As noted in our initial article in this series, the FCC is about to launch its new Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) program. Starting this summer, all facilities-based fixed and mobile broadband Internet service providers will be required to submit broadband data on a semi-annual basis.
In this article, we take a look at the who, what, when, and where bonds and the BDC deposit process.
Who is required to file?
The purpose of the BDC is to enable the FCC, acting through its contractor (CostQuest Associates), to develop a comprehensive database of usable broadband locations where broadband Internet access service fixed has been or could be installed – the “Broadband Usable Location Cloth” (“Cloth”).
In support of this initiative, all facilities-based fixed and mobile broadband Internet service providers that have one or more end-user connections in service as of June 30, 2022 are required to report. In most cases, if you are currently required to file FCC Form 477, you should too submit data in the BDC. See details below.
In addition, FCC BDC Rules also permit and encourage federal agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal government entities that are primarily responsible for mapping or monitoring broadband Internet access service coverage in their areas, to submit verified availability data as of June 30, 2022.
Finally, parties that are not the report providers themselves (for example, public interest groups or competing providers) may submit verified broadband availability data as of June 30, 2022. Such third parties may also submit data as part of the BDC challenge and crowdsourcing process. The FCC will provide additional information in future announcements on how to participate in these processes.
What should be filed?
Although all facilities-based fixed and mobile broadband Internet service providers are required to file information regarding the characteristics of their broadband services and the availability of those services, different information requirements apply depending on the the type of facilities used to provide the service:
Wired and Satellite Fixed Broadband Service Providers must submit either polygon shapefiles describing the locations served or a list of locations that constitute the provider’s service area. This will identify locations where the provider currently provides service, or could provide service, as part of a “standard broadband installation” within ten business days of a request, without charge or delay resulting from extension of the supplier’s network.
Fixed Wireless Broadband Service Providers must submit either propagation maps and propagation model details or a list of locations that constitute the provider’s service area.
Wireless Mobile Broadband Service Providers must submit propagation maps and propagation model details for each network technology and for outdoor fixed network and in-vehicle mobile network coverage. Mobile wireless broadband service providers must also submit signal strength “heat map” data.
In addition to providing information on usable locations, relevant broadband providers must provide additional data relating to the broadband services offered, including speed and latency. Data specifications for BDC deposits can be found here: BDC Availability Data Specifications.
BDC rules require all facilities-based broadband providers to submit certifications as to the accuracy of their submissions by an officer of the company and a qualified engineer (if an officer of the company is also a engineer and has the knowledge required under the Broadband DATA Act, only one certification can be submitted). The engineering certification must state that the Certified Professional Engineer or Corporate Engineer is employed by the Service Provider and has direct knowledge of or responsibility for the generation of the Service Provider’s BDC coverage maps and that the information provided is true and correct. Failure to include such certification is subject to FCC enforcement penalties.
When to deposit?
The BDC system will open deposits on June 30, 2022and all suppliers are required to file by September 1, 2022. Going forward, FCC broadband data collection will occur twice a year on the same schedule as Form 477 filings.
Fixed broadband service providers can now access a preliminary version of the Broadband Usable Location Matrix to prepare their data and processes for BDC’s initial filing window.
Where (how) to drop off?
Filers must either submit data into the BDC system via file upload and/or a web form, or via an application programming interface (API). The FCC said it will soon provide a system user’s guide and instructions on using the optional API and other technical support resources. Additional resources for filers are available in the BDC Help Center.
Compliance with the BDC will take a long time, and broadband service providers should not delay preparing the upcoming initial filing.
 Additional guidance for government entities wishing to file verified data on broadband availability in the BDC can be found in this public notice published on April 14, 2022.
 As a reminder, facilities-based broadband service providers are required to continue filing Form 477 until the FCC decides otherwise.
 47 CFR § 1.7004; Note that the FCC is seeking public comment on a petition filed by the Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) requesting that the FCC clarify that BDC filings may be certified by a qualified professional engineer or an otherwise qualified engineer who does not hold no professional title. engineer license.
 As a general rule, under the Form 477 program, June 30 data is due by the following September 1, and December 31 data is due by the following March 1.
 Additional information can be found in this public notice published on April 14, 2022.