Carriers Must Recertify Study Area Boundary Maps by May 26

Late yesterday, the FCC released a Public Notice incorporating some FCC-provided revisions to the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) map (see JSI’s April 15 e-Lert) and extending the deadline for rate-of-return ILECs to submit corrections from May 11 to May 15. Also related to mapping, the FCC on Friday sent notices via email informing all ILECs that they have until May 26 to recertify their study area boundary shapefile maps. Although the FCC is requiring ILECs to review the A-CAM map and study area boundary map concurrently, JSI emphasizes that these maps serve different purposes and there are different processes in place for making corrections.

A-CAM Map – Corrections Due May 15: The A-CAM map shows only study areas for rate-of-return carriers, and divides each study area into smaller “service areas” that typically match up with exchanges, but not always. The A-CAM map process requires RLECs to review the internal exchange boundaries as well as the “Node0” Central Office (CO) locations (see JSI’s April 15 e-Lert). In cases where service areas are crosshatched, it is necessary to acquire the CO location data from CostQuest under an NDA. If RLECs identify problems with the data on this map, they need to contact the CostQuest help desk directly before the deadline at cacmsupport@costquest.com. JSI can assist with the NDA process, which is required for acquiring the CostQuest data, as well as verifying its accuracy and submitting corrections.

Study Area Boundary Data – Recertification Due May 26: This “shapefile” map shows the study area boundaries and exchange boundaries within each study area for every ILEC, including price cap carriers (except those price cap carriers that filed their data confidentially). The data for this map was originally submitted by ILECs in 2013, with several rounds of modifications and corrections over the last few years. The FCC has indicated that it wants to use the data in this map for significant policy decisions in the future, so it is extremely important that all RLECs confirm that their boundaries are accurate and reconcile overlaps with neighboring ILECs if necessary. All ILECs must recertify their boundaries by May 26; JSI can assist with the recertification process and with submitting modified maps to the FCC.

The fact that the FCC is requesting reviews and corrections to both maps at the same time is indeed confusing, but it is important to note that these maps serve different purposes and show different data. The study area boundary map is concerned with the external boundaries of all ILECs’ study areas, whereas the A-CAM map is concerned with the internal exchange boundaries and CO locations for all RLECs.

For any questions about the A-CAM or study area maps, how to make corrections to either map, or assistance with recertifying the study area boundary map, contact Cassandra Heyne in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

Source: Source email