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The American Cable Association told the Federal Communications Commission that data provided to the FCC by incumbent telcos incorrectly identifies markets served by its members as "unserved" for purposes of obtaining Connect America Fund support. The data is used to build the FCC's National Broadband Map.
The ACA issued a release yesterday saying that it has supplied the FCC with additional broadband map data concerning locations in rural markets served by ACA members.
The association urged the FCC to reject a proposal by CenturyLink and USTelecom to increase significantly the number of locations eligible to be served using Phase I incremental support. ACA said these proposals would permit price cap carriers to use USF support to build in areas where a competitive provider may offer broadband service to most locations and could readily expand service.
In many of the census blocks identified by telcos as unserved, the association said, ACA member companies are in fact providing broadband services or are preparing to expand services to reach those areas in the near term.
The ACA release pointed to wireless backhaul as helping to drive service expansion. ACA member Mediacom's comments to the FCC stated that fiber-to-the-tower builds have enabled it to build out high-capacity infrastructure to serve, without any government support, locations in low-density areas surrounding wireless towers.
By Tim McElgunn
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