ACA: National Broadband Map Is Good Enough

Small MSOs Say FCC Should Put Onus on Incumbent Carriers to Prove Maps 'Served' Areas Aren't

The National Telecommunications and Information Association's National Broadband Map may be imperfect, but it is good enough for the FCC to use to determine where broadband is already being delivered and should not be overbuilt.

That was the word from the American Cable Association to the FCC in reply comments on the commission's second phase of broadband subsidies in the Connect America Fund, which the FCC created to migrate traditional phone support to broadband.

In reply comments to the commission, ACA, which represents smaller and mid-sized cable operators, ACA said there were a number of reasons to use the map even though it conceded it is a flawed "work in progress."

First, it is the most accurate map that currently exists of where service is already deployed, said ACA.

Small cable operators are concerned about the government subsidizing incumbent carriers to overbuild where ACA members are already deploying service or ramping up speeds via the next-generation DOCSIS platform.

ACA said that any inaccuracies could be quickly addressed through a challenge process ACA is proposing where it would be up to incumbents to prove an area is unserved.

The FCC has proposed raising the proxy speed for high-speed broadband to 6 Mbps upstream/1 Mbps downstream, but ACA said it should stick to the current DOCSIS 3/768 speed (itself a proxy for the 4/1 the FCC is shooting for), or risk discouraging private investment.