NTIA’s Request for Comments on Broadband Data Spurs Concerns About FCC’s Form 477

The Broadband Breakfast has the details. The following is excerpts:

According to US Telecom, the root of the problem is not “an inaccurate view of where broadband exists” but rather that “unserved locations are not mapped at all.” Because they are unmapped, the unserved areas remain excluded from policies to deploy broadband access.

“It is therefore our recommendation that NTIA concentrate its limited resources on augmenting the National Broadband Map with a more fulsome set of rural geocoded locations that may exist in the hands of other government entities,” US Telecom said.

[…]

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association expressed concern that new efforts by the FCC to collect more granular data could press heavy demands on small service providers, who may have difficulty collecting such specific data.

“Data-collection efforts that seek broadband deployment at the sub-census block level will create new burdens on small broadband providers that will be ill-equipped to provide information at a more granular level,” WISPA said.

WISPA also noted that obtaining granular data can be costly and time-consuming for small business who may have to purchase new software or upgrade existing technology.

If you cannot recognize the problem, it is impossible to fix. Accurate broadband maps of unserved and underserved are essential to sound policymaking at the national, state, county and town level. A highly publicized crowdsourced program could identify target areas for detail ground truth surveys with recorders to documents the underserved conditions.  It is time to stop talking and start acting.

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