The FCC Monday released carrier-specific 4G LTE coverage maps derived from data submitted as part of the Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process. The point is to inform the debate about how to improve the Commission’s collection of mobile broadband data.
The Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process required mobile wireless carriers to submit propagation modeling software, spectrum band or bands, bandwidth, and signal strength used to generate their coverage maps. In total, 48 mobile wireless carriers filed the required data.
Several challengers raised concerns about the accuracy of carriers’ coverage data, so the FCC investigated the information submitted by some carriers. An FCC report released in December recommended ending the challenge process because of “significant inaccuracies” in the submitted coverage data. The information was private in that report but is being released now.
AT&T objected to the public release of its data, arguing its Mobility Fund Phase II maps are specific to 4G, and show less coverage than its public-facing maps that reflect other areas where 4G LTE service is provided. Because of that objection, the agency chose not to release AT&T’s maps “at this time.”
T-Mobile and Verizon didn’t object to the release of their data but said Commission action was needed because it was supposed to be confidential. Monday, the FCC argued it never made that claim, and the data is now more than two years old.
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