Every other year ILECs are required to recertify their study area boundaries and 2021 is a recertification year. This year’s deadline is Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The recertification attests that you have reviewed and determined that the shapefile for your study area is accurate and correct.

To complete the recertification, all you need to do is log in to the FCC Licensing and Databases site with your “FCC User” credentials and go to the study area boundary recertification link. JSI recommends following along step-by-step with this Study Area Boundary Recertification Tip Sheet for the best results. As a best practice, JSI also recommends taking a screenshot when you get to the final step, checking the “attest” box, because the site does not generate a confirmation email or page. Additional resources on the FCC’s study area boundary data collection and maintenance can be found at this site.

Previously, some state commissions, including Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Nebraska, were initially responsible for submitting each ILEC’s study area boundary shapefile. Over the years, some of the state commissions have passed the responsibility of recertification to the individual ILECs. Each of these state commissions has since developed a different process for handling the submission of revised boundaries and the recertification process, so it is best to be aware of the process if you are in one of these states. JSI has a list of state commission information, and if you are unsure if your state commission recertified your boundaries, please contact us.

There is an annual deadline of March 15 for submitting updated shapefiles if you had study area boundary changes in the previous calendar year. If you had study area changes in 2020 and missed the deadline, JSI can work with you to get the updated shapefile submitted. In addition, ILECs that bought or sold study areas should check the FCC map to verify that the company name and holding company name are correctly listed. If the names are incorrect, it may require resubmitting a shapefile to the FCC.

For any questions about the study area boundary submission or recertification process, please contact Janee Devis in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.