Tenth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tenth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry 
GN Docket No. 14-126

Inquiry concerning the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, and possible steps to accelerate such deployment pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act.
Adopted: August 1, 2014       Released: August 5, 2014
Comment Date: September 4, 2014
Reply Comment Date: September 19, 2014
By the Commission: Chairman Wheeler issuing a statement; and Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly approving in part, concurring part and issuing separate statements.
The FCC has launched a Notice of Inquiry about Broadband Progress and seeks comments about “whether advance telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in reasonable and timely fashion”. Comments on several aspects of Broadband include deployment, quality, speed, adoption, accuracy of mapping of underserved areas, as well as affordability.

The Commission recognizes: The lack of broadband access for “certain groups of Americans indicating that nearly one quarter of Americans living in rural areas lack access to 4 Mbps/1Mbps broadband, and 29 percent of Americans living on all Tribal lands are without such access.” Additionally, Americans living on Tribal lands in rural areas without access to fixed broadband rises to 49.5 percent.”


• Definition of “advanced technology capability”, especially in regards to core characteristics of speed, latency and usage allowance.
• Whether there should be separate benchmarks for fixed and mobile services.
• Which data should be used to measure broadband?
• How should differences in broadband deployment, especially in non-urban and Tribal areas?
• Should a modification of 4 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload continue to be a speed benchmark?
• How to address mobile and satellite services data and improve evaluation of these services.
• How deployment should be determined and evaluated as well as how to improve analysis of broadband availability at elementary and secondary schools.
• Are there additional data that should be considered when determining the extent of mobile broadband deployment, benchmarking and availability in a service area, as well as adoption rates (i.e. number of handsets per household, multiple handset usage and average number of households across geographic areas, such as tribal lands).
• The Commission seeks comments on how have their actions and other government actions help or hinder deployment of fixed or mobile networks in underserved areas. Have right-of-ways promoted deployment?
• “What government programs and/or private investment are helping with the unique challenges in deploying broadband to rural areas and Tribal lands? How can the Commission better assess deployment investment and impact for underserved areas?”
• Costs and delays in building out networks, broadband service quality, lack of affordable broadband Internet access services, lack of trust in broadband and Internet content and services, including privacy protections and lack of access to devices and other broadband-capable equipment. What is the impact or experience in these areas for Tribal lands and unique challenges faced in these communities.
• How can the Commission better accelerate broadband deployment on Tribal lands? What concrete steps should be taken to assess and improve the state of broadband on Tribal lands?