WTA Discusses Network Testing, RDOF and Broadband Mapping with FCC

On September 24, representatives from WTA met staff for Commissioners O’Reilly and Carr to discuss broadband network testing, the proposed Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF), and broadband mapping.

Regarding testing, WTA expressed concerns that an FCC Order responding to the pending applications for review and petitions for reconsideration and that sets a specific testing schedule for Rural LECs has yet to be approved.

WTA also highlighted its comments in the RDOF proceeding, which argued against using the CAF II auction procedures without major changes. WTA noted that there is a “substantial difference between the wholly ‘unserved’ areas lacking any high-speed broadband service that were included in the 2018 CAF Phase II Auction and the asserted ‘unserved’ areas that lack 25/3 Mbps service (but are likely to have significant 10/1 Mbps service) that are proposed to be included in the RDOF reverse auctions. The presence of existing 10/1 Mbps services raises serious consumer satisfaction and protection issues that the CAF Phase II Auction procedures are not equipped to handle.”

Lastly, in terms of mapping data, WTA urged the FCC to adopt a challenge process to carrier-submitting data and to ensure the “data collection include: (a) fiber connections to schools in order to avoid duplication or overbuilding of such facilities; (b) latency data; and (c) more accurate coverage standards for fixed wireless service.”

A representative Notice of ex parte for both meetings can be found here.