FCC Should Standardize the Digital Opportunity Data Collection to Produce More Reliable Coverage Maps
Washington, DC – September 23, 2019 – Today, in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission,”) Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the FCC to apply a set of factors to the Digital Opportunity Data Collection (“DODC”) that will standardize the data collected, result in a better understanding of wireless carriers’ broadband coverage, and produce more reliable coverage maps. Specifically, CCA suggested the Commission standardize the Reference Signal Received Power based on individual carriers’ varied spectrum portfolios and use; adopt a cell edge probability of 90 percent or higher; adopt a cell loading factor of at least 50 percent on the downlink, or higher; and, require carriers to appropriately report clutter factors across coverage areas for the FCC and potential challengers to assess the reliability of the coverage submissions.
“Ensuring the FCC gets the broadband coverage maps right is one of CCA members’ highest priorities,” said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry. “I thank the FCC for its focus on this important issue, especially for rural areas. The fact of the matter is that many parts of the country remain unserved or underserved, which is a serious disadvantage, and perhaps life-threatening, in this day and age, and the FCC must ensure it has reliable, accurate data to properly identify areas still in need.”
“The data collection process is an absolutely critical component of the mapping process, and I strongly encourage the FCC to standardize signal strength, cell edge probability, cell loading and clutter factors to produce coverage maps that accurately reflect consumers’ on-the-ground experiences. I also encourage the FCC to simplify the challenge process. Competitive carriers are ready and willing to expand and enhance their networks and may rely on critical USF support to achieve this important goal. I thank the FCC for its commitment to improving the maps and look forward to continued work with policymakers to ensure no American is left behind in the digital world.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. Members range from small, rural carriers serving fewer than 5,000 customers to regional and nationwide providers serving millions of customers, as well as vendors and suppliers that provide products and services throughout the wireless communications ecosystem. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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