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Broadband mapping: be ready to augment & verify carrier data

12 Speaking at the recent Virginia Summit on Broadband Access, NTIA administrator Larry Strickling expressed confidence that broadband service providers will not only provide the detailed supply data requested by his agency, but also that carriers would waive the confidentially provisions that keep this data from being associated with specific companies.That sounds like a pretty “audacious” hope to me, though I certainly hope Mr. Strickling is correct.  But, just in case he isn’t, we at SNG suggest that states be ready to put together as much broadband data as they can without relying solely on carrier cooperation.

States and their broadband mapping contractors should, of course, work closely and in good faith with carriers to negotiate agreements and develop systems so carriers can provide the data elements set forth in the NOFA on terms that adhere to the document’s confidentiality provisions and that carriers find acceptable.

But we don’t think it’s wise for states to rely solely on carrier cooperation in the design and execution of their broadband mapping programs. As the NOFA makes clear ( see pg. 45), NTIA is asking for more detailed data than has ever been provided for a broadband mapping project.  The extent to which carriers will provide this data remains at best an open question.

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Broadband mapping: carriers can’t be trusted – but don’t hold it against them

Eiffel_tower_broadband_ARRA NTIA administrator Larry Strickling (again…) is wrong: carriers shouldn’t be trusted – certainly not to share broadband data. That’s because you shouldn’t rely on carriers to agree to serve the public interest. Not that they are inherently bad corporate citizens; but because carriers’ interests and the public’s interest are not aligned. And never will be. Consequently, carriers are never going to take steps that would entail favoring the public’s interest over theirs. It’s just plain logic; economic logic – unencumbered by the hardcore free-market ideology that telecom lobbyists always talk about.Let’s look at the facts. To put it simply, free markets don’t quite work in the broadband world.

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How we can help: broadband supply data mapping

SNG_mapping At SNG, we can provide a full mapping solution that meets NTIA requirements. Or, for States that are undertaking their own mapping project, we can provide enrichment and verification. Our mapping solutions have the two key characteristics: multi-source, independently verified mapping and integration of supply and demand data. Let’s discuss each point below. If you’re in a hurry click here to download the 3-page description of our offer. Also, we’d like to know what you think of this approach: please tell us!

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