FCC overhauls broadband coverage maps - Mobile World Live

FCC overhauls broadband coverage maps

18 FEB 2021

Acting US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Jessica Rosenworcel (pictured) appointed a task force to oversee development of new fixed and mobile broadband coverage maps, which will be used to better target government funding for deployments in underserved areas.

During an FCC meeting yesterday (17 February), Rosenworcel called the planned update the “first step toward better broadband policy”, adding it would use “input from consumers and state, local and tribal governments” in addition to data from operators.

FCC staff member Jean Kiddoo was appointed to lead the task force. She told commissioners it is currently securing contractors and will then need to “develop a lot of very complex IT platforms” to manage the new data collected.

She estimated it would take at least until 2022 to produce the maps, which will serve as the basis for future allocation of FCC funding, including a $9 billion 5G Fund for Rural America.

In December 2020, Congress allocated $65 million to the map project.

Last month, the FCC adopted more stringent broadband coverage reporting rules which will require operators to provide “heat maps showing the signal levels available from each active” 4G and 5G  site in a given area and supply “either infrastructure information or on-the-ground test data” to help the regulator verify coverage claims.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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