Broadband Data Collection Reporting Errors Lead to $10,000 Fine and Consent Decree

The FCC has sanctioned an internet service provider (ISP) that failed to accurately report serviceable locations due to a misunderstanding of the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) rules. The FCC’s Order and Consent Decree serves as a reminder that ISPs must educate themselves on BDC reporting requirements and ensure they provide accurate data. Facilities-based providers of fixed or mobile broadband internet access service are required to submit information and data by March 1 (as of December 31 of the prior year) and by September 1 (as of June 30 of the current year).

The Order stemmed from an individual challenge to BDC data indicating that an ISP was able to provide broadband service to a specific location. An FCC investigation revealed the challenged location was one of approximately 1,500 the ISP erroneously claimed to serve in its August 2022 and March 2023 BDC filings. The FCC found the company could not provide broadband services or connect to those locations within 10 business days of a request for service, as required by the BDC rules.

The ISP acknowledged “it had not taken the necessary time and effort to review and understand the Commission’s guidance on Broadband Data Collection.” In addition to paying a $10,000 civil penalty, the company agreed to comply with the FCC’s BDC rules and adopt a compliance plan with reporting obligations for two years.

For more information Broadband Data Collection requirements, contact an attorney in our Broadband, Spectrum, and Communications Infrastructure practice group.