FCC MBA PROGRAM RESEARCH AND SPECIAL STUDIES STAKEHOLDERS CODE OF CONDUCT

October 27, 2015

WHEREAS the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America (FCC) is conducting a Broadband Testing and Measurement Program, with support from its contractor SamKnows, the purpose of which is to establish a technical platform for the 2015/2016 Measuring Broadband America (MBA) Program Fixed Broadband Testing and Measurement and further to use that platform to collect data;

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, as Principals undertaking research activity or “special studies’ utilizing the Fixed Broadband Testing and Measurement platform, do hereby agree to be bound by and conduct ourselves in accordance with the following principles and shall:

  1. Act in good faith at all times.
  2. Not act, nor fail to act, if the intended consequence of such act or omission is to enhance, degrade, or tamper with the results of any test for any individual panelist (‘panelist’ is an individual consumer who has agreed to participate in the MBA program) or broadband provider.
  3. Ensure that their employees, agents, and representatives who are engaging with the Principal or who otherwise have access to the data associated with this research and special studies, as appropriate, act in accordance with this Code of Conduct.
  4. Agree that the research conducted and conclusions reached are independent of the FCC and its programs and solely reflect the views of the research team. This will be indicated in any publication, along with an acknowledgment that the work was conducted with the support of FCC.
  5. Acknowledge that the FCC may make available to Principals the MBA infrastructure and some associated resources in good faith to support research and special studies in the interests of U.S. academia and research, but cannot be held responsible for the results of the experiments that may be conducted.
  6. Ensure that in developing the research experiment, the associated software will be written in accordance with guidelines developed by the FCC and its contractor to take into account the platform constraints with minimal impact to the MBA measurement activity. Exceptions to the criteria in the guidelines may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the FCC in consultation with its contractor if technical review indicates that no interference to MBA measurement activities will result.
  7. Understand that the code for these experiments will be validated and introduced in the measurement infrastructure in a beta fashion prior to running readings at scale.
  8. Acknowledge that the duration of and resources used for any particular research experiment will be agreed upon jointly by the FCC and the Principals, with final decision to reside with the FCC.
  9. Restrict data collection to network layer data and refrain from knowingly collecting personally identifiable data or information related to specific applications used by volunteer panelists. Principal will immediately and securely delete any such data that s/he learns has been unintentionally or inadvertently collected. Principal will inform the FCC about the purpose of the trial, the data to be collected, the data to be disclosed, and the data that will be retained so that the FCC can verify that the collected data is consistent with its consumer privacy policies. If needed, FCC and Principal will create an addendum to this Code of Conduct to specify and clarify adherence to this provision.
  10. Publicly release collected data that is not related to the FCC MBA program no later than one year after collection. If data collected is related to the tests used in the MBA program it must not be released until after the FCC annual MBA report based on that period’s data.

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016