FCC Denies Broadband Data Confidentiality Requests

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The Federal Communications Commission is definitely not going to give broadband providers’ data-collection methodology confidential treatment unless they come up with different reasons than the ones being offered up by dozens of providers. In dozens of orders responding to the requests, FCC Wireline Bureau Chief Kirk Burgee said the argument that the providers’ fixed-broadband coverage methodology data is “highly sensitive in that it contains statements about the Company’s broadband network and service provision that is not generally publicly available” does not warrant that special treatment. The FCC had told providers that the methodology should be public “subject to individual requests for confidential treatment of this information,” but a check of more than two dozen such requests found that the regulator had denied all of them. “The aim of the [Broadband Data Collection initiative] is not only to provide this information to the [FCC], but also to make such data available to the public for purposes of validating and challenging the accuracy of service providers’ submissions,” the FCC told the providers. Thus, giving the public access to how everyone determined where broadband was or wasn’t will “maximize the effectiveness” of that process.

FCC Denies Broadband Data-Confidentiality Requests