FCC Makes Available Preliminary Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric To Fixed Service Providers That Have Filed Form 477 Data Providers Must Execute License Agreement with CostQuest

The Broadband Data Task Force of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has announced that fixed broadband service providers (including both terrestrial and wireless) that filed fixed broadband deployment data in past Form 477 filings may request access to the preliminary version of the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (“Fabric”). The Fabric is a comprehensive database of broadband serviceable locations, which will be updated biannually. The FCC urges such providers to access the preliminary data as a means of working through the process for preparing their broadband availability data for filing in the Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) system. Becoming familiarized with the preliminary data will allow providers to establish and refine methods for aligning their availability data with the Fabric, and thereby to better position themselves to meet the BDC filing obligations. Fixed broadband providers may report broadband availability data in the BDC system using either availability polygons or a list of addresses or locations, and in both cases the availability data will be reported on the BDC maps on a location-basis tied to the Fabric.

The preliminary Fabric data is available through CostQuest, the vendor selected to develop the Fabric, upon execution of a license agreement. Each company’s data will contain Fabric records only for the counties that overlap the census blocks reported in their Form 477 fixed broadband deployment data. Some location values have been omitted in the preliminary data, but will be included in the production version of the Fabric, which the FCC expects to be made available as far in advance as possible of the June 30, 2022 filing window opening for filing BDC data. Notably too, Location IDs in the preliminary version of the Fabric will not be the same as those in the production version of the Fabric. The FCC cautions providers that they will need to run any processes developed using the preliminary data with the production data when it becomes available in order to prepare the filing of fixed availability data in the BDC system.

Companies that previously filed fixed broadband data in the Form 477 should have received an email from CostQuest regarding access to the preliminary Fabric data. The email from CostQuest was sent to the email address of the certifying individual of each June 2021 Form 477 filing with fixed broadband deployment, requesting that the recipient visit CostQuest’s user support help desk to (1) create user credentials, (2) submit a license request form, and (3) execute the licensing agreement.1 Once the fixed broadband service provider executes the licensing agreement, CostQuest will generate the data file, and post it to a secure website, and a link to download the file will be emailed to the license requestor, the administrative user, and any data users associated with the holding company of the Form 477 filer.

Please contact Robin Tuttle at [email protected] or Greg Whiteaker at [email protected] if you have any questions about use of Fabric data in preparing the BDC filing or obtaining access to the Fabric data.

[1] The FCC noted that it expresses no opinion regarding the commercial terms of the license agreements, and any entity that executes a license agreement for access to the Fabric data “does so at its own risk, without any representations or warranties from the Commission.”