Special AccessYesterday, the Federal Communications Commission updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about its Special Access Data Collection.  See our blog dated October 21, 2014  Unfortunately, the document does not indicate what changed.  To assist our clients, we compared the documents and identified the items below as “new.”  As a reminder, although the secure web portal interface, Version 1.0, at https://specialaccessfiling.fcc.gov/spadc/login has been activated, only the essay portions of the data collection can be viewed and completed at this time.  The database container that parties will download from the web portal and use to load and deliver certain other data, e.g., location and pricing data, is undergoing final testing and is not yet available.

The following are the new questions added November 1, 2014.

Is the FCC planning any webinars or seminars on the collection?

Please check the Special Access Data Collection Overview page for announcements regarding webinars, brown bags and other programs as well as recordings of those webinars and the webinar slide decks.

  • The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) Wireline Committee has scheduled a “brown bag” luncheon on the data collection for Friday, November 14, 2014, 12:15-1:30 PM. Information on registering for the FCBA brown bag is available here.
  • The FCC hosted a webinar providing a high-level overview of the collection and opportunity to ask general questions, which was held on October 30, 2014. A live recording of the webinar will be made available on the Special Access Data Collection Overview page.

Am I exempted from the collection if I self-provision special access service to my own facilities on a private fiber network?

No. Even if you self-provision special access services to your own facilities on a private network, you may still be required to file a response to the collection.


Are Synchronous Optial NETwork (SONET), Automatic Teler Machine (ATM) and frame relay services considered a Circuit Based Dedicated Service (CBDS) or a Packet Based Dedicated Service (PBDS) for purposes of the collection?

For purposes of the data collection, SONET, ATM and frame relay services are treated as PBDS.

Does Location include an End User’s premises?   FCC


Should fiber route mapping data be current as of December 31, 2013 or as of the filing date? (Question II.A.5)

For purposes of answering Question II.A.5, mapping data submitted should be accurate as of the filing date.

Can I use google maps or some other file format other than ESRI Shapefiles to file my response to the fiber mapping questions? (Question II.A.5)

There are free mapping software programs available, such as QGIS, with which you can use to generate a Shapefile format fiber map for uploading to the web portal and submit in response to Question II.A.5.

In responding to Question II.A.17, may I use a sampling methodology to account for the percentage of my Revenues from the sale of DS1, DS3, and PBDS services in 2013 that were generated from an agreement or Tariff that contains a Prior Purchase-Based Commitment? (Question II.A.17)

In responding to Question II.A.17, the FCC will accept percentages based on a sampling of existing and new agreements or Tariffs provided that the respondent demonstrates in the Explanatory Attachment that the sampling methodology meets the following criteria:

  • The sample is randomly selected;
  • The sample design (including the sample size) is developed so that estimates meet a reasonable precision objective (e.g., estimates will be +/-5% with 95% confidence);
  • The sample design gives consideration to the use of stratification and/or probability-proportional-to-size techniques to establish appropriate representation of sampling units to achieve the precision objectives;
  • The sample data used in the calculation of the estimates will be available to the FCC upon request along with documentation as to how sample was selected.

Taking advantage of this option does raise the possibility that the FCC may contact the respondent post-submission inquiring about the sufficiency of the sampling methodology.

Best Efforts Business Broadband Internet Access Service provider Questions (Section II.C)

In the Instructions – Pages 53-54, the suggested record format template for responding to Question II.C.1 includes subparts “c-d Part 1” and “c-d Part 2” but there is no subpart “c-d” in the Data Collection Question II.C.1?

In the Instructions, “Question II.C.1.c-d Part 1”on page 53 should read “Question II.C.a-b Part 1” and “Question II.C.1.c-d Part 2” on page 54 should read “Question II.C.a-b Part 2.”

How come I can’t log in with my FRN password?

The web portal log in does not allow certain special characters (such as @ or &) to be in the password even if you registered an FRN and password with special characters with the FCC’s Commission Registration System (CORES). Please click the “Forgot your password?” link on the web portal log in screen to generate a new password associated with your FRN and make sure this password does not contain any special characters.

13. What collection Questions should appear in the Essay Uploads section for my filer type?

FCC Special Access table

A copy of the complete November 1, 2014 Frequently Asked Questions is available here.   The transcript of the October 30, 2014, Special Access Data Collection webinar is available here


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