Broadband Data Collection: Prepare for Round 2

We share this important message to update all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ongoing efforts to improve its Broadband Data Collection (BDC) and related maps.

As JSI previously reported, the FCC required ISPs to input their broadband availability data into the FCC’s BDC platform by September 1, 2022. The FCC also informed ISPs that they would need to file any revisions or updates to their recently submitted data by November 4, 2022. The FCC will include those updates from November 4 in its inaugural BDC map (the “BDC Round 1 map”), which it plans to release later this month.

After the FCC releases its BDC Round 1 map, it will begin accepting individual challenges to the locations identified in the map fabric. Those individual map challenges may include missing locations, incorrect addresses, incorrect unit counts for locations, or incorrect geographic coordinates. Notably, the FCC will invite consumers to use that particular challenge process to submit corrections related to their residences or small businesses.

Additionally, after the release of the BDC Round 1 map, there will be an opportunity to submit challenges to the broadband availability data submitted by ISPs. The FCC will provide a detailed explanation of that challenge process after the BDC Round 1 map has been made available to the public. Briefly stated, an ISP will be permitted to respond to a challenge either:

  • By providing evidence demonstrating that the challenger’s assertions are incorrect (at which point the ISP will have 60 days to reach a consensus with the challenger or, failing that, the FCC will resolve the dispute); or
  • By submitting corrections if the ISP agrees with the challenger’s assertions.

ISPs should also take note of the critical “Bulk Fabric Challenge Process,” which is ongoing. That particular challenge process, which began in September 2022, allows governmental entities, ISPs, and other third parties to submit bulk challenges to the map fabric to identify missing and incorrect locations.

The FCC will accept ISP fabric challenges at any time; however, if ISPs would like to have their location corrections included in the map for the upcoming March 2023 data submission (the “BDC Round 2 map”), then the ISPs must submit that data as soon as possible. The FCC plans to release the BDC Round 2 map fabric in December 2022, and ISPs will then be required to submit their availability data based on locations listed on the BDC Round 2 map by March 1, 2023.

JSI encourages ISPs to submit data through the Bulk Fabric Challenge Process as soon as possible so the FCC can use that data in its BDC Round 2 map. It should be noted that the upcoming BDC Round 2 map is especially important, as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) plans to use that map to determine the amount of Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds that each state and territory will receive. NTIA will ultimately distribute BEAD funds based on the ratio of unserved locations in a state or territory to the total unserved locations in the nation. Therefore, the amount of BEAD support that states and territories receive will be affected by the timing of filings related to unserved locations.

If you have any questions concerning anything discussed here or need help filing Bulk Fabric Challenges to locations in your service area, then you can connect with a member of our team by simply clicking the button below or by calling 301-459-7590. We strongly recommend immediate action.

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