FCC launches broadband data collection program
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) launched its Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) program on June 30, 2022. As previously mentioned in the first and second blog posts of our BDC series, all facility-based fixed and mobile broadband Internet service providers that have one or more end-user connections in service are required to file broadband availability data into the BDC system of here September 1, 2022. In this article, we highlight the resources available to filers navigating the BDC system.
As previously stated, the purpose of the BDC is to enable the FCC, acting through its contractor (CostQuest Associates), to develop a comprehensive database of usable broadband locations where an access service Fixed broadband Internet has been or could be installed – the “Broadband Serviceable”. Location Tissue” (“Tissue”). Therefore, in order to make the fabric as complete as possible, all facilities-based fixed service providers are required to report coverage of broadband Internet access services and identify where these services are offered at residential locations. and commercial. The rules establish speed and latency reporting requirements for fixed service providers and require terrestrial fixed wireless service providers to report the coordinates of their base stations. Mobile service providers are required to provide even more information. Given the scope of data to be filed under this new program, the FCC has deployed a number of online resources to assist filers.
In addition to Keller and Heckman’s explanation of the who, what, when, and where of the FCC’s new broadband data collection, filers can use the FCC’s Information for Filers web page to gather information general on which entities are required to file data and what is expected of them. All data collected must be current as of June 30, 2022 and must be submitted no later than September 1, 2022. The BDC is a semi-annual data collection, so reporters should also be ready to submit data by December 31, 2022, per March 1, 2023.
For a full understanding of the BDC system, filers should access the BDC Help Center. This resource is a one-stop-shop for all program information. Among other resources, the BDC Help Center contains a link to the BDC Filer User Guide. The Filer’s User’s Guide provides step-by-step instructions on using the BDC system and filing returns.
The Help Center also contains a link to BDC’s Availability Data Specifications. Availability data specifications provide detailed information on the format of data submissions. Registrants should review these specifications to understand how certain data files should be uploaded into the system and the requirements for entering data appropriately. Reporters should reference the Data Availability Specifications when submitting their data to ensure that all data is classified in accordance with FCC requirements.
The BDC Help Center also offers video tutorials and webinars. It is recommended that depositors view these videos before beginning the deposit process in order to familiarize themselves with the BDC system.
 It is important for Form 477 broadband Internet access service filers to remember that they must also continue to file BDC data until the FCC terminates Form 477. Telecommunications service providers and Interconnected voice over Internet protocol carriers that do not offer broadband service are only required to file Form 477 and do not currently need to participate in the BDC program. For those who want to learn more about filing Form 477, the Commission also provides resources on Form 477.
 The BDC Help Center also provides ongoing system updates, public notices and other news about the BDC, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about using the BDC system and understanding the location.
Liam Fulling also contributed to this article.