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Beginning in 2014, the FCC will assume responsibility for the collection of data on broadband deployment, an effort currently overseen by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) in coordination with the States. The first filings at the FCC will be due on October 1, 2014, representing data as of June 2014, while NTIA's final collection also will be for data as of June 30, 2014.
What are the changes?
NTIA has collected deployment data through the State Broadband Initiative (SBI); the FCC has collected subscription data through its semi-annual Form 477 collection. In the future, those efforts will be consolidated into the Form 477 data collection.
The deployment data, with the exception of certain spectrum and speed information associated with the mobile coverage areas, will be made public while the provider-specific subscription data will remain confidential.
When will the changes take effect?
The changes adopted in the Order will be implemented with the collection of data as of June 30, 2014, which will be due on October 1, 2014. The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau announced the dates for the filing window in a June 11, 2014 Public Notice and will continue to provide information on the procedures and instructions for submitting Form 477 under the revised rules.
How will data be submitted?
Form 477 data are filed directly with the FCC via its online electronic filing system. The FCC is currently upgrading the Form 477 filing system to streamline the data submission process. In a March 27, 2014 Public Notice, the Bureau provided guidance on how filers will submit data using the new filing interface.
The Form 477 Data Specification, released August 26, 2013, provides direction to filers on the data they will be required to submit in accordance with the changes adopted in the Order. It provides an overview of each section of the data collection and lists each field that filers will need to fill out. It also includes information on the required format of the data and a sample entry for each record.
Through the end of the June 2014 submission cycle, broadband providers can get support and assistance from SBI state entities to determine the provider’s broadband deployment footprint. We encourage providers take advantage of this resource.