On January 16, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission issued the first update of 2015 to its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about its Special Access Data Collection. See our blogs dated 10/21/14, 11/5/14, 11/17/14, 11/25/14, 12/9/14, 12/15/14, 12/22/14, and 12/30/14. As before, the document does not indicate what changed. To assist our clients, we compared the documents and identified the items below as “new.” We’ve included the name of the FAQ section that changed as well as the number of the specific new question(s). New with this “edition” of the FAQs is a section focusing on municipalities.
As a reminder, the due dates are as follows:
- January 29, 2015, for large businesses with more than 1,500 employees as measured at the parent company level; and
- February 27, 2015, for other entities required to provide data and information in response to the data collection (i.e., entities with 1,500 or fewer employees) and municipalities.
The following are the new questions added January 16, 2015.
11. Am I required to report the portions of my network that are in rate of return areas if the network connects to price cap areas?
The FCC intended to capture only those end user locations to which you had a connection that are located in an area where the ILEC is subject to price cap regulation. To the extent the end user locations are located in a rate of return area, you do not need to report those locations.
Municipalities and Utilities
1. What is the filing deadline for the collection for municipalities?
The collection filing deadline for municipalities, including cities, counties, municipal utilities, etc., that are required to respond to the data collection is on or before February 27, 2015.
2. Are municipalities required to report Locations with a dark fiber Connection leased to third parties?
Municipalities as lessor that lease dark fiber to a third party lessees pursuant to an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) should not report Locations connected by the dark fiber unless the municipality is separately providing service to the Location over another Connection of its own (for example, a separate strand of fiber), or owns unsold dark fiber connecting the Location. A municipality that leases dark fiber it owns to a third party pursuant to a non-IRU lease is required to report Locations connected by such dark fiber Connections. However, if the municipality determines that a served Location does not and is not expected to require a Connection, e.g., a utility substation used for metering and monitoring purposes, then that is not a reportable Location. If the municipality is required to report their dark fiber Connections, they should answer the Location questions (Questions II.A.1-4, 6-11). A municipality is only required to report dark fiber Connections to end user Locations on the fiber route map (Question II.A.5) if it sells or plans to sell or provide Dedicated Service to unserved Locations over these dark fiber Connections.
3. Are municipalities and utilities required to report self-provisioned dark fiber?
If a municipality provides a Connection to a Location that is a municipal subunit, whether internally or by way of sale, the municipality must report those Locations (Questions II.A.1-4, 6-11). However, if the municipality determines that a served Location does not and is not expected to require a Connection, e.g., a utility substation used for metering and monitoring purposes, then that is not a reportable Location. A municipality is only required to answer the fiber mapping question (Questions II.A.5) if it plans to sell or provide Dedicated Service to presently unserved municipal Locations Dedicated Service over those dark fiber Connections. However, a municipality that does not sell Dedicated Service is not required to answer remaining billing and revenue questions (Questions II.A.12-19).
4. Are municipalities required to answer mapping question? (Question II.A.5)
A municipality is only required to answer mapping question (Questions II.A.5) if it is selling or plans to sell a Dedicated Service or if it is providing or plans to provide Dedicated Service to unserved municipal Locations over their Connections; if not, the municipality is not required to respond to the mapping question. For example, if a municipality provides fiber to police station as a Dedicated Service but does not sell that fiber, and there are no Locations along the fiber route that the municipality expects to connect that fiber to, then the municipality would not need to report the fiber route to the police station on its map. If the municipality sells or expects to sell or otherwise provide Connections along a fiber route then the municipality must report that fiber route on their fiber map.
5. Are municipalities required to report WiFi networks offered to the general public for free?
6. Do utilities report as Locations all their substations, metering stations, water plants, etc. connected to fiber?
If the municipality determines that a served location does not and is not expected to require a Connection (including the requirement of a minimum guaranteed bandwidth of at least 1.5 Mbps in both directions), then it does not constitute a reportable Location.
Competitive Provider Questions (Section II.A)
1. Which Locations with capable Connections do cable system operators need to report?
Cable system operators that are Competitive Providers operating in their traditional franchise areas, report all Locations with Connections linked to a Metro Ethernet (MetroE)-capable (or its equivalent) headend, whether in-service or idle and whether or not used to provide a special access service. Metro Ethernet is an Ethernet metropolitan area network service offering that involves centrally positioning one or more gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or 10 gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) switches in a metro area. For Locations with facilities that are not linked to a MetroE-capable (or its equivalent) headend, cable system operators must only report in-service Connections that were used during the relevant reporting period to provide a Dedicated Service or a service that incorporates a Dedicated Service within the offering as part of a managed solution or bundle of services sold to the customer. Cable system operators do not report facilities not linked to a MetroE-capable (or its equivalent) headend that are not used to provide a special access service. See Data Collection Implementation Order.
16. Am I required to report the interconnecting Nodes on a third party Provider’s network that is not within my control? (Question II.A.5)
Providers should only report interconnection Nodes that are on their own facilities (that is, within their control). For example, an ILEC would report any wire center or cabinet, etc. that it owns, but not where it interconnects a switch, carrier hotel or cabinet, etc. that is owned and managed by a third party Provider.