Simple Strategies For Timely and Efficient Preparation of FCC Form 477

These strategies apply to FCC Form 477 filings for data as of December 31, 2019 and beyond. For more information or requirements for data before December 31, 2019 visit the FCC website here.

Here are simple guidelines you may follow to make your preparation for FCC Form 477 quick and efficient:

  1. Identify all project stakeholders who will be involved in the preparation of data for FCC Form 477 filings.  Some examples of stakeholders might be subject matter experts from IT/GIS, Marketing, Regulatory, Legal, Engineering, and/or Provisioning departments.
  2. Agree on the definition of a service location among stakeholders. This is very important before you start preparing your data because it will allow you to reconcile any discrepancies that might arise from working with diverse systems of records and departments.
  3. Set deadlines for when you need the required data back from the stakeholders.
  4. Your stakeholders will need to gather the data outlined in the table below. Before importing your data into GEOGRAPH’s FourSevens application, you will need two feature classes – one consisting of polygons (Census blocks) and the other of points representing service locations with associated attributes.
    Data Definition
    Census Blocks 15-digit census block code (FCC)
    Technology of Transmission “Category of technology for the provision of Internet access service used by the portion of the connection that would terminate at the end-user location (premises)” (FCC)
    Qualification maximum down speeds Maximum download speeds that can be achieved based on service qualification speed
    Qualification maximum up speeds Maximum upload speeds that can be achieved based on service qualification speed
    Customer Type Consumer (also known as Residential or Mass Market), Business (also known as Commercial)/Government customer type, based on advertised or marketed Internet service at their service location
    Advertised (Market) maximum down speeds Maximum down speeds that are advertised or marketed to a consumer if different from qualification speeds
    Advertised (Market) maximum up speeds Maximum up speeds that are advertised or marketed to a consumer if different from qualification speeds
    Your Company’s DBA Name(s) Doing Business As (DBA) Name of your company. In other words, the name of the entity customers could contact to purchase service in this block.
  5. You may follow these steps to gather your data:
    • Download shapefile(s) with Census Blocks from the Census Bureau website for your service area if you don’t have it already, making sure it includes a 15-digit census block code.
    • From your internal system of record, extract qualification speeds for all possible service locations (for customers and non-customers) with their physical location information (plus geo coordinates if you have them already) and technology of transmission (Note: You can code them based on the FCC requirements using the FourSevens tool).
    • From your internal system of record, extract service locations for all your current customers and flag them as Consumer or Business/Government. (Note: Using a billing system to pull customer addresses might not be ideal as they may include PO Boxes and addresses that are not associated with where they actually receive Internet service).
    • Match the records with qualification speeds and technology of transmission to the records with the customer type based on service locations. Geocode service locations if you don’t have geo coordinates for them (e.g., Esri geocoder).
    • If qualification speeds are different from advertised or marketed speeds, collect information (usually from your Marketing or Sales departments) on which speeds are advertised or marketed in your service area(s).
    • Compile all the data into one tabular file with the following fields: Geo Coordinates, Service Locations, Technology of Transmission (either coded or left as a string text), Qualification Speeds (max up and max down), Customer Type, Advertised Speeds (max down and max up).
    • Convert this tabular data to a point feature class.
    • Import the polygon feature class with Census Blocks.
    • If not done yet, download FourSevens from ArcGIS Marketplace. You may follow the written  instructions to complete the process or watch how to use the tool here.
    • Congratulations! Now you have your data formatted and ready for submission.

 Important things to remember:

  • Any variation in Block, DBA Name, or Technology of Transmission necessitates the creation of a new record for the Census Block.  This means that there should be a record for each technology type available in the Census Block.
  • For Consumer / Mass Market Services you have to report maximum advertised downstream and upstream bandwidths.
  • For Business / Government Services you have to report the census block in which service is or can be provided, along with the DBA name and last-mile technology, but do not have to report maximum advertised downstream and upstream bandwidths.

 Useful Resources:

Resource Link
Form 477 Filing Interface https://apps2.fcc.gov/form477/login.xhtml
Form 477 Instructions https://us-fcc.app.box.com/v/Form477Instructions
Changes to Form 477 in 2019 and 2020 https://us-fcc.app.box.com/v/ChangesFor2019and2020
Census blocks/tracks shape- files https://www.census.gov/geographies/mapping-files/time-series/geo/carto-boundary-file.html
https://transition.fcc.gov/form477/Geo/more_about_census_blocks.pdf
FourSevens Free Add-on https://marketplace.arcgis.com/listing.html?id=a879aad16bee4e13b62ce9fca83302f8
FourSevens User Guide https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IFmhEiBD31xqFQ5USlh6zNq7ArqRuwoN/view
FourSevens Video Instructions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXJppx3iw-c
Free and Paid Geocoding resources https://gisgeography.com/reverse-geocoding-services-addresses-free-paid/

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at
info@geograph.tech or (800) 674 4803.

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