Well, if you file an FCC Form 477, you do work for such a company. The FCC Form 477 captures voice and broadband subscription data at a census tract level (very granular) and broadband availability data at a census block level (very, very granular). To properly report this data, a company must prepare a snapshot of its customer base every six months, and then summarize that data by tract and block. It’s a lot of work and effort just to comply with an FCC reporting requirement.
But once that data has been gathered and filed, it can easily be repurposed – put to good use by other departments. Here are just a few ideas on how Form 477 data can be utilized:
- Time Lapse at 50,000 Feet – The Form 477 is filed every six months giving you a series of snapshots. Move away from looking at each filing as a single event. Instead, data from prior reports can be compared to provide a high level view of your company’s successes or challenges at a state, county, tract or block level. Such comparisons can also be used to identify potential inquiries from the FCC about data submitted in your company’s Form 477s reports.
- Sales and Network Planning – Overlay your company’s service areas or customer base with ILEC territories. This might provide insights into which ILEC territories are best for sales efforts or sales implementation. Seeing your data on a map makes it easy to pinpoint geographic areas for future expansion.
- Customer Loss Reports – provide a list of terminated accounts twice a year. A review of the services and locations for these customers might indicate service deficiencies or win-back strategies that could reduce disconnects.
- Sales Maps with Hot Zones – Where have sales efforts or advertising campaigns been most effective? Locations for new customers could be quickly plotted on maps for sharing with sales and marketing departments. Hot zones might identify sales tactics or employee successes that can be duplicated in other areas.
- Incorporating Demographic or Economic Data into Forecasts and Plans – Filers of Form 477 reports map customer locations and service areas to census tracts and blocks. The resulting outputs can then be merged with detailed demographic or economic data collected by the US Census Bureau or other government agencies or private organizations. For example, residential service providers could look for future service areas that mirror the demographics or economic mix of its existing customer base.
The above are just samples of the many ways in which Form 477 data can be “mined” and re-purposed within your company. Since the data has already been pulled and processed, “477 gold” – additional value – can often be derived at some smaller incremental cost. Extracting additional value from your company’s Form 477 data also provides a great opportunity for regulatory departments to give back to the company. Regulatory department data can become a source for sales and planning information.
As a leading provider of FCC Form 477 support services, including comparisons with prior filings as well as visualization and maps of your data in our new TMI GIS Online service, we are well positioned to help you mine gold from your Form 477 reports and data.