On July 1, 2022, the Broadband Data Task Force, Wireline Competition Bureau, and Office of Economics and Analytics (collectively the “FCC”) released a Public Notice on the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (“Fabric”), providing information on submitting bulk challenges to the Fabric and details on the location data contained within the Fabric.
Data Specifications for Bulk Fabric Challenges
The Notice announces that the Data Specifications for Bulk Fabric Challenge Data (“Bulk Fabric Data Specifications”), which sets forth the requirements for filing bulk challenges to broadband serviceable location (“BSL”) data in the Fabric, is now available at: https://us-fcc.box.com/v/bdc-bulk-fabric-challenge-spec. You may recall that service providers, governments, and other entities and organizations can submit challenges, or proposed corrections, to location data in the Fabric. If the same entity submits multiple Fabric challenges at the same time, then those “bulk” challenges must be submitted in the BDC system via file upload and must conform to the specifications set forth in the Bulk Fabric Data Specifications.
As described in greater detail in the Bulk Fabric Data Specifications, bulk challenges must include: (1) the entity’s name and contact information; (2) the locations subject to challenge; (3) the category of the challenge for each; and (4) evidence to support the challenge. Each bulk Fabric challenge data file must include records for each location being challenged in a Comma Separated Value (“CSV”) format, all fields must be included in the file upload, and all values must conform to the descriptions, codes, or formats identified for each field in the Data Specifications for Bulk Fabric Challenge Data.
Fabric BSL Location Categories and Descriptions
The Notice also provides further details on which locations are considered Broadband Serviceable Locations (“BSLs”) in the production version of the Fabric, how they were categorized, and the significant characteristics of each category. Challengers should use these categories and definitions to align their data to determine when a BSL is missing or mischaracterized. As a reminder, a BSL is defined as “a business or residential location in the United States at which fixed broadband Internet access service is, or can be, installed.” BSLs are categorized as follows:
- Residential Parcels: For single residential parcels with one-single family home, the structure of the single-family home is identified in the Fabric as one BSL, even in instances where there may be an additional identifiable single-unit structure (e.g., a main home and a separate garage or other auxiliary standalone dwelling unit). The status of some structures on a multi-structure parcel may change as the Commission receives additional data to determine whether the structures on a single residential parcel are owned and/or occupied as a distinct household. In situations where there is one residential structure, but more than one housing unit on the parcel (ex: duplex, triplex, MTE, or apartment) the Fabric identifies the structure as one BSL, but includes the number of separate housing units at the location in the Unit Count Field.
- Non-Residential Parcels: Generally, the Fabric reflects one representative BSL on a non-residential parcel when any of the following circumstances exist: (1) all of the structures on the parcel are commonly owned and/or occupied by a single tenant; (2) there are multiple structures that the available data indicate would be expected to subscribe to mass-market broadband service (ex: libraries, religious centers, houses of worship); (3) the parcel contains multiple group quarters structures (e.g., dorms, prisons, nursing homes); or (4) a recreational area, such as a complex, resort, or RV park, contains multiple structures. In limited circumstances, each structure on a commercial parcel is counted as a separate BSL if the data indicates they have distinct occupants or tenants. In contrast, a single structure with multiple office units on a non-residential parcel is designated as a single BSL in the Fabric.
- Differentiating Between Mass-Market Broadband Locations and Non-Mass Market Broadband Locations: Community anchor institutions and other high-density or high-demand locations (e.g., schools, hospitals, state government buildings, courthouses) will not be designated as BSLs due to the fact they would likely not subscribe to mass-market broadband services in the Fabric.
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