FCC Extends Waiver of the PE Certification Requirement for BDC Filings

FCC Extends Waiver of the Requirement that Broadband Data Collection (BDC) Filings Be Certified by a Professional Engineer (PE)

On November 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order that extends the limited waiver of the FCC’s rule regarding the requirement that BDC filings be certified by a Professional Engineer (PE). This extension is for three more filing periods (data as of December 31, 2023, June 30, 2024, and December 31, 2024). Under the extended waiver, broadband providers must continue the practice of having their BDC submissions certified by an engineering professional with the qualifications specified in the original 2022 waiver. In addition, providers must maintain certain network information to be provided to the FCC upon request based upon the type of service the filer provides.

Requirements in Original 2022 Waiver Remain

Under the extended waiver, the FCC continues to require that engineers that certify BDC submissions must possess either:

  • A bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in electrical engineering, electronic technology, or another similar technical discipline, and at least seven years of relevant experience in broadband network design and/or performance; or
  • Specialized training relevant to broadband network engineering and design, deployment, and/or performance, and at least ten years of relevant experience in broadband network engineering, design, and/or performance.

Additional Network-Related Requirements

The extended waiver also requires that broadband providers retain certain underlying network information for each submission filed under the waiver and expeditiously provide this network information to the FCC upon request. The type of network information varies depending upon the service types: mobile, fixed wireless, and fixed wireline.

For the purposes of this e-lert, we highlight the additional network information required of Fixed Wireline Providers. These providers must generate, retain, and submit to the FCC (upon request) infrastructure data on the locations of aggregation points in the network access nodes/splitters and distribution hubs. The FCC may request this information from providers to assess the BDC data’s accuracy.

In the Order, the FCC reminds all BDC filers to retain the relevant network data to support their submissions and be prepared to produce it upon request as part of its efforts to validate availability data.

Please contact Lans Chase with any questions regarding the limited waiver or if your company needs assistance with BDC compliance requirements.