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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. We expect that the first filings at the FCC will be due in September 2014 (representing data as of June 2014). The existing NTIA and FCC Form 477 data collections will continue until that time.
What are the changes?
Today, NTIA collects deployment data through the State Broadband Initiative (SBI); the FCC collects subscription data through its semi-annual Form 477 collection. In the future, those efforts will be consolidated into the Form 477 data collection.
When will the changes take effect?
The FCC anticipates that the changes adopted in the Order will be implemented with the collection of data as of June 30, 2014, which would be due in September 2014. The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau will announce the specific filing deadlines and other procedures for submitting Form 477 under the revised rules in a future Public Notice.
The exact timing is not yet known because changes to the Form 477 data collection must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, before they can take effect. Until the changes in the Order are implemented, providers should continue to submit Form 477 data as required under the existing 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. On March 27, 2014, 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 June 2014, 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.