FCC staffers are “expeditiously” reviewing broadband mapping-related bids received this month. That’s according to Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
Several GOP lawmakers, including Senate Ranking Member Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, recently asked Rosenworcel for a status report. She says the agency has made “significant progress in just a few months” in the effort to more accurately pinpoint where broadband exists and where it doesn’t.
The Broadband Data Task Force she announced at her first meeting as Acting Chair is working “to coordinate and expedite the design and construction of new systems for collecting and verifying broadband deployment data,” wrote Rosenworcel in a letter to Good. “The Task Force is leading a cross-agency effort to implement the requirements of the Broadband DATA Act and kick-start our work to more accurately measure and reflect our nation’s broadband needs.”
The FCC has retained an expert data architect and design firm to work with the Commission’s own data and IT systems specialists to assess the agency’s existing data and mapping systems. The vendor and Commission staff have developed an initial data flow structure for the new Broadband Data Collection (BDC) systems and processes, which include processes to collect challenge and crowdsourced data, according to Rosenworcel.
The agency also issued a Request for Information process to create a common dataset of all locations in the United States where fixed broadband internet access service can be installed. “We received proposals in response to the RFP on July 1 and are reviewing expeditiously,” she wrote. “We are also working with a number of broadband providers to obtain real-world data based on the new BDC coverage parameters to help expedite our development of the BDC IT systems and data structures that will support the new collection and to inform our effort to develop training and other outreach to providers in advance of their BDC filings.”