PITTSBURGH, September 9, 2020 – Yesterday, ACA Connects filed additional comments with the Federal Communications Commission recommending a series of actions that would enhance the agency’s collection of accurate and more granular broadband deployment data, as required by the Broadband DATA Act, while avoiding the imposition of requirements that unnecessarily burden smaller providers.
“All stakeholders recognize that it is essential for the government to collect accurate and precise broadband deployment data, and over the past year, both the FCC and Congress have taken steps toward achieving that goal. ACA members are more than willing to do their part in this collection, especially because they serve and want to serve more rural areas of the country,” ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
“Yet, the FCC needs to recognize that smaller broadband providers have limited resources and should not have to comply with requirements that are overly burdensome, especially in responding to challenges to their submissions. Our comments and recommendations seek to achieve that balance.”
In its comments, ACA Connects recommended, among other things, that the FCC should:
- Ensure that challenges to provider broadband data are credible before directing providers to respond, and once they are deemed credible, the FCC should give smaller providers 60 days to respond to challenges involving a single location and 180 days for bulk challenges involving multiple locations.
- Not only assist smaller providers in reporting Geographic Information System (GIS) data but should reduce their burdens by giving them more time to file their initial shapefile (polygon) reports, permitting them to report broadband data in the format of their choosing, and allowing them to rely on existing data sets when reporting broadband coverage polygons for the Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC).
- Adopt an enforcement regime that focuses on facilitating compliance rather than punishing providers for flawed broadband data submitted in good faith.
Not require wireline broadband providers employing DOCSIS or FTTx network technologies to submit an engineer’s certification because wireline broadband service providers using these technologies are subject to established standards that ensure consistent transmission performance throughout the network.
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses. For more information, visit: http://www.ACAConnects.org