FCC Maps are Coming. Are You Ready?

On Thursday, November 10, the FCC announced that the first iteration of the long-awaited Broadband Maps that will inform the allocation of BEAD grants will drop on November 18. This will kick off the federal challenge process, with updated iterations of the maps coming in mid-December and with the final maps to be released in Q1 2023; these maps will be used to allocate the $42.5 billion in BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment) funds based on the number of unserved locations in each state. According to the NTIA, these funds will be allocated by June 30, 2023.

Are you ready to defend your position and grow your market? With a timeline in place, things will start moving quickly! Bullet-proof data on under and unserved households within and tangential to their footprint will be key for service providers as they respond to the maps and begin planning their proposals to local and state governments once funds have been distributed.

Understanding the specific current service levels by location in a given market, the existing technology infrastructure, and the opportunity for growth and expansion will be critical to BDC filings, challenging the accuracy of maps where appropriate – and establishing a foundation to prioritize market opportunities once the funds are allocated to the states.

 “It is inevitable that the maps will have errors – absolutely nothing is perfect. But the impetus is now on the service providers to clean up the data to make them accurate. The benefits to them are huge – including expanding their addressable market – while also providing savings to taxpayers by identifying households that are already receiving the standard 100/20 Mbps service even though they may be marked as unserved.”  - Raj Singh, VCTI’s CEO

Too often, service provider systems don’t have accurate data on the households within their market, even when the errors damage their competitiveness, opening the door to overbuilders when the ability to reach and/or expand to touch these homes is very affordable. Accurate data and analysis now can shut the door on future competitive encroachment.

VCTI’s BIO (Broadband Investment Optimization) Service helps service providers target opportunities – and understand market forces within their footprint or close proximity. Among the data they can uncover quickly is: which households are receiving sub-par service (or none at all), which households are capable of receiving >100/20 but not identified, and other critical cost factors.

Armed with this data, broadband service providers can be ready to respond quickly and effectively to the various deadlines and milestones in the coming weeks and months. Fill out the form below to learn more about our offerings – and how we can help you move quickly to gain first mover advantage!