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AT&T, Verizon Find Broadband Map Data Unusable
Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:48
Creating the model for the Big Telco Plan for USF/ICC, Jim Stegman found the data in the National Broadband map so unreliable he couldn't use it. Instead, he filled in many of the gaps by "augmenting the NTIA data on cable provided broadband coverage with Warren Media data." The number of homes unserved by cable according to NTIA is nearly twice reliable numbers from other sources. I estimate that if the six companies had used the NTIA map data, subsidies demanded would have been $billions higher.
    Everyone in the business - including FCC staffers - know the data is garbage and needs to be extensively revised. Reliable sources tell me the next version will be better, although according to what NTIA is telling me it will still be far off. Fortunately for Larry Strickling, the media in D.C. haven't picked this up. If they had, even a great politician like Larry with a long time personal connection with President Obama would have to fix the problems.
     With this confirmation from the big guys in D.C., maybe that will change.

    Kathleen Grillo, Bob Quinn of AT&T, Kathleen Abernathy of Frontier, Steve Davis of Century, and Michael D. Rhoda of Windstream all signed the proposal, which includes:
"NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development (“SBDD”) cable coverage data are generally known to understate cable provided broadband coverage, ... There are a number of alternative commercial sources of cable coverage data, two of which are Warren Media and Nielsen. These sources reflect dramatically more cable‐provided broadband coverage than NTIA’s SBDD data. ... The Coalition attempted to correct flaws in the NTIA data" Multiple sources including company SEC filings show a figure of 8% of the country unable to get cable broadband. NTIA's data said 18%.
     After spending $100M, this is total incompetence or cowardice.