FCC Form 477s must be filed very soon – March 3, 2014 to be exact. Normally due on the first of March, this year’s deadline has been extended to March 3rd. Hurray for 2 extra days! For many carriers, the broadband reporting requirement of the Form 477 is the most difficult to manage. That’s because providers are required to report detailed broadband subscriber data by US Census Tract. Reporting must be done in four broad steps:
- Census Tract Lookup – Subscriber locations should be matched to a valid 2010 Census Tract number. TMI performs lookups for our clients based on actual subscriber addresses run through a proprietary algorithm built around TIGER/Line shapefiles and address data obtained directly from the US Census Bureau. We verify that all state-county-tract designations are valid. This avoids potential errors during the online filing.
- Prepare Part VI Text Files – Once all addresses are assigned to their respective census tracts, the records must be counted and sorted by speeds, technology, customer type, and provisioning method. TMI sorts and counts client data and exports the information to state-specific text files that our clients can upload directly to the FCC’s 477 Electronic Filing System – no manual data entry required for Part VI data.
- Prepare Part I.A Summaries – This portion of Form 477 is essentially a state level summary of the data contained in the Part VI text files. TMI generates these summaries as both human readable PDFs and .xml files suitable for upload to the FCC’s 477 electronic filing system. Keep in mind that Part I.A summaries must match the location counts uploaded in Part VI by census tract. TMI generates state summaries using the same data set as that created for Part IV ensuring that the counts always match. This eliminates error messages and speeds submission of your filing.
- Enter All Files and Summaries into the FCC 477 Electronic Filing System – The time required to manually enter data into the FCC’s 477 system can be substantial. Especially if you provide broadband service in multiple states using multiple technology types. TMI provides our clients with .txt and .xml files so that all broadband data can be uploaded directly by the client to the FCC filing system without manual entry. As an option, one of our Compliance Reporting Associates can upload the data for your company as well as enter any local exchange service data required for Parts II through V.
If the above sounds a bit complicated, well it is and requirements will change for the upcoming September 1, 2014 filing later this year (see our blog dated 7/9/13). We will keep you advised of the new requirements when they become available. These complications are among the reasons that TMI has created a simplified 477 broadband reporting process. Our clients send us location records with some additional data which we then process, summarize, and return in human readable and electronic files ready for submission to the FCC. For many of our clients, we also assist with input to the FCC’s 477 electronic filing system.
To download a copy of TMI’s March 3rd FCC Form 477 filing input record specification click on the button below.
Twice each year, we process over 2 million subscriber records for over 40 facility-based broadband service providers including CLECs, ILECs and cable companies. Contact us to find out more about our service: Voice- 407-740-8575 or click on the green button below.