On Monday, July 19, 2021, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice (DA 21-858) seeking comment on the proposed Drive Test Parameters and Model for Alaska Plan participants. As a reminder, Alaska Plan participants that receive more than $5 million annually in Alaska Plan support (GCI and Copper Valley Wireless) must supplement the required certifications with drive test data that analyzes network coverage for mobile services covering the population for which support was received and demonstrates that the minimum expected download and upload speeds are met. The participants must conduct a statistically significant number of tests in the vicinity of residences being covered and may conduct the tests by means other than in automobiles on roads due to the unique terrain and lack of road networks in remote Alaska. The participants must complete their drive tests by March 1, 2022.
The Public Notice proposes both the drive test parameters and a drive test model that will best allow the Commission to determine whether participants have met their five-year commitments. Appendix A lists the data that the Commission proposes to require participants to collect during the tests, as well as the format in which the data should be reported. Appendix B provides a drive test model that would help ensure participants conduct a statistically significant number of tests in the vicinity of residences being covered, as required by Commission rules. The model relies upon stratified random sampling to provide the participants with a list of locations to test within a grid system of their reported coverage areas. Further, the model proposes use of a confidence interval to verify that a participant’s commitments have been met or to determine the percentage by which the participant failed its commitment.
Comments are due 14 days after publication in the Federal Register
The Commission waived the default reply comment period in order to allow testing to begin as soon as possible without being hindered by adverse weather conditions in Alaska
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