What CostQuest’s Role is in the FCC Broadband Fabric for BDC & Not in the National Broadband Map

By: Hailey Farrow, Marketing Manager, Mike Wilson, VP, and Jim Stegeman, President & CEO on behalf of CostQuest Associates.

CostQuest provides the FCC Fabric – No role in the creation or management of the National Broadband Map.

CostQuest plays an essential role in supporting the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection (BDC) effort by providing the underlying Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric data (also referred to as the FCC Broadband Fabric, FCC Fabric, or Location Fabric), which serves as the foundation of location information on which fixed broadband service availability data from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is overlaid on top of the locations in the FCC Fabric.

The FCC’s National Broadband map consists of two components: the location information of all the locations (building structures) across the U.S. that are or can be connected with broadband, which is supplied by CostQuest in the FCC Fabric data, and the broadband service availability data submitted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The locations in the FCC Fabric data make up the individual location points that appear on the National Broadband Map. Each point represents a Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL), as determined by the Commission. The FCC Fabric data works to provide a common normalized location data set that all parties can act upon.

CostQuest’s goal is to create the most accurate data set for broadband mapping that can inform the critical decision-making needed for effective broadband deployment. CostQuest came into the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric project knowing the stakes at hand and signed up to tackle this challenge because we believe data-driven solutions are needed to effectively expand internet access to all Americans. For CostQuest’s part, the BDC process is moving forward and on schedule according to what we were contracted to accomplish and laid out in the applicable bipartisan law: the Broadband DATA Act.

CostQuest’s BDC role is:

Is to provide the FCC with a foundation of location information called Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric data.

CostQuest’s part in the Broadband Data Collection process is to deliver the Broadband Fabric data that provides all the locations across the U.S. that are or can be connected with broadband (Broadband Serviceable Locations). In the delivery of the data, per the BDC Fabric contract, CostQuest makes the data available to the FCC and to interested parties, including ISPs, state, tribal, and local government entities in their efforts to support the BDC program and the FCC’s development of their National Broadband MapSee the table below for more clarification on CostQuest’s and the FCC’s role in the BDC process:

BDC ProcessCostQuestFCC
Delivering the FCC Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric YesYes
FCC Fabric Licensing ProcessYesYes
Collecting BDC Submissions from ISPsNo roleYes
Creating and managing the FCC National Broadband MapNo roleYes

CostQuest’s BDC role is NOT:

Is NOT to collect broadband service availability data from ISPs or create or manage the FCC National Broadband Map.

While the FCC Fabric data is foundational to the accuracy of the resulting FCC National Broadband Map, CostQuest is not involved in collecting service availability data from ISPs or creating or managing the FCC’s National Broadband Map. Additionally, CostQuest has no role in the challenge process related to where broadband is and is not available.

How the National Broadband Map is created & how the BDC process supports it

Again, the FCC’s National Broadband map consists of two components: the location information of all the locations (building structures) across the U.S. that are or can be connected with broadband, supplied by CostQuest, and the broadband service availability data supplied by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The Broadband Data Collection (BDC) process works to gather the necessary location information and service availability data to create the underlying data for the National Broadband Map.

To start the Broadband Data Collection process, CostQuest delivers the FCC Fabric data to the FCC and to BDC Filers (ISPs). BDC Filers then use the FCC Fabric data as a basis to overlay their service availability data on top of the locations in the Fabric to create their BDC Filing. Once the service availability information is matched to the FCC Fabric locations, they submit their filing into the Broadband Data Collection system. The FCC then uses the service availability data submitted by BDC Filers in combination with the FCC Fabric data, to create the underlying data in the FCC’s National Broadband Map to represent where filers report broadband services are available for each individual location.

To improve the location information in the FCC Fabric data for the National Broadband Map, both CostQuest and the FCC make critical improvements and updates through internal efforts outside of the FCC BDC Fabric Challenge Process. The FCC Fabric data is now in Version 2 and has been delivered to support the next round of ISP’s BDC Filings due March 1st, 2023. The updated FCC Fabric data includes additional Broadband Serviceable Locations, as well as corrections to addresses, unit counts, building types, land use, and geographic coordinates. It also includes the results of the bulk FCC Fabric challenges submitted by state and local governments and broadband providers.

As reported by Diana Goovaerts from Fierce Telecom, “States and other key stakeholders can seek to correct both, highlighting missing or misplaced locations or contesting overstated availability claims. These challenge processes run simultaneously on a staggered rolling basis.” The FCC manages and adjudicates all the challenges made to the National Broadband Map.

Individual location-level National Broadband Map is a big step forward from census block-level maps

CostQuest is proud to be given the opportunity to provide the FCC Fabric data that supports the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection process to help with the creation of the nation’s first-ever location-level broadband maps. Mapping broadband availability on a location-by-location basis is a big step forward in improving broadband data collection processes that will subsequently provide more granular location-level data to inform decisions related to broadband deployment. The ultimate goal of the process is to provide a more accurate basis of broadband serviceable availability data than the prior collected census-block level information in Form 477, which will influence the efficient expansion of broadband connectivity to all.

For more information on how to give feedback on Broadband Serviceable Locations in the FCC Fabric data, please visit the FCC’s Fabric Location Challenge Process web page

For more information on improvement efforts from FCC Fabric Version 1 to Version 2 released in January 2023, please visit the Changes to Fabric Between Versions web page.


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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