FCC Chapter: 4.2
Status: In progress
The Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should collect more detailed and accurate data on actual availability, penetration, prices, churn and bundles offered by broadband service providers to consumers and businesses, and should publish analyses of these data.
- Improve current Form 477 data collection to collect data relevant to broadband availability, adoption and competition. Specifically, the FCC should collect broadband availability data at the census block level, by provider, technology and offered speed. Availability for mobile service should be defined in terms of coverage specifications to be determined by the FCC and include information on spectrum used by facilities-based providers. In addition, the FCC should collect broadband service provider ownership and affiliation data and clarify and refine all reporting standards to ensure data consistency and comparability.
- Collect location-specific subscribership data.
- Collect price (advertised and actually paid, bundled and promotion), switching costs (such as early termination fees, contract lengths), customer churn and market share information. The FCC should collect data required to determine whether broadband service is being denied to potential residential customers based on the income of the residents in a particular geographic area.
- Make more data and FCC analyses publicly available via the Internet in a broadband data depository.
- BLS should fully resume its computer and Internet use supplement.
The data collection should be done in a way that makes possible statistically significant, detailed analyses of at least metropolitan service area (MSA) or rural service area (RSA) levels, thus allowing the FCC to understand the effect of bundles and isolate the evolution of effective pricing and terms for broadband services.
To comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and protect citizens' privacy, the FCC should
investigate using a third-party to collect location-specific subscribership data, and aggregate and anonymize it before submitting it to the FCC.