NTIA's State Broadband
Initiative (SBI) collection of deployment data is scheduled to expire in 2014; given the critical role such
data play in meeting the goals of Congress and the Commission, it is the Commission's responsibility to
ensure that no gap exists in the collection of these data. In today's Order, the Commission assumes the
responsibility for collection of broadband deployment data, with some modifications to streamline and
reduce the burdens on providers while making other modest improvements. With regard to subscription
data, the Commission takes measures to reduce burdens while improving the quality of the data it collects.
To enhance its ability to meet public safety needs and obligations, the Commission will collect emergency
contact information from providers. Finally, the Commission requires filers to report certain company
identification information, which will facilitate transaction reviews, as well as ongoing vigilance against
waste, fraud, and abuse of universal service funding.
4.
Data about broadband and voice deployment and subscription are essential to the
Commission's ability to fulfill its statutory obligations and play a vital public interest role for other state,
local, and federal agencies, researchers, and consumers. Data collected through Form 477 and NTIA's
SBI program play an essential role in the Commission's work: the Commission uses these data to meet
its statutory obligation to assess annually the state of broadband availability, update its universal service
policies and monitor whether its statutory universal service goals are being achieved, and meet its public

1 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-12, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
2 See Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program; Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate
Reasonable and Timely Deployment of Advanced Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless Broadband
Subscribership Data, and Development of Data on Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Subscribership;
Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, Infrastructure and Operating Data Gathering; Review of Wireline Competition
Bureau Data Practices
, WC Docket Nos. 11-10, 07-38, 08-190, 10-132, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd
1508, 1549 (2011) (Notice).
3 Id. at 1546, para. 118 & at 1549, para. 1.
4 See 5 U.S.C. 604.
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safety obligations. The Commission also makes the data available to states, researchers, and the public to
inform their own activities and decisions regarding voice and broadband networks and services.
5.
Many of these obligations flow directly from statute. Significantly, the Broadband Data
Improvement Act (BDIA) requires that the Commission conduct an annual inquiry concerning the
"availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans."5 As part of this inquiry, the
Commission must "determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all
Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."6 If the Commission's conclusion is negative, it must
"take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure
investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."7 The Commission has
observed that the data collected on Form 477 to date have been imperfect for the purpose of assessing
broadband deployment and availability, as subscription data are a highly imperfect proxy for network
deployment.
6.
Deployment and subscription data are also needed to fulfill the Commission's universal
service mandate. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, requires the Commission to base its
universal service policies on a number of principles, including that "[c]onsumers in all regions of the
Nation, including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular, and high cost areas, should have
access to telecommunications and information services . . . that are reasonably comparable to those
services provided in urban areas."8 The Commission currently relies on SBI data for a number of
universal service policies. For example, the Commission has relied on the SBI data to determine areas
eligible for support in Connect America Phase I,9 and has stated that it will rely on SBI data for
determining areas eligible for support in Connect America Phase II.10 In addition, the Commission has
sought comment on using SBI data to determine areas eligible for the Remote Areas Fund.11 Over time,
the Commission's reliance on the SBI data to support its universal service policies will transition to
reliance on data collected on Form 477. Thus, the data collected in Form 477 are critical to measuring
whether we are meeting our universal service mandate.
7.
Accurate, detailed data about deployment and subscription also help further the
Commission's public safety goals. In disaster situations, for example, the Commission uses these data to
identify service providers likely to be affected and alternative sources of critical communications. The
collection of deployment and subscription data help the Commission monitor the performance of both
legacy circuit-switched networks and broadband networks, to ensure that consumers can access
emergency services as service providers transition from one technology to the other.
8.
Moreover, in addition to the Commission's use of the data, there have been tremendous
public interest benefits to other federal and state agencies and the general public from the FCC's and
NTIA's data collections. Use of the National Broadband Map application, and access to the data via
download or Application Programming Interfaces, has been extensive.

5 47 U.S.C. 1302(b).
6 Id.
7 Id.
8 47 U.S.C. 254(b)(3).
9 Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order, FCC 13-73, para. 19 (rel. May 22,
2013).
10 Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, DA 13-1113, para. 5 (Wireline Comp. Bur. rel.
May 16, 2013).
11 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Further Comment On Issues Regarding The Design Of The Remote Areas
Fund
, WC Docket No. 10-90, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 265, 267, paras. 57 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013).
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9.
As discussed below, we will now collect fixed and mobile broadband deployment data.
Combining network deployment information with service availability data, as well as subscription
information, will assist the Commission in a number of analyses, including the annual broadband progress
report, the Annual Mobile Wireless Competition Report, the state of competition in the mobile wireless
industry, and review of mergers and spectrum transactions. The mobile broadband deployment data, in
conjunction with similar data on mobile voice deployment, will enable the Commission to analyze the
extent of deployment in different spectrum bands, and technologies. These data will enable us to analyze
deployment in different spectrum bands, and to structure our spectrum, infrastructure, and competition
polices effectively and efficiently in a rapidly evolving mobile marketplace. The National Broadband
Plan states that mobile broadband is poised to become a key platform for innovation in the United States
over the next decade. For mobile service deployment, spectrum is an essential input as the transmission
pipe. Understanding how spectrum bands and technologies have actually been deployed in different areas
will greatly facilitate the formulation of sound and informed spectrum policies, including how best to
make additional spectrum available for licensed, unlicensed and opportunistic uses. The mobile
broadband deployment data, indicating speed, technology, and spectrum band used, will enable us to
better assess the wireless marketplace to ensure that our spectrum and competition policies accommodate
growing demand and evolving technologies in the provision of mobile broadband services.
10.
With respect to mobile broadband, the Commission continues NTIA's SBI collection,
with certain modifications to reduce burdens while improving the data to fulfill our statutory purposes and
policy goals. These modifications include additional technology codes, separation of coverage areas by
unique combinations of technology, spectrum and speed, and minimum, rather than maximum, advertised
speed. Specifically, for each mobile broadband network technology (e.g., EV-DO, WCDMA, HSPA+,
LTE, WiMAX) deployed in each frequency band (e.g., 700 MHz, Cellular, AWS, PCS, BRS/EBS),
facilities-based mobile broadband providers should submit polygons representing the nationwide
coverage area (including U.S. territories) of that technology. Collecting these deployment data on mobile
broadband network technologies, in conjunction with data on spectrum and minimum advertised speeds,
will improve the data needed to fulfill the Commission's statutory purposes and policy goals. As with
fixed broadband deployment data, we direct filers to report data on advertised speeds and reduce the
burden of associating these speeds with predetermined speed tiers. To reduce burdens, we also allow
mobile broadband providers to submit coverage maps on a nationwide rather than state-by-state basis.
11.
Subscription information enables the Commission to fulfill its statutory and regulatory
duties. For the past thirteen years, the collection of subscription data via Form 477 has served as the
Commission's principal tool for monitoring telephone and broadband subscriptions and competition.
Form 477 subscription data also enable the Commission to evaluate barriers to adoption, administer and
reform the universal service program, monitor the PSTN-to-IP conversion by providing insight into how
many customers rely on each type of network technology in each area, and better assess which services
are purchased independently or in combination with other services. These data also support the
Commission's efforts to ensure public safety by providing a measure of what networks and providers
customers rely on in each area.
12.
The Commission will now collect the number of total and residential fixed voice and
interconnected VoIP subscriptions by census tract, much like it currently does for fixed broadband
subscription data.12 The Commission will no longer require providers of these services to submit the list
of ZIP codes in which they provide service to end-user customers.
13.
Collecting fixed voice and interconnected VoIP subscription data by census tract will
improve the Commission's ability to measure and conduct analyses of retail voice competition. The

12 In 2008, the Commission determined that all wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service
providers must report the numbers of subscribers by census tract. 2008 Broadband Data Gathering Order and
Further Notice
, 23 FCC Rcd at 9696-98, paras. 12-14.
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Commission currently collect fixed broadband subscription data by census tract, and consumers often
purchase fixed broadband and voice services together. Collecting fixed voice and interconnected VoIP
subscription data at the same geographic level as fixed broadband data will allow the calculation of retail
market shares for voice services by census tract in most census tracts, and will give the Commission a
better understanding of competition in the remainder.
14.
The Commission requires additional company identification information for several
reasons. The Commission currently allows Form 477 filers to consolidate data for multiple operations
within a state on a single submission, and filers are permitted to determine the organizational level at
which they submit their filings. A parent or holding company may file on behalf of its subsidiaries or the
subsidiaries may file their own Form 477. Accordingly, the Commission will now require filers to report,
in each 477 filing, the company's Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) study area codes,
USAC 499 identification numbers, and website address. This information enables the Commission to
aggregate, compare, and analyze, by a common provider, the various data it collects through different
forms and filing requirements.
15.
The Commission will also require that filers report the name, phone number, and email
address of their emergency operations contact. The information currently collected by Form 477 is not
sufficient for use in promptly contacting providers' network operating centers during emergencies. Some
commenters support the collection of additional emergency contact information. For example, Qwest
states that this information should be collected, since "[e]mergency contact information could be added to
Form 477 without placing any material burden on the service providers."13 However, other commenters
argue that Form 477 is not the appropriate vehicle for the Commission to collect this contact
information.14
16.
The Commission needs this emergency operations contact information to fulfill its
statutory public safety mandates. The Commission must be able to directly contact individuals who can
provide information on network status during natural disasters or other emergencies.15 As a mandatory,
recurring filing by providers of telephone and broadband service, Form 477 will be a particularly effective
vehicle for collecting emergency contact data that are comprehensive and current, with a relatively small
burden on filers. The Commission currently has no structured, recurring, mandatory collection of contact
information in place specifically for use in emergencies affecting telephone and/or broadband networks.
The Commission's Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) does collect contact information, but
only on a voluntary basis for use during large-scale disasters. It is important for the Commission to have
contact information from all providers that file Form 477, including those providers that do not choose to
participate in DIRS, and that this information is updated consistently.

13 See Qwest Comments at 17.
14 See Verizon Comments at 2829 ("There is no reason to conclude that Form 477 would be the most efficient or
effective means for serving [waste, fraud and abuse, USF, and public safety] interests . . . [and there is no need to
collect] additional information on spectrum licenses when it already has detailed information [from Form 602] in
ULS." ); AT&T Comments at 5051; NCTA Comments at 15 (emergency contact information may be collected but
not through Form 477). AT&T argues that its emergency contact information is highly confidential and should be
collected by the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau through appropriate and secure means.
See AT&T Comments at 5051. NCTA asserts that contact information is collected through the Disaster
Information Reporting System (DIRS), and collecting similar contact information on Form 477 may be harder to
update, is unnecessary, and may lead to confusion or delay in an emergency situation. See NCTA Comments at 15;
see also Verizon Comments at 2829 (arguing that Form 477 will not be "more useful than existing sources such as
the Disaster Information Reporting Center").
15 The Communications Act states that the Commission was created to ensure the availability of "wire and radio
communications service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges" for the purpose of "promoting safety of life
and property through use of wire and radio communications." 47 U.S.C. 151.
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17.
Finally, filers of Form 477 will be required to report the name, title, and contact
information of their certifying official. This essential information provides assurance and the ability to
confirm if needed that the certifying official has the authority to certify that the data submitted is accurate
and truthful.

B.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

18.
In this section, we respond to comments filed in response to the IRFA. To the extent we
received comments raising general small business concerns during this proceeding, those comments are
discussed throughout the Report and Order.
19.
OPASTCO, NTCA, and WTA assert that the Commission should narrow its efforts and
collect only that information for which it has a legitimate statutory or regulatory need.16 In addition, they
comment that, to the extent that other avenues for gathering information exist, the Commission should use
those avenues in order to eliminate duplicative filing requirements for service providers.17 OPASTCO et
al.
also comment that the Commission must remain mindful of the burdens new requirements could
impose on small providers like rural LECs, and that specifically, detailed new reporting requirements
could prove difficult for small providers that manually maintain physical plant records, instead of using
sophisticated computerized systems.18
20.
The Commission takes steps in the Order to protect against duplication in the Form 477
collection and reduce the burden on filers by narrowly tailoring the collection of data to those most useful
to the Commission. The Commission found in the Order that the collection of deployment and
subscription data was necessary to fulfill a number of the Commission's statutory and policy goals,
including its statutory obligation to assess annually the state of broadband availability, update its
universal service policies and monitor whether its statutory universal service goals are being achieved,
and meet its public safety obligations. In addition, in the Order, the Commission directed the Wireline
Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to identify any
circumstances in which the collection of company identification information on Form 477 may duplicate
another Commission collection, and to exempt filers from the latter in those instances.
21.
The Commission also considered whether data available from outside sources, including
providers' websites, is sufficient to inform the Commission about the expansion of broadband networks.
The Commission found, however, that reliance on third-party data is not appropriate for a primary source
of deployment data.19
22.
Finally, with its new collection of deployment data, the requirements in the Order are
designed to reduce filing burdens and increase reliability of the data in several ways. For example, the
changes to the SBI collection are designed to reduce filing burdens and increase reliability of the data.
The collection will occur in a single, unified process rather than on a state-by-state basis. A single,
nationwide filing (that includes both deployment and subscription data) will help eliminate potential
variations among states, and reduce to one the number of entities with which a multistate provider must
coordinate for its filing. In addition, the elimination of speed tiers will reduce burdens associated with
categorizing data into those tiers. The data will also be more reliable because all providers must file, and
must certify to the accuracy upon filing. The Commission also declined to gather fixed broadband
deployment data at a level more granular than the census block, finding that the added complexity and
burden are unlikely at this time to provide a significant insight into how many residences and businesses
lack access to service. In short, the collection is carefully tailored to provide the Commission the data it

16 OPASTCO et al. Comments at 2.
17 Id.
18 Id. at 45.
19 See infra discussion Part E.
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needs to fulfill its mission, while taking steps to minimize the burden on filers. As a result, the
Commission expects that communications providers' overall reporting burden will decrease even though
the Commission will be collecting more data.
23.
Further, the Commission noted that the Wireline Competition Bureau will release a draft
data specification that reflects the changes necessary to implement this Order. As they have with every
previous revision of Form 477, Wireline Competition Bureau staff will work with providers to ensure that
the providers have the tools they need to complete and file the form in the least burdensome manner
possible. The Commission delegated authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to implement any technical improvements or other
clarifications to the filing mechanism and forms that will make compliance easier for filers.
24.
AT&T argued that the proposed pricing collection from broadband providers would
impose significant and unnecessary burdens on broadband providers in violation of the Regulatory
Flexibility Act.20 The Commission does not require the filing of pricing data in the Order.

C.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will
Apply

25.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of,
the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein.21 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."22 In addition, the term "small business" has the
same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.23 A "small business
concern" is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration
(SBA).24
1.

Wireline Providers

26.
Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the
SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services.
The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers.
Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.25 Census Bureau
data for 2007, which now supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this
category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44
firms had had employment of 1000 or more. According to Commission data, 1,307 carriers reported that
they were incumbent local exchange service providers.26 Of these 1,307 carriers, an estimated 1,006 have

20 AT&T Comments at 2526.
21 5 U.S.C. 604(a)(3).
22 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
23 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of "small-business concern" in the Small Business
Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies "unless an
agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity
for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register."
24 15 U.S.C. 632.
25 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
26 See Trends in Telephone Service, Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry
Analysis and Technology Division at Table 5.3 (Sept. 2010) (Trends in Telephone Service).
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1,500 or fewer employees and 301 have more than 1,500 employees.27 Consequently, the Commission
estimates that most providers of local exchange service are small entities that may be affected by the rules
and policies proposed in the Notice. Thus under this category and the associated small business size
standard, the majority of these incumbent local exchange service providers can be considered small
providers.28
27.
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (Competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers
(CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission
nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The
appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under
that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.29 Census Bureau data for
2007, which now supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category
that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had
had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated small business
size standard, the majority of these Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and
Other Local Service Providers can be considered small entities.30 According to Commission data, 1,442
carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or
competitive access provider services.31 Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer
employees and 186 have more than 1,500 employees.32 In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they
are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees.33 In
addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers.34 Of the 72, seventy have
1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees.35 Consequently, the Commission
estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers,
Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities that may be
affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Notice.
28.
Interexchange Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small
business size standard specifically for providers of interexchange services. The appropriate size standard
under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a
business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.36 Census Bureau data for 2007, which now
supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that operated for
the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had employment
of 1,000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard,
the majority of these Interexchange carriers can be considered small entities.37 According to Commission

27 See id.
28 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
29 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
30 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
31 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
32 See id.
33 See id.
34 See id.
35 See id.
36 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
37 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
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data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of
interexchange services.38 Of these 359 companies, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and
42 have more than 1,500 employees.39 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of
interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the
Notice.
29.
Operator Service Providers (OSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed
a small business size standard specifically for operator service providers. The appropriate size standard
under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a
business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.40 Under that size standard, such a business is small if
it has 1,500 or fewer employees.41 Census Bureau data for 2007, which now supersede data from the
2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this
total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had employment of 1,000 employees or
more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these
Interexchange carriers can be considered small entities.42 According to Commission data, 33 carriers
have reported that they are engaged in the provision of operator services. Of these, an estimated 31 have
1,500 or fewer employees and 2 have more than 1,500 employees.43 Consequently, the Commission
estimates that the majority of OSPs are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.
30.
Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category
of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or
fewer employees.44 Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year.
Of that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1000 employees and one operated with more than
1,000.45 Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these
local resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 213 carriers have reported
that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services.46 Of these, an estimated 211 have 1,500 or
fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees.47 Consequently, the Commission estimates
that the majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the
Notice.
31.
Toll Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of
Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer
employees.48 Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year. Of

38 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
39 See id.
40 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
41 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
42 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
43 TRENDS IN TELEPHONE SERVICE, tbl. 5.3.
44 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
45 http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=800&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&;-
_lang=en.
46 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
47 See id.
48 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
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that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1000 employees and one operated with more than 1,000.49
Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these resellers
can be considered small entities. According to Commission data,50 881 carriers have reported that they are
engaged in the provision of toll resale services. Of these, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer
employees and 24 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the
majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by our action.
32.
Payphone Service Providers (PSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has
developed a small business size standard specifically for payphone services providers. The appropriate
size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size
standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.51 Census Bureau data for 2007,
which now supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that
operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had
employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size
standard, the majority of these PSPs can be considered small entities.52 According to Commission data,53
657 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of payphone services. Of these, an
estimated 653 have 1,500 or fewer employees and four have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently,
the Commission estimates that the majority of payphone service providers are small entities that may be
affected by our action.
33.
Prepaid Calling Card Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a
small business size standard specifically for prepaid calling card providers. The appropriate size standard
under SBA rules is for the category Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a
business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.54 Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms
provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1000
employees and one operated with more than 1,000.55 Thus under this category and the associated small
business size standard, the majority of these prepaid calling card providers can be considered small
entities. According to Commission data, 193 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision
of prepaid calling cards.56 Of these, an estimated all 193 have 1,500 or fewer employees and none have
more than 1,500 employees.57 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of prepaid
calling card providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Notice.
34.
800 and 800-Like Service Subscribers.58 Neither the Commission nor the SBA has
developed a small business size standard specifically for 800 and 800-like service ("toll free")
subscribers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Telecommunications

49 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=800&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&;-
_lang=en.
50 TRENDS IN TELEPHONE SERVICE, tbl. 5.3.
51 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
52 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
53 TRENDS IN TELEPHONE SERVICE, tbl. 5.3.
54 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
55 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=800&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&;-
_lang=en.
56 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
57 See id.
58 We include all toll-free number subscribers in this category, including those for 888 numbers.
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Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.59 Census
data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,522
operated with fewer than 1000 employees and one operated with more than 1,000.60 Thus under this
category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of resellers in this classification can
be considered small entities. To focus specifically on the number of subscribers than on those firms
which make subscription service available, the most reliable source of information regarding the number
of these service subscribers appears to be data the Commission collects on the 800, 888, 877, and 866
numbers in use.61 According to our data, as of September 2009, the number of 800 numbers assigned was
7,860,000; the number of 888 numbers assigned was 5,888,687; the number of 877 numbers assigned was
4, 721,866; and the number of 866 numbers assigned was 7, 867,736. The Commission does not have
data specifying the number of these subscribers that are not independently owned and operated or have
more than 1,500 employees, and thus are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number
of toll free subscribers that would qualify as small businesses under the SBA size standard.
Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 7,860.000 or fewer small entity 800 subscribers;
5,888,687 or fewer small entity 888 subscribers; 4,721,866 or fewer small entity 877 subscribers; and
7,867,736 or fewer small entity 866 subscribers.
2.

Wireless Carriers and Service Providers

35.
Since 2007, the Census Bureau has placed wireless firms under the category of Wireless
Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite).62 Census data for 2007 show there were 1,383 firms that
operated in this category during that year.63 Of those 1,383, 1,368 had fewer than 100 employees, and 15
firms had more than 100 employees, based on the Census data.
36.
The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wireless Telecommunications
Carriers (except Satellite) that deems a wireless business to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.64
We applied this standard to Commission data to develop another estimate of the number of wireless
providers that are small. According to the Commission estimates based on FCC Form 499-A data, there
were 970 wireless service providers in 2007.65 Of those, an estimated 815 had 1,500 or fewer employees,
and 155 had more than 1,500 employees.66 In addition, 413 of the 970 providers reported that they were
engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications

59 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
60 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=800&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&;-
_lang=en.
61 Trends in Telephone Service at Tables 18.4, 18.5, 18.6, 18.7.
62 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Sector 51, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517210 Wireless
Telecommunications Categories (Except Satellite)";
http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/def/ND517210.HTM#N517210. Prior to that time, such firms were within the
now-superseded categories of "Paging" and "Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications." U.S. Census
Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, "517211 Paging"; http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/def/NDEF517.HTM.;
U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, "517212 Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications";
http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/def/NDEF517.HTM.
63 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Sector 51, 2007 NAICS code 517210 (rel. Oct. 20, 2009),
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-_skip=700&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
64 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517210 (2007 NAICS). The now-superseded, pre-2007 C.F.R. citations were
13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS codes 517211 and 517212 (referring to the 2002 NAICS).
65 TRENDS IN TELEPHONE SERVICE, Table 5.3.
66 Id.
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Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Telephony services.67 Of those, an estimated 261
had 1,500 or fewer employees, and 152 had more than 1,500 employees.68 Thus, using the available
Form 499-A and Census data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.
37.
In addition, the Commission has defined companies as "small businesses" and "very
small businesses" when auctioning spectrum licenses, for purposes of determining eligibility for bidding
credits, and the SBA has approved these definitions.69 For example, in the Wireless Communications
Service (WCS), 700 MHz Guard Band, and 39 GHz spectrum auctions, the Commission defined a "small
business" as an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years,
and a "very small business" as an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three
preceding years.70 In the 800 MHz/900 MHz, 220 MHz, and 24 GHz spectrum auctions, the Commission
defined a "small business" as an entity that had revenues of no more than $15 million in each of the three
previous calendar years and a "very small business" as an entity that had revenues of no more than $3
million in each of the three previous calendar years.71 However, the number of winning bidders that
qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction is generally not an accurate representation of the
number of small wireless providers potentially subject to Form 477. Reasons for this include: winning
bidders may not offer service or may not offer a service subject to Form 477, winning bidders' revenues
may increase after an auction, and winning bidders may transfer their licenses to another entity. The
Commission does not typically track the revenues of spectrum licensees subsequent to an auction, unless
unjust enrichment issues are implicated in the context of spectrum license assignments or transfers.
3.

Satellite Service Providers

38.
Satellite Telecommunications Providers. Two economic census categories address the
satellite industry. The first category has a small business size standard of $15 million or less in average
annual receipts, under SBA rules.72 The second has a size standard of $25 million or less in annual
receipts.73

67 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
68 See id.
69 See, e.g., Letter from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, SBA, to Amy Zoslov, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC (filed Dec. 2, 1998); Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the
Commission's Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging Systems
, WT Docket No. 96-18, PR Docket No.
93-253, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration and Third Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd 10030,
paras. 98-107 (1999); Letter to D. Phythyon, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, from Aida Alvarez,
Administrator, SBA (Jan. 6, 1998); Letter to Kathleen O'Brien Ham, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, SBA (Feb. 4, 1998);
Letter to Margaret W. Wiener, Deputy Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, from Gary M. Jackson, Assistant Administrator, SBA (July 28, 2000).
70 Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish Part 27, the Wireless Communications Service (WCS), GN
Docket No. 96-228, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 10785, 10879, para. 194 (1997); Service Rules for the 746764
MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules
, WT Docket No. 99-168, Second Report and
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 5299, at 5343, para. 108 (2000); Amendment of the Commission's Rules Regarding the 37.0-
38.6 GHz and 38.6-40.0 GHz Bands
, ET Docket No. 95-183, PP Docket No. 93-253, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd
18600 (1998).
71 47 C.F.R. 90.810, 90.814(b), 90.912; 220 MHz Third Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 11068-70, at paras.
291-95; Amendments to Parts 1, 2, 87 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to License Fixed Services at 24 GHz, WT
Docket No. 99-327, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 16934, 16967 at para. 77 (2000); see also 47 C.F.R.
101.538(a)(2).
72 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517410.
73 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517919.
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39.
The category of Satellite Telecommunications "comprises establishments primarily
engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and
broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or
reselling satellite telecommunications."74 Census Bureau data for 2007 show that 512 Satellite
Telecommunications firms that operated for that entire year.75 Of this total, 464 firms had annual receipts
of under $10 million, and 18 firms had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999.76 Consequently, the
Commission estimates that the majority of Satellite Telecommunications firms are small entities that
might be affected by our action.
40.
The second category, i.e. "All Other Telecommunications" comprises "establishments
primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking,
communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments
primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or
more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving
telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over
Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in
this industry."77 For this category, Census Bureau data for 2007 show that there were a total of 2,383
firms that operated for the entire year.78 Of this total, 2,347 firms had annual receipts of under $25
million and 12 firms had annual receipts of $25 million to $49, 999,999.79 Consequently, the
Commission estimates that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms are small entities that
might be affected by our action.
4.

Cable and OVS Operators

41.
Because section 706 requires us to monitor the deployment of broadband regardless of
technology or transmission media employed, the Commission anticipates that some broadband service
providers may not provide telephone service. Accordingly, the Commission describes below other types
of firms that may provide broadband services, including cable companies, MDS providers, and utilities,
among others.
42.
Cable and Other Program Distributors. Since 2007, these services have been defined
within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers; that category is
defined as follows: "This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or
providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the
transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks.
Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies."80 The
SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: all such firms having 1,500
or fewer employees. Census data for 2007, which supersede data contained in the 2002 Census, show that

74 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517410 Satellite Telecommunications."
75 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
76 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
77 See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517919&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search.
78 U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&-_lang=en.
79 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
80 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers," (partial
definition), http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/def/ND517110.HTM#N517110 (last visited Oct. 21, 2009).
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there were 1,383 firms that operated that year.81 Of those 1,383, 1,368 had fewer than 100 employees,
and 15 firms had more than 100 employees. Thus under this category and the associated small business
size standard, the majority of such firms can be considered small.
43.
Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has also developed its own small
business size standards, for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a "small
cable company" is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers, nationwide.82 Industry data indicate that, of
1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but eleven are small under this size standard.83 In addition, under
the Commission's rules, a "small system" is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.84
Industry data indicate that, of 7,208 systems nationwide, 6,139 systems have under 10,000 subscribers,
and an additional 379 systems have 10,00019,999 subscribers.85 Thus, under this second size standard,
most cable systems are small.
44.
Cable System Operators. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a
size standard for small cable system operators, which is "a cable operator that, directly or through an
affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not
affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed
$250,000,000."86 The Commission has determined that an operator serving fewer than 677,000
subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual
revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.87 Industry data indicate that, of
1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but ten are small under this size standard.88 We note that the
Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated
with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million,89 and therefore we are unable to estimate
more accurately the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small under this size
standard.
45.
Open Video Services. Open Video Service (OVS) systems provide subscription
services.90 The open video system ("OVS") framework was established in 1996, and is one of four
statutorily recognized options for the provision of video programming services by local exchange

81 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Sector 51, 2007 NAICS code 517210 (rel. Oct. 20, 2009),
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-_skip=700&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
82 47 C.F.R. 76.901(e). The Commission determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size
standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. Implementation of Sections of the 1992 Cable Act: Rate
Regulation,
Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393, 7408 (1995).
83 See BROADCASTING & CABLE YEARBOOK 2006, at A-8, C-2 (Harry A. Jessell ed., 2005) (data current as of
June 30, 2005); TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, at D-805 to D-1857 (Albert Warren ed., 2005).
84 47 C.F.R. 76.901(c).
85 TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, at F-2 (Albert Warren ed., 2005) (data current as of Oct. 2005). The data
do not include 718 systems for which classifying data were not available.
86 47 U.S.C. 543(m)(2); see 47 C.F.R. 76.901(f) & nn. 13.
87 47 C.F.R. 76.901(f); see Public Notice, FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small
Cable Operator
, 16 FCC Rcd 2225 (Cable Services Bureau 2001).
88 See BROADCASTING & CABLE YEARBOOK 2006, at A-8, C-2 (Harry A. Jessell ed., 2005) (data current as of June
30, 2005); TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, at D-805 to D-1857 (Albert Warren ed., 2005).
89 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local
franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to 76.901(f) of
the Commission's rules. See 47 C.F.R. 76.909(b).
90 See 47 U.S.C. 573.
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carriers.91 The OVS framework provides opportunities for the distribution of video programming other
than through cable systems. Because OVS operators provide subscription services,92 OVS falls within the
SBA small business size standard covering cable services, which is "Wired Telecommunications
Carriers."93 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: all such
firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. To gauge small business prevalence for the OVS service, the
Commission relies on data currently available from the U.S. Census for the year 2007. According to that
source, there were 3,188 firms that in 2007 were Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Of these, 3,144
operated with less than 1,000 employees, and 44 operated with more than 1,000 employees. However, as
to the latter 44 there is no data available that shows how many operated with more than 1,500 employees.
Based on this data, the majority of these firms can be considered small.94 In addition, we note that the
Commission has certified some OVS operators, with some now providing service.95 Broadband service
providers ("BSPs") are currently the only significant holders of OVS certifications or local OVS
franchises.96 The Commission does not have financial or employment information regarding the entities
authorized to provide OVS, some of which may not yet be operational. Thus, at least some of the OVS
operators may qualify as small entities. The Commission further notes that it has certified approximately
45 OVS operators to serve 75 areas, and some of these are currently providing service.97 Affiliates of
Residential Communications Network, Inc. (RCN) received approval to operate OVS systems in New
York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other areas. RCN has sufficient revenues to assure that they
do not qualify as a small business entity. Little financial information is available for the other entities that
are authorized to provide OVS and are not yet operational. Given that some entities authorized to provide
OVS service have not yet begun to generate revenues, the Commission concludes that up to 44 OVS
operators (those remaining) might qualify as small businesses that may be affected by the rules and
policies adopted herein.
5.

Internet Service Providers, Web Portals and Other Information Services

46.
In 2007, the SBA recognized two new small business, economic census categories. They
are (1) Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals,98 and (2) All Other Information
Services.99
47.
Internet Service Providers. The 2007 Economic Census places these firms, whose
services might include voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), in either of two categories, depending on
whether the service is provided over the provider's own telecommunications facilities (e.g., cable and
DSL ISPs), or over client-supplied telecommunications connections (e.g., dial-up ISPs). The former are
within the category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers,100 which has an SBA small business size

91 47 U.S.C. 571(a)(3)-(4). See 13th Annual Report, 24 FCC Rcd at 606, 135.
92 See 47 U.S.C. 573.
93 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers";
http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/def/ND517110.HTM#N517110.
94 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
95 A list of OVS certifications may be found at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/ovs/csovscer.html.
96 See 13th Annual Report, 24 FCC Rcd at 606-07, 135. BSPs are newer firms that are building state-of-the-art,
facilities-based networks to provide video, voice, and data services over a single network.
97 See http://www.fcc.gov/mb/ovs/csovscer.html (current as of February 2007).
98 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 519130 (establishing a $500,000 revenue ceiling).
99 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 519190 (establishing a $6.5 million revenue ceiling).
100 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers";
http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/def/ND517110.HTM#N517110.
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standard of 1,500 or fewer employees.101 These are also labeled "broadband." The latter are within the
category of All Other Telecommunications,102 which has a size standard of annual receipts of $25 million
or less.103 These are labeled non-broadband.
48.
The most current Economic Census data for all such firms are 2007 data, which are
detailed specifically for ISPs within the categories above. For the first category, the data show that 396
firms operated for the entire year, of which 159 had nine or fewer employees.104 For the second category,
the data show that 1,682 firms operated for the entire year.105 Of those, 1,675 had annual receipts below
$25 million per year, and an additional two had receipts of between $25 million and $ 49,999,999.
Consequently, we estimate that the majority of ISP firms are small entities.
49.
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals. This industry comprises
establishments primarily engaged in 1) publishing and/or broadcasting content on the Internet exclusively
or 2) operating Web sites that use a search engine to generate and maintain extensive databases of Internet
addresses and content in an easily searchable format (and known as Web search portals). The publishing
and broadcasting establishments in this industry do not provide traditional (non-Internet) versions of the
content that they publish or broadcast. They provide textual, audio, and/or video content of general or
specific interest on the Internet exclusively. Establishments known as Web search portals often provide
additional Internet services, such as e-mail, connections to other web sites, auctions, news, and other
limited content, and serve as a home base for Internet users.106 The SBA has developed a small business
size standard for this category; that size standard is 500 employees.107 Less than 500 employees is
considered small.108 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 2,705 firms that provided one
or more of these services for that entire year. Of these, 2,682 operated with less than 500 employees and
13 operated with 500 to 999 employees.109 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms are
small entities that may be affected by our action.
50.
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services. This industry comprises establishments
primarily engaged in providing infrastructure for hosting or data processing services. These
establishments may provide specialized hosting activities, such as web hosting, streaming services or
application hosting; provide application service provisioning; or may provide general time-share
mainframe facilities to clients. Data processing establishments provide complete processing and
specialized reports from data supplied by clients or provide automated data processing and data entry
services. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category; that size standard is
$25 million or less in average annual receipts.110 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were

101 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
102 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, "517919 All Other Telecommunications";
http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/def/ND517919.HTM#N517919.
103 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517919 (updated for inflation in 2008).
104 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, "Establishment and Firm Size,"
NAICS code 5171103 (released Nov. 19, 2010) (employment size). The data show only two categories within the
whole: the categories for 1-4 employees and for 5-9 employees.
105 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, "Establishment and Firm Size,"
NAICS code 5179191 (released Nov. 19, 2010) (receipts size).
106 See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=519130&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search.
107 See http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf.
108 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 519130.
109 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=1000&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
110 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 518210.
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8,060 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.111 Of these, 6,726 had annual receipts of
under $25 million, and 155 had receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million.112 Consequently,
we estimate that the majority of these firms are small entities that may be affected by our action.
51.
All Other Information Services. "This industry comprises establishments primarily
engaged in providing other information services (except new syndicates and libraries and archives)."113
Our action pertains to interconnected VoIP services, which could be provided by entities that provide
other services such as email, online gaming, web browsing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and
other, similar IP-enabled services. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this
category; that size standard is $7.0 million or less in average annual receipts.114 According to Census
Bureau data for 2007, there were 367 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.115 Of these,
334 had annual receipts of under $5 million, and an additional 11 firms had receipts of between $5
million and $9,999,999.116 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms are small entities
that may be affected by our action.

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements for Small Entities

52.
In today's Order, the Commission modifies the FCC Form 477 data collection to
streamline the collection and improve the quality of the data collected. These revisions impose further
reporting and recordkeeping requirements on current Form 477 filers, including small entities.
53.
Deployment. To ensure continuity with the National Broadband Map, the Commission
will collect network deployment data for fixed and mobile broadband as well as mobile voice network
deployment data. The Order requires each facilities-based provider of fixed broadband service to provide
a list of all census blocks in which it makes broadband service available to end users. Facilities-based
providers of fixed broadband service will also be required to report the maximum speed offered in each
census block where they offer service, breaking out reporting for residential and nonresidential services
where appropriate, and by technology. With respect to mobile broadband, for each mobile broadband
network technology (e.g., EV-DO, WCDMA, HSPA+, LTE, WiMAX) deployed in each frequency band
(e.g., 700 MHz, Cellular, AWS, PCS, BRS/EBS), facilities-based mobile broadband providers should
submit polygons representing the nationwide coverage area (including U.S. territories) of that technology.
Facilities-based mobile wireless voice providers must submit geospatial data of their coverage area
boundaries. For both fixed and mobile broadband deployment data, filers must report data on advertised
speeds; to reduce the burden on filers, the Commission eliminates predetermined speed tiers. Also to
reduce burdens, the Commission allows mobile service providers to submit coverage maps on a
nationwide rather than state-by-state basis.

111 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=1000&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&-_lang=en.
112 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=1000&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&-_lang=en.
113 U.S. Census Bureau, "2002 NAICS Definitions: 519190 All Other Information Services";
http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/def/NDEF519.HTM.
114 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 519190. See also
http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf.
115 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=1200&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&-_lang=en.
116 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=1100&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&-_lang=en.
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54.
Subscription. To improve the quality of the subscription data the Commission collects,
the Order requires providers of fixed voice and interconnected VoIP services to file subscription data by
census tract, as is currently required for fixed broadband subscription data, rather than the current process
of requiring such providers to submit the list of ZIP codes in which they provide service to end-user
customers. The Order also eliminates the use of speed tiers for broadband subscription data, and requires
filers to provide the number of broadband connections by the advertised speeds associated with each
product subscribed to in the relevant geographic area. Fixed providers will report connections by the
maximum advertised upload and download speeds in each census tract, while mobile providers will report
connections by minimum advertised upload and download speeds in each state.
55.
The Order eliminates questions and requirements on the current Form 477 that require
certain broadband providers to report information about the availability of broadband service, as opposed
to information about actual subscribership to broadband service. These questions are no longer necessary
in light of the new Form 477 collection of broadband deployment data, discussed above. Specifically, the
Order eliminates Part I.B of the current form, which requires, by state: (1) each incumbent LEC with any
DSL connections in service to report its best estimate of the percentage of residential end user premises in
its service area to which its DSL connections could be provided using installed distribution facilities,
(2) each cable system with any cable modem connections in service to report its best estimate of the
percentage of residential end user premises in its service area to which its cable modem connections could
be provided using installed distribution facilities, and (3) each network operator serving any terrestrial
mobile wireless broadband subscribers to report the total number of subscribers (i.e., including
broadband, broadband plus voice, and voice-only subscribers) whose mobile device is capable of sending
or receiving data at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction. In addition,
the Order eliminates the requirement that fixed broadband providers submit data for every census tract
within their "defined service territory" regardless of the number of subscribers in the tract. By
eliminating these questions, the Commission protects against duplication in its collection and reduces the
burden on filers by narrowly tailoring its collection of data to those most useful to the Commission.
56.
In addition, the Commission eliminates the requirement that broadband providers submit
state-level data on the percentage of their connections that are billed to end users and the percentage that
are equipped over their own facilities. The Commission typically does not rely on these metrics at this
level for competitive analysis, nor has it reported them in its semiannual Internet Access Services reports.
Eliminating them will greatly simplify the revised Form 477 and its data collection interface, and will
reduce burden for filers.
57.
The Commission also modifies its current data collection in several ways to eliminate
unnecessary information and produce data better suited to competitive analysis. The Commission
removes the requirement that providers of local exchange telephone service report the number of lines
provided to unaffiliated communications carriers as UNE-Platform (UNE-P). The Commission also
eliminates reporting of the percentage of end-user lines provided over UNE-P. In addition, providers of
interconnected VoIP service will no longer be required to report the number of companies purchasing
their VoIP components or service for resale. The Commission typically does not rely on this metric at
this level for competitive analysis. The Commission also simplifies the categories of information
interconnected VoIP providers must provide. Currently, the Form requires filers to report the percentage
of VoIP subscriptions with nomadic functionality. The Order finds the burdens of this reporting
distinction do not outweigh the benefits and so eliminates the nomadic category. Finally, the Commission
requires local exchange telephone service providers to report, by state, how many of their access lines are
bundled with broadband. This information about bundling can be evidence of consumers' willingness to
switch voice service providers, and hence improves the Commission's competitive analysis.
58.
Company Identification and Contact Information. To enhance the Commission's ability
to meet public safety needs and obligations, the Order requires entities filing Form 477 to provide
additional company identification and contact information. In addition to the current Form 477
requirements, the Commission will require filers to report the company's Universal Service
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Administrative Company (USAC) study area codes, USAC 499 identification numbers, and website
address. The Order also requires that filers report the title of their certifying official and the name, phone
number, and email address of their emergency operations contact. This information will assist the
Commission in fulfilling its universal service mandate, evaluating merger, forbearance, and other
applications, and protecting public safety. The information currently collected by Form 477 is not
sufficient for use in promptly contacting providers' network operating centers during emergencies.

E.

Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered

59.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered
in reaching its proposed approach, which may include (among others) the following four alternatives:
(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather
than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small
entities.117
60.
The Commission needs access to data that are comprehensive, reliable, sufficiently
disaggregated, and reported in a standardized manner. The Order recognizes, however, that reporting
obligations impose burdens on the reporting providers. Consequently, the Commission limits its
collection to information that is narrowly tailored to meet its needs.
61.
Deployment. With regard to the collection of deployment data, the changes to the SBI
collection adopted in the Order are designed to reduce filing burdens and increase reliability of the data in
several ways. The collection will occur in a single, unified process rather than on a state-by-state basis.
A single, nationwide filing (that includes both deployment and subscription data) will help eliminate
potential variations among states, and reduce to one the number of entities with which a multistate
provider must coordinate for its filing. In addition, the elimination of speed tiers will reduce burdens
associated with categorizing data into those tiers. The data will also be more reliable because all
providers must file, and must certify to the accuracy upon filing. The Commission also declined to gather
fixed broadband deployment data at a level more granular than the census block, finding that the added
complexity and burden are unlikely at this time to provide a significant insight into how many residences
and businesses lack access to service. In short, the collection is carefully tailored to provide the
Commission the data it needs to fulfill its mission, while taking steps to minimize the burden on filers.
As a result, the Commission expects that communications providers' overall reporting burden will
decrease even though the Commission will be collecting more data.
62.
The Commission considered whether data available from outside sources, including
providers' websites, are sufficient to inform the Commission about the expansion of broadband networks.
The Commission found, however, that reliance on third-party data is not appropriate for a primary source
of deployment data. Among the problems the Commission faces in using commercial data are restrictions
on reuse and publication of the data on which the Commission would rely. In addition, the Commission
found in the 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report that while Mosaik data provide a useful tool for
measuring developments in mobile broadband deployment, they may overstate the extent of mobile
broadband coverage.118 Furthermore, because Mosaik reports advertised coverage as reported to it by
mobile wireless providers, each of which may use a different standard for determining coverage, the

117 5 U.S.C. 603(c).
118 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 1036768, paras. 3940. The Commission had similar
concerns regarding the SBI data estimates of mobile broadband deployment. Specifically, the Commission had
concerns that providers are reporting services as meeting the broadband speed benchmark when they likely do not.
See id. at 10366-67, paras. 35-38. However, we are making modifications to that collection to make the data more
useful.
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Mosaik data are not consistent across geographic areas and service providers.119 Finally, tracking down
deployment information on providers' websites would not provide consistent data for analysis, would be
time consuming, and might not be comprehensive. The information on providers' websites is not
certified and is generally not available in a format consistent enough to provide the level of geographic
granularity the Commission requires.
63.
In the Order, the Commission recognizes that submitting any information imposes
burdens, which may be most keenly felt by small providers, but concludes that the benefits of having
comprehensive data substantially outweigh the burdens. One of the primary objectives of Form 477 is to
inform the Commission's efforts to encourage broadband deployment on a reasonable and timely basis to
all Americans. The Commission concluded it that would miss important data relevant to this objective if
it were to exempt small providers, which are likely to serve rural or insular areas of the United States,
where barriers to deployment are typically the highest. Additionally, obtaining this information from
small and rural providers helps ensure that Connect America Fund support is indeed increasing broadband
deployment and will help the Commission keep its universal service policies appropriately tailored over
time. At the same time, the Commission is cognizant of the burdens of data collections, and has therefore
taken steps to minimize burdens, including by making the deployment collection consistent, to a large
extent, with NTIA's SBI data collection. For all of these reasons, the Commission concluded that the
benefits of collecting deployment data outweigh the burdens on small providers that may be associated
with collection of these data.
64.
The Commission specifically considered at what geographic level to require reporting
from small providers. The Commission found that reporting by census block will not be unduly
burdensome for the majority of fixed broadband service providers, as many of these providers already
voluntarily report deployment data by census block to NTIA's SBI program. Fixed broadband providers
have, since June 2010, submitted the characteristics of their broadband deployment by census block to
state mapping designees.
65.
The Commission also considered whether to gather fixed broadband deployment data at a
level more granular that the census block. The Commission declined to do so at this time because the
added complexity and burden are unlikely to provide a significant insight into how many residences and
businesses lack access to service. The Commission found that many providers do not maintain broadband
network deployment data on an address-by-address basis. Also, rural areas where networks are deployed
may not have "street" addresses assigned. The Commission was not persuaded that the benefits of
requiring address-level data would outweigh the overall increase in the filing burden. The Commission
concluded that requiring providers to report fixed broadband deployment data by census block
appropriately balances the burdens of reporting this information to the Commission with the level of
granularity required to carry out our statutory duties.
66.
The Commission also found that burdens on mobile wireless providers associated with
providing digital representations of and geospatial data on their network coverage areas are not
significant, and are outweighed by the public interest benefits associated with our collection. The
geospatial data the Commission is collecting on spectrum and technology are used by mobile service
providers for radio frequency (RF) network design and are an integral part of every mobile service
provider's ordinary course of business. Accordingly, mobile deployment data by spectrum bands and
network technology should be readily available to mobile service providers given that any mobile
network deployment plan would include both the spectrum and the network technology to be used for
such deployment.
67.
In addition, many providers develop and maintain such data in order to publish maps of
their coverage areas on their websites and in other promotional materials, and certain operators have

119 See 2012 Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 27 FCC Rcd at 10367-68, para. 40; Sixteenth CMRS Competition
Report
, 28 FCC Rcd at 3704, para. 2, n.5.
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provided network coverage boundaries to Mosaik. Certain providers also have submitted coverage area
boundaries to the Commission as part of wireless transaction proceedings, and many providers have
submitted coverage area boundaries in the SBI data collection. There are multiple GIS (Geographical
Information Systems) platforms capable of creating and managing geospatial data on mobile network
coverage areas, and there are many GIS specialists and engineering consultants in the United States who
are able to provide expertise and develop such data for providers that do not have internal GIS resources.
68.
Finally, the Commission also considered whether the collection of fixed voice network
deployment data is warranted. It concluded that collecting additional fixed voice network deployment
data on Form 477 would be largely redundant and would impose an additional burden on voice providers.
Therefore, the Commission declined to require providers of fixed voice services to report deployment
data on Form 477.
69.
Subscription. While the Commission believes that more granular subscription data would
be preferable, it declines to collect more granular subscription data at this time to ensure that any burdens
are minimized before initiating any additional collections. Accordingly, the Commission directs the
Wireline Competition Bureau to test technical improvements to the Form 477 filing mechanism that
might reduce the burden of filing more detailed subscription data. If, after analyzing such tests, the
Bureau determines there is a means of minimizing burdens with a more detailed approach, the
Commission will revisit whether to initiate such collection.
70.
The Commission also eliminates the requirement that providers submit broadband data in
predetermined speed tiers, and instead will require providers of broadband services, for both subscription
and deployment data, simply to provide advertised speeds--the maximum advertised speed in each
census block for fixed broadband, and the minimum advertised speed in each coverage area for mobile
broadband. Streamlining the collection in this manner will give the Commission greater flexibility to
group and analyze broadband speed data in useful ways. Eliminating speed tiers will permit the
Commission to conduct a consistent analysis of subscription and deployment data and, because they will
no longer be required to categorize the number of connections into existing speed tiers, will reduce
burdens on filers.
71.
Company Identification Information. In the Order, the Commission recognizes that it
currently collects some company identification information in other contexts. Although these collections
do not duplicate the information collection adopted in the Order--they apply to small subsets of the
universe of Form 477 filers and do not request the same level of detail--the Commission nonetheless
takes precautions to ensure that no entity is burdened with duplicative filings. Accordingly, the
Commission directed the Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, to identify any circumstances in which the collection of company
identification information on Form 477 may duplicate another Commission collection, and to exempt
filers from the latter in those instances.

F.

Report to Congress

72.
The Commission will send a copy of the Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be
sent to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.120 In addition, the Commission will send a
copy of the Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the
Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.121

120 See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
121 See 5 U.S.C. 604(b).
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STATEMENT OF

ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re:
Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program, WC Docket No. 11-10.
While this item may not be flashy, it is critical to our agency's effectiveness and core mission.
The Commission must have complete, accurate, and reliable data to fulfill our statutory duties of
promoting universal service, public safety, a competitive communications marketplace, and the
reasonable and timely deployment of broadband networks. I am pleased that my colleagues join me today
to improve and streamline our collection of data about broadband and voice services.
The changes we make today will ensure that the Commission, other government agencies, and the
public will continue to have access to the National Broadband Map. This publicly available tool, which
shows the availability of fixed and mobile broadband throughout America, has become a critical resource
for our nation. The FCC has used the National Broadband Map to determine unserved areas for universal
service purposes, among other key policy initiatives.
NTIA, in partnership with the states, has been collecting and populating the National Broadband
Map for the past 3 years, and I thank and applaud them for their tireless work in doing so. This item will
allow the FCC to build upon NTIA's fantastic work, while taking steps to reduce burdens on providers.
We must remain mindful of the costs that the collection of data for policy-making purposes may
impose on industry and ultimately on consumers and ratepayers. The steps taken in the Report and Order
address this concern by reducing reporting burdens while improving the quality of the data collected on
Form 477. For example, the item institutes a single, uniform filing format, and eliminates the
requirement that providers place their subscribers in various government-defined speed tiers and instead
has providers report their self-selected advertised speeds. These changes will reduce the amount of time
and effort needed to provide us this information and increase the Commission's flexibility in analyzing
the data.
While this Report and Order does not collect pricing or more granular subscription data as some
parties have requested, it leaves the door open to do so. The Order initiates a voluntary program for
providers to help test a client-side application that will evaluate ways to collect more granular data in a
manner that minimizes burdens on respondents. These technical improvements are an important step to
enable the Commission to collect additional data in the future.
Finally, I am pleased that this item takes steps to explore making the subscription data collected
on the Form 477 available to the public, including researchers. Such information is a valuable resource
for local and state governments, academics, as well as members of the general public. I encourage the
Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to explore
ways to facilitate greater public access to the subscription data collected on the Form 477, while still
protecting competitively sensitive data.
I would like to thank my fellow Commissioners, as well as the staffs of the Wireline Competition
Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, for your tireless work on this item.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

Re:
Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program, WC Docket No. 11-10.
We cannot manage what we do not measure. The person who taught me this was the late Senator
Inouye. I had the privilege of working for him when he introduced the Broadband Data Improvement
Act. A copy of this law, which was later incorporated into the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act, hangs on my office wall--complete with his signature.
The point of his truism is simple, but the reality is profound. If we want to tackle our nation's
challenges, we need good data to drive our policies.
To this end, the Broadband Data Improvement Act helped usher in a new era of more data-centric
broadband policy. It led to a grant program at the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) that in turn, led to a National Broadband Map. We can and should improve on the
information in this map. But without the basic data it provides, we would never have been able to pursue
major policy goals, like the reform of our universal service system to support broadband deployment.
As the NTIA's grant program nears completion, it is time to ensure that what we have built
becomes a foundation for good policy going forward. It is time for the FCC to take up NTIA's broadband
data collection efforts and continue to improve upon them.
For these reasons, I am pleased to support today's Report and Order. Although limited in scope,
it puts us on the path of securing continuity of the National Broadband Map by updating our Form 477 to
collect network deployment data for fixed and mobile broadband. It also takes measures to improve the
quality of our broadband and voice subscription data while reducing burdens on providers.
Going forward, I hope we will continue to consider further improvements to our data collection
efforts. Some of these have been teed up in our record, including the collection of pricing data--which I
acknowledge can be sensitive and complicated. Yet studies consistently demonstrate that roughly one-
third of Americans choose not to subscribe to broadband, citing lack of relevance, lack of digital literacy,
and lack of affordability. How can our policies ensure that Americans do not end up on the wrong side of
the digital divide without a better understanding of cost and affordability? Again, we cannot manage
what we do not measure. We cannot fix what we do not understand. So I look forward to further
discussion on these issues. Because with better broadband data, we can have better broadband policy.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

Re:
Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program, WC Docket No. 11-10.
It's fair to say that the FCC collects a lot of data and issues a lot of reports. According to the
White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, for example, the Commission collects
information in 424 distinct ways from members of the public.1 We release a host of reports on different
aspects of the communications marketplace, some each year as mandated by Congress2 and others more
intermittently.3
Today we start consolidating some of the disparate collections that underlie those reports in a way
that--we hope--reduces the burden on telephone and broadband service providers while at the same time
providing the information that Congress and the Commission need to make well-informed policy
decisions. I am pleased that my colleagues accepted several of my suggestions to streamline this
collection, such as by making clear that multi-state providers need only file once to report their data,
rather than filing a separate form for each state. We also direct the Bureaus to develop software to reduce
the cost of filing, for those providers that volunteer to use it. More generally, I appreciate Chairwoman
Clyburn for crafting a consensus, leaving contentious issues like the collection of broadband pricing
information for another day.
That takes care of input. What about output, namely, the reports we release? We'll rely on the
data we collect here for five separate reports: the Broadband Deployment Report, the Internet Access
Services Report, the Local Telephone Competition Report, the Wireless Competition Report, and the
International Broadband Data Report. I'd like to consolidate all these reports, but our congressional
reporting requirements stem from a halcyon time when each silo of the communications industry was an
easily defined marketplace unto itself. That's why I support efforts in Congress to pass the Federal
Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act. This legislation would give the FCC the
freedom to extend the reforms we adopt today, eliminating outdated obligations and refining our work in
a way that makes sense for us, for Congress, and for consumers.
Finally, this order has been two years in the making, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank Kirk
Burgee, Ellen Burton, Jean Ann Collins, Bill Dever, Lisa Gelb, Chelsea Fallon, Nese Guendelsberger,
Diane Griffin Holland, Michael Janson, Melissa Kirkel, Doug Klein, Travis Litman, Ken Lynch, Marcus
Maher, Ruth Milkman, Steve Rosenberg, Paroma Sanyal, Jim Schlichting, Mitali Shah, Carol Simpson,
Susan Singer, Jamie Susskind, Julie Veach, and Rodger Woock for their contributions. And I believe
now is an appropriate time to recognize the analysts, the economists, the number crunchers, and the data

1 See Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Inventory of Currently Approved Information Collections for
the Federal Communications Commission, www.reginfo.gov (last visited June 26, 2013).
2 FCC Report to Congress as Required by the ORBIT Act, Fourteenth Report, FCC 13-80 (June 7, 2013) (Statement
of Commissioner Pai) (noting that the Open-Market Reorganization for the Betterment of International
Telecommunications Act "requires the Commission to annually update Congress on the agency's progress in
implementing the Act, even though that statute's goal . . . has long since been achieved"), available at
http://go.usa.gov/bM2w.
3 GAO, Report to the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission on the Video Marketplace:
Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated, GAO-13-576 (June 2013) (noting that
the Commission has failed to publish required reports on the cable industry eight times in the last decade, and
recommending that the Commission consider whether it would make sense to issue such reports less frequently and
transmit its analysis to Congress), available at http://go.usa.gov/bM4m.
71

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-87

wizards of the Industry Analysis and Technology Division. You turn the vast information we collect into
products useful for policymakers, an often unsung task but one worthy of great thanks.
72

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