Recently, the FCC issued a Public Notice in which it stated that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) had requested access to the data filed on the annual Form 477. Specifically, NTIA has asked for data filed September 1, 2010, reporting broadband Internet access connections as of June 30, 2010. The Form 477 is filed by most facilities based broadband providers, local exchange carriers, VoIP providers and mobile carriers, reporting a variety of data concerning Internet access provided to end users at a highly detailed level, including the speed and geographic location of the services, provided at a Census-track level.
NTIA has indicated that it will use the data to assist its State Broadband Data and Development Program (“SBDD”) by comparing the 477 data to information collected under the SBDD regarding the availability and use of broadband services. The Form 477 data will serve as a “baseline” and information on the Form 477 could become part of a “National Broadband Map” that NTIA eventually plans to make available on the Internet.
Because the Form 477 contains information that may be designated as confidential and commercially sensitive, filers of the Form 477 have the opportunity to object to the disclosure of data to NTIA. Any entity that wishes to object, must do so by January 17 with a formal request to the Commission detailing why the entity's data should be withheld from NTIA. If a company does not object, its Form 477 data will be released to NTIA.
Should you have questions about the impact that such a disclosure will have, or wish to oppose the disclosure, please contact us:
This article was originally published by Bingham McCutchen LLP.