First consult the Form 477 Instructions, Fixed Broadband Deployment Terms, and Fixed Broadband Deployment Formatting Information for information on what to include in and how to format this data file.
Below are three options for creating your fixed broadband deployment file for Form 477:
1. Mapping Software
You can use GIS mapping software (MapInfo, ArcMap, and QGIS are examples) to determine the census blocks that are at least partially covered by your company’s broadband service footprint or network coverage area. We offer instructions on how to use QGIS to figure out which census blocks are in your service area. QGIS is a free, open source mapping program.
2. Customer Addresses
If the census blocks in which you have customers are the same as the census blocks of your service area, then you can use the Census Bureau's geocoder to figure out the census blocks of your customers' service addresses.
3. Census Tracts
If you make service available in all of the census blocks that make up the census tracts where you have customers, you can find the census block codes that make up those census tracts in the lists of census blocks by state.
Hints on Census Block Codes
- Enter the full 15 digits. See More about Census Blocks.
- Format as text. If they are formatted as numbers in Excel or other spreadsheet programs, any leading zeros will be dropped. Use the Fixed Broadband Deployment Excel Template and Sample CSV File. Learn how to use a CSV file in Excel without losing the text formatting.