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Study Area Boundary Data Collection - Frequently Asked Questions

Log In - Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) Site

Do I need to create a new FRN for filing the study area boundary data?
No.  Filers should log into the study area boundary data collection site using the FRN used to file FCC Form 477 data.  However, if your FCC Form 477 password begins with a special character (non-number, non-letter), you should reset your password so that it no longer begins with a special character.

The company I am filing for has multiple FRNs.  Which one should I use?
You should file using the same FRN that you use to file your FCC Form 477 data.

Is there a specific format for entering the FRN?
Yes.  The entire 10-digit FRN must be entered, including any pre-leading zeros; otherwise, you will not gain access to the site.

How do I reset my password?
There are two ways to reset your password.  You may call (877) 480-3201 and select option 1 from the menu to speak with a technical representative who can help you reset your password in real-time, or you may try to reset your password online, but you will need to know the answer to the security question in order to reset your password.

Log In - State Site

How can I obtain a password to log into the study area boundary data collection site for states?
Please send an email to the study area boundary data collection staff at the FCC to request a password.

Contact Information and Certification

Should the Cover Page Information listed in the Specification for the Study Area Boundary Submission be included in the zip file (in a Word or text file) that I upload to the site?
No.  You will enter that information electronically after you log into the site.  The certifying official's contact information will be entered once you are ready to certify the uploaded data.

Who should I enter as the contact on the Contact Information page?
Enter the contact information for the employee of your ILEC or state commission who is most familiar with the data and who was involved in preparing the data for submission.  This may not necessarily be the same individual who will serve as the Certifying Official for the data submission. 

I certified the study area boundary data that I submitted, but now I need to correct or change the certifying official's information. How can I do this?
Once a shapefile has been certified, you are no longer able to change the certifying official's information.  

Can I update contact information after I've certified a shapefile?
Yes.  You can update the contact information for your company's or commission's study area boundary data at any time by clicking on the "Contact Information" link.

Uploading Data

My uploaded file has been stuck in the "Processing" queue for a long time.  Why?
The most common reasons for this are that the zip file contains a folder, does not contain a shapefile, and/or contains a .shp.xml file.  Please ensure that the uploaded zip file contains only files (not folders), does not contain a .shp.xml file, and that any non-shapefiles, such as .csv or .doc files, are included in the same zip file as the shapefile(s).  Once you have done this, upload a new zip file.

I need to upload a new file, but there are still older files with errors or stuck in processing.  How do I delete the older files?
It is not necessary to delete any incorrect, invalid files or files stuck in processing.  The system is designed to allow you to make multiple uploads regardless of the status of earlier files.  All new uploads receive a timestamp, so the FCC will know which set of files is the most recent.

The site says my zip file is "Ready for Review," but I don't see any shapefiles listed in the Shapefile section of the page.
This issue is most likely the result of the zip file missing at least one of the required component files that make up a shapefile.  Please view the study area boundary shapefile template for a list of shapefile components.  Once your shapefile includes all of the necessary component files, upload a new shapefile in a new zip file.

I have successfully uploaded my shapefile, but the boundaries and boundary data do not appear on the map.  Why is this?
This is most likely the result of your shapefile including the wrong projection.  As specified in the Study Area Boundary Recon Order, the study area boundary map shapefile must use the WGS84 geographic coordinate system.  Please make sure your shapefile is based on the WGS84 projection and, if necessary, upload a new zip file with a revised shapefile.

Study Area Boundary Data

I have seen multiple shapefile templates on the FCC website to use for study area boundaries.  Which is the correct one?
The correct template is contained in this zip file.  Other templates are associated with the study area waiver application process for High Cost Loop Support.

Should the CLLI code data be included in the esri shapefile?
No.  The data on the CLLI codes associated with each exchange or wire center in a study area should be submitted in a separate .csv file, and this .csv file should be included in the zip file uploaded to the study area boundary data collection site.

How many digits, 8 or 11, should the CLLI code field in the CLLI code .csv file contain?
The CLLI code should contain 11 digits.  
CLLI code template for exchange boundary submissions
CLLI code template for wire center boundary submissions

I am a state entity submitting Study Area Boundaries for my state.  How should I handle study areas or exchanges that cross my state’s boundary?
If one or more exchanges or study area boundaries cross the state boundary, you have the following options:
(1) Clip the data (polygon) to the state boundary and submit and certify only the data within the state.
(2) Submit the data for the portion of the study area boundary that extends beyond your state boundary, but certify only the data within your state.  You can do this by indicating in the "Notes" section of the certification page that you certifying the data only within your state boundary even though the data extend beyond that.
(3) Submit the data as in (1) above and then submit a separate shapefile for the portion of the study area that extends beyond the state boundary.  The certifying official can then certify the within-state shapefile(s) and not certify the additional, out-of-state shapefile.

There is a field in the shapefile named FROZEN that I am supposed to fill with a value of “Y” for yes, and “N” for no to indicate frozen support.  What exactly does frozen support refer to?
Section 54.305 of the FCC's rules provides that a carrier acquiring exchanges from an unaffiliated carrier shall receive the same per-line levels of support for which the exchanges were eligible prior to their transfer. If a rural carrier purchases an exchange from a non-rural carrier that receives support based on the FCC's High Cost Model (HCM) for non-rural carriers, the loops of the acquired exchange receive the same per-line support as calculated at the time of the transfer under the HCM component.

This formula applies regardless of the rural carrier's cost characteristics or the support the rural carrier purchasing the exchange may receive for any other exchanges. High Cost components subject to these limitations include non-rural forward-looking support (High Cost Model), Interim Hold Harmless support for non-rural carriers, rural High Cost Loop support, and Local Switching Support. Under FCC rules, to the extent that a carrier acquires exchanges receiving any of these forms of support, the acquiring carrier will receive the same per-line levels of support for which the acquired exchanges were eligible prior to their transfer.

What is meant by "Was the exchange acquired subject to section 54.304 of the Commission's rules?" in the Specification for the Study Area Boundary Submission?
See answer to the question above.

Is the shapefile attribute referenced in paragraph 9 of the Study Area Boundary Reconsideration Order adopted Feb. 26, 2013 (which will allow the FCC to "distinguish those exchanges that are subject to 'frozen' support levels from those that are not, and track and account for exchanges that are transferred from one incumbent LEC to another") the same as the study area boundary shapefile template field named FROZEN?
Yes.  The FROZEN field is used to indicate the status of the exchange in regards to section 54.305.  If the exchange receives frozen support because of 54.305, then the field should contain the value "Y."  If not, the value should be "N."

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