Fabric updates & guidelines

Everything you need to know about the FCC’s Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric. Review updates, guidelines, and steps to help you access the Fabric and develop methods to align broadband availability data with the new Fabric data format to prepare for the BDC.

Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric

April 14th, 2022: The FCC’s Preliminary Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric is now available

The FCC has officially announced that fixed broadband service providers may now access a preliminary version of the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric). This preliminary version of the Fabric will be available to help fixed service providers develop processes to prepare their broadband availability data for the Broadband Data Collection (BDC). The Fabric data is currently available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Broadband availability data can be submitted in the BDC starting June 30th, 2022, and due no later than September 1, 2022. 

Guide to the preliminary Fabric

What’s included:

  1. About the preliminary Fabric  
  1. What to expect from the preliminary version of the Fabric 
  1. How to access the data 
  1. Data sources and elements  
  1. Specifications and reminders from the FCC about BDC filings 

About the preliminary Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric

The production of the full Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric is underway, which will serve as the foundation for the fixed broadband availability data submitted in the BDC starting on June 30th, 2022. 

“While this work is underway, Commission staff and CostQuest have prepared a preliminary version of the Fabric and are making that available to fixed service providers to assist them with developing processes to prepare their availability data submissions.”

  • The preliminary version is available to help providers develop and test their methods to align their broadband availability data with the Fabric data format to prepare for BDC submissions. 
  • This version will include most, but not all, of the data and features that will be included in the production version of the Fabric. Some values have been omitted and will be included in the later releases of the Fabric. 

Expectations for the preliminary version

“CostQuest and the Commission staff are continuing to refine the location data in the Fabric to meet the requirements laid out by the Commission, and expect the production Fabric data will differ from the preliminary Fabric data in at least some circumstances due to differences in methodologies used to create the two datasets.”

“For example, some points identified as broadband-serviceable locations (BSLs) in the preliminary Fabric data may not be considered BSLs in the initial production dataset.” And vice versa, “the production dataset may contain BSLs not previously identified in the preliminary dataset (including additional BSLs at a place previously associated with only one BSL).” The additional information about Broadband Serviceable Locations, such as the geographic coordinates, estimated unit count, and/or address, could also change.   

The goal is to become familiar with the preliminary data now, so providers have time to establish methods and align their availability data with the Fabric to meet filing obligations on time. It is mandatory that the availability data submitted into the BDC is on time and accurate. 

How to access the preliminary Fabric 

“The preliminary version of the Fabric is is currently available for access by fixed broadband service providers that filed fixed broadband deployment data in past Form 477 filings. Each company’s data will contain Fabric records only for the counties that overlap the census blocks reported in the filer’s Form 477 fixed broadband deployment data.”

To gain access to the Fabric data, eligible providers must execute a limited end-user license agreement with CostQuest.

Getting access: Step-by-step 

  1. CostQuest will send an email from “support@costquest.zendesk.com” to the email of the certifying individual of each June 2021 Form 477 filing. This email will include a link to CostQuest’s user support help desk portal.
  2. Follow this link to the user support help desk portal, to create user credentials. 
  3. Then within the portal, submit a license request form. 
  4. CostQuest will then review the request form, and if approved, the requestor will receive a link to the agreement via email from an electronic signature platform. 
  5. Next, execute the licensing agreement.

*Note: the person who completes the license request form must be the same person who will sign the license agreement.  

Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric data sources and elements 

The data sources that will be used to identify locations (including Broadband Serviceable Locations) listed in the Fabric include a combination of: 

  • Satellite imagery 
  • Building footprints 
  • Address databases 
  • Land and local tax records 
  • Other sources that the vendor finds as either necessary or beneficial for determining the locations of structures throughout the U.S. where fixed broadband service can be installed 

Specifications from the FCC on BDC submissions 

“Filers seeking to submit lists of addresses or locations, as opposed to submitting availability polygons, will need to match their location data to locations in the Fabric.”

It is required that providers associate their location availability data to the Commission-issued Location IDs in the Fabric to be consistent with the Broadband Data Act (BDA) requirements. Submitting the Location ID for each of their Broadband Serviceable Locations will ensure that the Commission will collect availability data that “can be georeferenced to the data in the Fabric” and will result in a more accurate and complete broadband locations database. 

Notes from the FCC 

The FCC is strongly urging that filers get access to the preliminary Fabric data as soon as possible so they can start building their processes to prepare their broadband availability data. This will allow: 

  • Filers an opportunity to make any corrections in advance of the September 1, 2022, deadline to assure their submission is correct and filed on time 

“Filing broadband availability data based upon the Fabric is a new process, so we expect that it will take providers some time to work through their methodology for aligning their internal served location data with the Fabric, and then to generate the data required for filing in the BDC system.” This data filed in the BDC is critical for federal and state policymakers to distribute the broadband deployment funds made available by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Have Questions? 

If you have any questions about how to access the preliminary Fabric and the license agreement for the Fabric, please email us at: support@costquest.zendesk.com.  
 
For other information about the preliminary version of the Fabric or the Broadband Data Collection, please visit the Broadband Data Collection Help Center at: http://help.bdc.fcc.gov.

Visit the FCC’s website to read the full Public Notice.

Disclaimer

This communication does not reflect the opinion or the policy of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is not responsible for the information or views in this communication and is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of such information or views.

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