ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURN
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
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.