Broadband Data Task Force Announces the Opening of the Third BDC Filing & The FCC Proposes New Pricing Transparency Rules

Broadband Data Task Force Announces the Opening of the Third Broadband Data Collection Filing Window and Availability of the June 2023 Fabric

On July 03, 2023, the FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force issued a Public Notice announcing the opening of the third Broadband Data Collection (BDC) filing window and the availability of the June 2023 Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric). The new version of the Fabric incorporates updated data sources, improvements by the FCC and CostQuest (FCC’s Fabric contractor), revisions resulting from challenges, additional Broadband Serviceable Locations, and corrections to addresses, unit counts, building types, land use, and geographic coordinates.

Last week, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced Broadband Equity Adoption Deployment (BEAD) program funding allocations to states and territories. Congress mandated that NTIA use the BDC results to identify and allocate broadband grant funding to states.

The BDC filing window is now open for your company to submit data reflecting the availability of mass-market broadband internet access services as of June 30, 2023. Facilities-based broadband service providers, along with providers of fixed voice services, are required to submit this subscription data in the BDC system. It is important to note that all availability and subscription data must be submitted no later than September 1, 2023.

To access the Fabric data, each broadband service provider will need to execute a limited end-user license agreement. Providers who have completed the licensing process will continue to have access to updated versions of the Fabric as they are released. Licensees for the Fabric will receive an email from CostQuest granting them access to the June 2023 Fabric data. If your company has not completed the licensing process and needs access to the Fabric, you should send an email to CostQuest at with the name and email of the provider’s contact person, the provider’s name, and the provider’s FCC Registration Number (FRN).

We strongly advise filers to submit their availability data for June 30, 2023 as early as possible within the filing window. This will allow for sufficient time to address any issues ahead of the September 1, 2023, deadline. Failure to timely file your company’s required data in the new BDC system may result in enforcement action and/or penalties.

If you have any questions or require assistance with your company’s BDC filing, our team is available to support you in navigating the BDC filing process successfully. Please contact Lans Chase or Alice Lewis


The FCC Proposes New Pricing Transparency Rules for Cable Operators, DBS, and MVPDs 

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to require cable operators and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to display an “all-in” price for their video programming services in their billing and marketing materials. The FCC also seeks comment on whether to apply the proposed rules to other types of multichannel video programming providers (MVPDs).

What the FCC is Proposing

The FCC’s proposed rules would require that cable operators and DBS providers aggregate the cost of their video programming service — that is, any and all amounts that the cable operator or DBS provider charges the consumer for video programming, including for broadcast retransmission consent, regional sports programming, and other programming-related fees — as a prominent single line item on subscriber bills and in promotional materials.  This aggregate amount would include “the full amount the cable operator or satellite provider charges (or intends to charge) the customer in exchange for video programming service (such as broadcast television, sports programming, and entertainment programming),” but no taxes or charges unrelated to video programming. However, the NPRM clarifies in a footnote that cable operators and DBS providers would not be required to include equipment costs in this aggregate amount.

The FCC further proposes to allow cable operators and DBS providers to complement the aggregate cost with an itemized explanation of the elements that compose that aggregate cost.

The NPRM raises several specific questions about the proposal, including:

    •    whether the proposal is sufficient to ensure that subscribers and potential subscribers have accurate information about the cost of video service;

    •    the extent to which providers are already advertising an “all-in” price;

    •    whether cable operators or DBS providers that bundle video programming with other services like broadband can readily identify the amount of the bill that is attributable to video programming;

    •    whether the Commission should require cable operators and DBS providers that choose to itemize portions of their bills to provide a full accounting of how a subscriber’s bill is apportioned; and

    •    how the Commission should apply the proposal to different types of promotional materials.

The FCC also asks whether the proposal should apply to “other types of MVPDs” and on what basis.

Beyond the “all-in” proposal, the NPRM seeks comment on the following issues, which are most relevant to our cable operator and DBS provider clients:

    •    The marketplace practices regarding advertising and billing, including whether there is a business purpose for characterizing these service rate increases as taxes, fees, or surcharge.

    •    Any potential costs that providers or consumers would incur if the Commission adopted the proposed rules.

    •    Whether a truth-in-billing requirement imposes undue burdens on small cable operators and how to limit any potential compliance burdens on providers, including small cable operators?

Comments on this NPRM are due July 31st, with replies due on August 29, 2023.

If you have any questions concerning the FCC’s NPRM, or if you would like to make your views known to the FCC by filing comments, then please contact JSI Regulatory Advisor, John Kuykendall or Senior Policy Counsel, Farhan Chughtai, or by calling 301-459-7590 during normal office hours.