To bring broadband to every unserved part of the United States, we must know where broadband service is available, and where it is not.  The FCC is in the process of creating more granular, precise maps on the availability of fixed and mobile broadband service with the Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC).  

August 2019: Digital Opportunity Data Collection Established

The FCC established the DODC with the Digital Opportunity Data Collection Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 19-79), adopted on August 2, 2019. 

March 2020: Broadband DATA Act Enacted

The Broadband DATA Act was signed into law on March 23, 2020.  It largely codifies the FCC's overall approach to the Digital Opportunity Data Collection.  Among other things, it requires the FCC to:

  • Issue final rules for collecting granular data from providers on the availability and quality of broadband Internet access service
  • Create publicly available broadband coverage maps 
  • Establish processes for members of the public and other entities to challenge and verify the coverage maps 
  • Develop a common dataset of all locations where fixed broadband Internet access service can be installed

July 2020: Further DODC Implementation and Broadband DATA Act Implementation

On July 16, 2020, the FCC took further steps to improve its broadband availability data and to implement the Broadband DATA Act with the DODC Second Report and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 20-94)

The Order adopted:

  • Requirements for providers of fixed and mobile broadband service to report broadband coverage and availability
    • The data will be collected semi-annually, with filing deadlines of March 1 to reflect data as of December 31 of the previous calendar year, and September 1 to reflect data as of June 30 of the then-current calendar year.  OEA will issue a Public Notice announcing the initial filing deadline at least 6 months prior to that deadline.
  • The collection of crowdsourced data, the use of audits, and other measures to help verify the accuracy of the data
  • The Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric), a dataset of all locations where fixed broadband service can be installed
  • Standards for incorporating verified data from governmental entities and certain third parties into the FCC's broadband coverage maps

The Further Notice sought comment on issues related to implementing:

  • The process for verifying broadband coverage data
  • The processes for the public and governmental entiteis to challenge the accuracy of the coverage maps
  • The Fabric
  • The FCC's broadband coverage maps
  • Technical assistance provided to small broadband providers; Tribal governments in the form of regional workshops; and consumers and State, local, and Tribal governments for the challenge processes



Thursday, November 19, 2020