FCC Grants CCA’s Petition for Extension of Waiver of BDC Engineering Certification

On November 30, 2023, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, and Office of Economics and Analytics (collectively the “Bureaus”) released an Order granting the Petition for Extension of Waiver filed by the Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) and USTelecom – The Broadband Association.  The Petition requested a waiver of the Commission’s requirement that the accuracy of a provider’s biannual Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) filings be certified by a Professional Engineer (“PE”).  A summary of the Petition is included in the email chain below.

The Bureaus grant the Petition and conditionally waive the PE certification requirement for another three BDC filing periods (data as of December 31, 2023, June 30, 2024, and December 31, 2024).  The Bureaus concluded an extension of the waiver was warranted given the ongoing lack of certified PEs who specialize in RF engineering and broadband network design.

Consistent with the prior waiver, the Bureaus require that a provider availing itself of the waiver: (1) have its BDC submission certified by an engineering professional with the qualifications specified in the 2022 Waiver; (2) preserve, for the applicable “as-of” filing date(s), certain categories of underlying network information for each submission filed under the waiver; and (3) upon request, expeditiously provide this network information to the Commission.  Specifically, mobile providers availing themselves of the waiver must retain and be prepared to submit to the Commission (upon request) the mobile infrastructure data enumerated in Sections 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 of the Data Specifications for Provider Infrastructure Data in the Challenge, Verification, and Audit Processes.  Providers will be able to avail themselves of the waiver by indicating their request via the appropriate checkbox selection under the Certifying Engineer section of the Certification form for its submission in the BDC system.

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