In August 2019, the FCC began a new process for collecting more granular data on the availability of fixed broadband service with the adoption of the Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC) Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 19-79).
The Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC) has several components:
- Requirements for providers of fixed broadband service to submit geospatial coverage map data showing the areas where they make fixed broadband service available. The polygons must reflect:
- Where the provider has broadband-capable networks, and either has a broadband connection in service or could provide such a connection within 10 business days of a customer request, without an extraordinary commitment of resources and without construction charges or fees exceeding an ordinary service activation fee.
- Maximum download and upload speeds made available in each area, the technology used to provide the service, and differentiation among residential-only, business-only, or residential-and-business service.
- A public, web-based map showing, at a granular level, where fixed broadband service - by speed, technology, provider, and business/residential category - is available and where is it not. The data on that map will be based on the coverage map data submitted by fixed broadband providers.
- The coverage map data will inform the FCC on decisions regarding which areas of the country should be eligible for support for broadband expansion through the Universal Service Fund.
- A crowd-sourcing portal that will allow individual consumers, as well as state, local, and Tribal government entities, to submit public input on the accuracy of the data on the public fixed broadband availability map.
The new data collection is subject to PRA approval and will take effect after OEA issues a public notice announcing the availability of the new data collection platform and filing deadlines.
The DODC data will be submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company, under the oversight of the FCC's Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA), Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB), Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), and International Bureau (IB).
The DODC Second Further Notice seeks comment on several issues, including:
- Requirements related to methodologies or standards that fixed broadband providers should use in creating their service availability polygons,
- Specific requirements for the collection of crowd-sourced data and the process for resolving disputes of the fixed broadband availability data, and
- The collection of more accurate, reliable mobile wireless voice and broadband coverage data and incorporation of this information into the DODC.