FCC Seeks Crowdsourcing Validation of Broadband Maps

FCC Order FCCCIRC 1908-02 Establishes the Digital Opportunity Data Collection system

From the Fact Sheet:

What the Report and Order Would Do:

• Establish the Digital Opportunity Data Collection—a new data collection that will collect geospatial broadband coverage maps from Internet service providers, specifically aimed at advancing the Commission’s universal service goals;

• Adopt a process to collect public input, commonly known as “crowdsourcing,” on the accuracy of service providers’ broadband maps; and

• Make targeted changes to the existing Form 477 data collection to reduce reporting burdens for all filers and modify the collection to incorporate new technologies.

In 2012 the Gold County Broadband Consortia (GCBC) established a crowdsourcing method for validating the California Broadband Maps. The CA maps used the same census block techniques as the FCC Broadband maps which left significant gaps in the real-world coverage.

The Gold County Broadband Consortia collected broadband survey forms at the Nevada County Fair. Plotting the information gathered at the Fair using Arc/GIS online revealed some significant gaps in the California Broadband Maps.

nevada-county-fair-sample
Filled circles =>6MHz down, red circles <6MHz down, light blue circles unserved.

The GCBC worked with the California Public Utilities Commission staff to come up with a standard form which could be handed out at community meetings. The purpose of collecting more field level information on actual broadband coverage in the GCBC areas of responsibility, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado Counties and eastern part of Alpine County. The form was eventually put online, producing a spreadsheet that with a little clean up could be forwarded directly to the CPUC for inclusion on the CA broadband maps. Sample online form is HERE, reproduced from the original on an earlier GCBC website.

The full FCC Order and Report can be downloaded HERE.

 

 

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