Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Broadband Availability Data, 24747-24749 [2018-11483]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices Suspension of Liquidation In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of fine denier PSF from Taiwan as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after January 5, 2018, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents listed above will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margins determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise, except as explained below; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and/ or exporters will be equal to the allothers estimated weighted-average dumping margin. Because the estimated weightedaverage dumping margin for TSCL is zero, entries of shipments of subject merchandise both produced and exported by TSCL will not be subject to suspension of liquidation or cash deposit requirements. In such situations, Commerce applies the exclusion to the provisional measures to the producer/exporter combination that was examined in the investigation. Accordingly, Commerce is directing CBP to not suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise produced and exported by TSCL. Entries of shipments of subject merchandise from TSCL in any other producer/exporter combination, or by third parties that sourced subject merchandise from the excluded producer/exporter combination, are subject to the provisional measures at the all-others rate. Because the final estimated weightedaverage dumping margin for subject merchandise produced and exported by TSCL is zero, entries of shipments of subject merchandise from this producer/ exporter combination will be excluded from the antidumping duty order. This exclusion is not applicable to merchandise exported to the United VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 24747 States by TSCL in any other producer/ exporter combinations or by third parties that sourced subject merchandise from the excluded producer/exporter combination. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice. Dated: May 23, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Disclosure The merchandise covered by this investigation is fine denier polyester staple fiber (fine denier PSF), not carded or combed, measuring less than 3.3 decitex (3 denier) in diameter. The scope covers all fine denier PSF, whether coated or uncoated. The following products are excluded from the scope: (1) PSF equal to or greater than 3.3 decitex (more than 3 denier, inclusive) currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 5503.20.0045 and 5503.20.0065. (2) Low-melt PSF defined as a bicomponent polyester fiber having a polyester fiber component that melts at a lower temperature than the other polyester fiber component, which is currently classifiable under HTSUS subheading 5503.20.0015. Fine denier PSF is classifiable under the HTSUS subheading 5503.20.0025. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive. Commerce intends to disclose to interested parties its calculations and analysis performed in this final determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). International Trade Commission Notification In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final affirmative determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2)(B) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of fine denier PSF from Taiwan no later than 45 days after Commerce’s final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation. Notification to Interested Parties This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction. This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c). PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. List of Issues III. Background IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Reported Costs for a Certain Product Control Number (CONNUM) Comment 1(a): Direct Material Costs Comment 1(b): Allocation of Labor and Overhead Comment 1(c): Market Price Methodology for Grades B and C PSF Comment 1(d): Scrap Offset Calculation Comment 2: Factoring Agreement Comment 3: Packing Cost Comment 4: Application of Partial Facts Available VI. Recommendation [FR Doc. 2018–11712 Filed 5–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 180427421–8421–01] RIN 0660–XC042 Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Broadband Availability Data National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 24748 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices Notice and request for comments. ACTION: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), on behalf of the Department of Commerce (Department), is requesting comment on actions that can be taken to improve the quality and accuracy of broadband availability data, particularly in rural areas, as part of the activities directed by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Through this Request for Comments (RFC), NTIA seeks input from a broad range of interested stakeholders—including private industry; academia; federal, state, and local government; not-for-profits; and other stakeholders with an interest in broadband availability—on ways to improve the nation’s ability to analyze broadband availability, with the intention of identifying gaps in broadband availability that can be used to improve policymaking and inform public investments. DATES: Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by email to mappingrfc@ ntia.doc.gov. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4887, Attn: Douglas Kinkoph, Associate Administrator, Washington, DC 20230. For more instructions about submitting comments, see the ‘‘Instructions for Commenters’’ section of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Spurgeon, tel.: (720) 389–4900, email: aspurgeon@ntia.doc.gov, or Tim Moyer, tel.: (202) 482–6423, email: tmoyer@ntia.doc.gov, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4725, Washington, DC 20230. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482–7002, or at press@ntia.doc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: Broadband connectivity is essential to the nation’s economic growth and social advancement. It is the conduit for economic and social opportunities for U.S. households and a gateway to increased productivity, growth and market access for businesses of all sizes, yet many American businesses, households and critical anchor institutions lack sufficient broadband availability. Using its current sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 definition of broadband (25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data show that approximately 8 percent of Americans lived in places where fixed terrestrial broadband service was unavailable by the end of 2016. This data also demonstrates that there continued to be a significant disparity across America, with more than 30 percent of rural Americans and approximately 35 percent of those living on Tribal lands lacking broadband availability, compared to 2 percent of Americans living in urban areas.1 Many businesses, schools and libraries in rural and Tribal areas are insufficiently served or cannot afford the network transmission speed required to support multiple users of bandwidth-intensive applications. Knowing where the persistent gaps in broadband exist is crucial to enabling more efficient and effective investments in broadband infrastructure from both the public and private sectors. NTIA, in collaboration with the FCC, pioneered the collection of extensive broadband deployment data when it launched the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) in 2009. Through this program, NTIA worked with every state, territory, and the District of Columbia to collect fixed and mobile broadband availability data for over 11 million Census blocks every six months for five years. To make these data accessible to a broad audience, NTIA launched the National Broadband Map (NBM) in 2011. Although the SBI program ended in 2015, NTIA continues its extensive work to collect, analyze, and disseminate data relevant to broadband availability and adoption. Presently, the only source of nationwide broadband availability data is that collected from broadband service provider responses to the FCC Form 477 Fixed Broadband Deployment data process. Form 477 data are submitted by voice and broadband telecommunications service providers semi-annually and include information on services each provider offers, at the Census block level.2 While the Census block system provides a very high level of geographic granularity overall—the United States is divided into over 11 million blocks, 95 percent of which do 1 Federal Communications Commission 2018 Broadband Progress Report. See https:// apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-1810A1.pdf. 2 ‘‘All facilities-based broadband providers are required to file data with the FCC twice a year (Form 477) on where they offer internet access service at speeds exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction.’’ See https://www.fcc.gov/general/ broadband-deployment-data-fcc-form-477. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 not exceed 1 square mile in land area— it is possible that broadband availability may vary within a single block, particularly if it is geographically larger (which is most common in rural areas). A provider offering service to any homes or businesses in a Census block is instructed to report that block as served in its Form 477 filing, even though it may not offer broadband services in most of the block. This can lead to overstatements in the level of broadband availability, especially in rural areas where Census blocks are large. Moreover, there is no independent validation or verification process for Form 477 data service providers to submit to the FCC. While NTIA believes that the Form 477 data program is impressively large and useful, and benefits broadband policy research and decision-making, as well as the FCC’s internal needs, NTIA also believes that the Form 477 data collection program suffers from issues with data accuracy. Recognizing the deficiencies of the current broadband data collection process, Congress directed NTIA to update the national broadband availability map in coordination with the FCC and use partnerships previously developed with the states. Unlike the SBI program, in which NTIA worked with the states to collect and validate broadband availability data independent from the FCC’s Form 477 data collection process, this is not a new program to fund the primary collection of broadband availability or subscription data, nor to fund specific data collection activities by states or third parties. Rather, Congress directed NTIA to acquire and display available third-party data sets to the extent it is able to negotiate inclusion to augment data from the FCC, other federal government agencies, state government, and the private sector. The objective of these updates is to identify regions of the country with insufficient broadband capacity, particularly in rural areas. NTIA is well-suited to perform this task. It has extensive experience collecting data on broadband adoption and usage in the United States, creating decades of datasets that complement the Form 477 data collections on broadband deployment and subscription. Since 1994, NTIA has partnered with the Census Bureau (Census) to survey approximately 53,000 U.S. households on their internet and computer use. NTIA’s questionnaire, administered as a supplement to Census’s Current Population Survey (CPS), includes more than 50 questions to gather a wealth of information on household and individual internet use and E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices demographics, including the locations, technologies, and devices that people use to go online, their online activities, and the reasons why some Americans still do not utilize these technologies. Whereas Form 477 focuses on broadband availability and subscription data gathered from service providers, NTIA’s CPS Supplements provide detailed information on adoption and usage of the internet, as reported by households across the country. The NTIA surveys, together with the FCC’s Form 477 and three household broadband adoption questions on the American Community Survey, comprise a valuable, holistic set of federal data sources related to broadband. NTIA issues this RFC to solicit informed recommendations and feedback on sources of broadband availability data, mechanisms to validate broadband availability data using multiple data sources or new techniques, and approaches to leverage such data and techniques to inform broadband planning at the state and national levels by promoting the most efficient use of state or federal funding to areas that are insufficiently served by broadband. Request for Comments: NTIA invites comment on the full range of issues that may be presented by this inquiry, including issues that are not specifically raised in the questions below. Commenters are encouraged to address any or all of the questions below. Comments that contain references to studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of the referenced materials with the submitted comments. 1. Identifying additional broadband availability data: a. What additional data on broadband availability are available from federal, state, not-for-profit, academic, or private-sector sources to augment the FCC Form 477 data set? b. What obstacles—such as concerns about the quality, scope, or format of the data, as well as contractual, confidentiality, or data privacy concerns—might prevent the collaborative use of such data? 2. Technology type, service areas, and bandwidth: Please consider providing a table or spreadsheet attachment when responding to question 2, if needed. a. For each broadband availability data source, please define the specific broadband technologies (e.g., wireline, cable, fixed wireless, satellite, multiple sources, etc.) included in the data set. Please explain the service areas or geographic scope of the data set (e.g., Census block, county, cable franchises, publicly funded service areas, etc.) and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 describe how records from the data set could be matched with records from Form 477 data. b. Describe how frequently the data set is updated and the methodology used for collection and what measures are employed to validate or otherwise ensure the data is accurate. Please explain whether the data set differentiates between subscribed bandwidth and maximum available speeds. c. For each data set, please provide the name(s) and type(s) of entity that collects the data. d. Finally, please specify the format of the data (e.g., CSV, specific database, specific Geographic Information System (GIS) format, etc.) 3. New approaches: Are there new approaches, tools, technologies, or methodologies that could be used to capture broadband availability data, particularly in rural areas? 4. Validating broadband availability data: a. What methodologies, policies, standards, or technologies can be implemented to validate and compare various broadband availability data sources and identify and address conflicts between them? b. Do examples or studies of such validation exist? c. What thresholds or benchmarks should be taken into account when validating broadband availability, such as bandwidth, latency, geographic coverage, technology type, etc.? How can conformance to such standards be used to evaluate the accuracy of broadband data sets? How could those standards be used to improve policymaking, program management, or research in broadband-related fields? 5. Identifying gaps in broadband availability: a. What data improvements can the government implement to better identify areas with insufficient broadband capacity? b. What other inputs should NTIA seek to inform data-driven broadband policy- and decision-making? Instructions for Commenters: Comments submitted by email should be machine-readable and should not be copy-protected. Comments submitted by mail may be in hard copy (paper) or electronic (on CD–ROM or disk). Responders should include the name of the person or organization filing the comment, as well as a page number on each page of their submissions. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted on the NTIA website, https:// www.ntia.doc.gov, without change. All personal identifying information (for PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24749 example, name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NTIA will accept anonymous comments. Dated: May 23, 2018. David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. [FR Doc. 2018–11483 Filed 5–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–60–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA–2018–HQ–0005] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Department of the Army, DoD. 30-Day information collection AGENCY: ACTION: notice. The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by June 29, 2018. ADDRESSES: Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at oira_submission@ omb.eop.gov. Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Licari, 571–372–0493, or whs.mcalex.esd.mbx.dd-dod-informationcollections@mail.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Evaluation of Health Status of an Infantry Battalion Following Deployment in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004–2005; OMB Control Number 0702–XXXX. Type of Request: New. Number of Respondents: 3,500. Responses per Respondent: 1. Annual Responses: 3,500. Average Burden per Response: 1 Hour. Annual Burden Hours: 3,500. Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to assess and evaluate the self-reported post-deployment health status of selected soldiers who operated in the vicinity of Mosul, Iraq in 2004 (e.g., SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 30, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24747-24749]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-11483]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

[Docket No. 180427421-8421-01]
RIN 0660-XC042


Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Broadband Availability Data

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce

[[Page 24748]]


ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
(NTIA), on behalf of the Department of Commerce (Department), is 
requesting comment on actions that can be taken to improve the quality 
and accuracy of broadband availability data, particularly in rural 
areas, as part of the activities directed by Congress in the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Through this Request for 
Comments (RFC), NTIA seeks input from a broad range of interested 
stakeholders--including private industry; academia; federal, state, and 
local government; not-for-profits; and other stakeholders with an 
interest in broadband availability--on ways to improve the nation's 
ability to analyze broadband availability, with the intention of 
identifying gaps in broadband availability that can be used to improve 
policymaking and inform public investments.

DATES: Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on 
July 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by email to 
[email protected]. Written comments may also be submitted by mail 
to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4887, Attn: 
Douglas Kinkoph, Associate Administrator, Washington, DC 20230. For 
more instructions about submitting comments, see the ``Instructions for 
Commenters'' section of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Spurgeon, tel.: (720) 389-4900, 
email: [email protected], or Tim Moyer, tel.: (202) 482-6423, 
email: [email protected], National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue 
NW, Room 4725, Washington, DC 20230. Please direct media inquiries to 
NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002, or at 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Background: Broadband connectivity is essential to the nation's 
economic growth and social advancement. It is the conduit for economic 
and social opportunities for U.S. households and a gateway to increased 
productivity, growth and market access for businesses of all sizes, yet 
many American businesses, households and critical anchor institutions 
lack sufficient broadband availability. Using its current definition of 
broadband (25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream), Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) data show that approximately 8 percent of Americans 
lived in places where fixed terrestrial broadband service was 
unavailable by the end of 2016. This data also demonstrates that there 
continued to be a significant disparity across America, with more than 
30 percent of rural Americans and approximately 35 percent of those 
living on Tribal lands lacking broadband availability, compared to 2 
percent of Americans living in urban areas.\1\ Many businesses, schools 
and libraries in rural and Tribal areas are insufficiently served or 
cannot afford the network transmission speed required to support 
multiple users of bandwidth-intensive applications. Knowing where the 
persistent gaps in broadband exist is crucial to enabling more 
efficient and effective investments in broadband infrastructure from 
both the public and private sectors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Federal Communications Commission 2018 Broadband Progress 
Report. See https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-18-10A1.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NTIA, in collaboration with the FCC, pioneered the collection of 
extensive broadband deployment data when it launched the State 
Broadband Initiative (SBI) in 2009. Through this program, NTIA worked 
with every state, territory, and the District of Columbia to collect 
fixed and mobile broadband availability data for over 11 million Census 
blocks every six months for five years. To make these data accessible 
to a broad audience, NTIA launched the National Broadband Map (NBM) in 
2011. Although the SBI program ended in 2015, NTIA continues its 
extensive work to collect, analyze, and disseminate data relevant to 
broadband availability and adoption.
    Presently, the only source of nationwide broadband availability 
data is that collected from broadband service provider responses to the 
FCC Form 477 Fixed Broadband Deployment data process. Form 477 data are 
submitted by voice and broadband telecommunications service providers 
semi-annually and include information on services each provider offers, 
at the Census block level.\2\ While the Census block system provides a 
very high level of geographic granularity overall--the United States is 
divided into over 11 million blocks, 95 percent of which do not exceed 
1 square mile in land area--it is possible that broadband availability 
may vary within a single block, particularly if it is geographically 
larger (which is most common in rural areas). A provider offering 
service to any homes or businesses in a Census block is instructed to 
report that block as served in its Form 477 filing, even though it may 
not offer broadband services in most of the block. This can lead to 
overstatements in the level of broadband availability, especially in 
rural areas where Census blocks are large.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ``All facilities-based broadband providers are required to 
file data with the FCC twice a year (Form 477) on where they offer 
internet access service at speeds exceeding 200 kbps in at least one 
direction.'' See https://www.fcc.gov/general/broadband-deployment-data-fcc-form-477.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Moreover, there is no independent validation or verification 
process for Form 477 data service providers to submit to the FCC. While 
NTIA believes that the Form 477 data program is impressively large and 
useful, and benefits broadband policy research and decision-making, as 
well as the FCC's internal needs, NTIA also believes that the Form 477 
data collection program suffers from issues with data accuracy.
    Recognizing the deficiencies of the current broadband data 
collection process, Congress directed NTIA to update the national 
broadband availability map in coordination with the FCC and use 
partnerships previously developed with the states. Unlike the SBI 
program, in which NTIA worked with the states to collect and validate 
broadband availability data independent from the FCC's Form 477 data 
collection process, this is not a new program to fund the primary 
collection of broadband availability or subscription data, nor to fund 
specific data collection activities by states or third parties. Rather, 
Congress directed NTIA to acquire and display available third-party 
data sets to the extent it is able to negotiate inclusion to augment 
data from the FCC, other federal government agencies, state government, 
and the private sector. The objective of these updates is to identify 
regions of the country with insufficient broadband capacity, 
particularly in rural areas.
    NTIA is well-suited to perform this task. It has extensive 
experience collecting data on broadband adoption and usage in the 
United States, creating decades of datasets that complement the Form 
477 data collections on broadband deployment and subscription. Since 
1994, NTIA has partnered with the Census Bureau (Census) to survey 
approximately 53,000 U.S. households on their internet and computer 
use. NTIA's questionnaire, administered as a supplement to Census's 
Current Population Survey (CPS), includes more than 50 questions to 
gather a wealth of information on household and individual internet use 
and

[[Page 24749]]

demographics, including the locations, technologies, and devices that 
people use to go online, their online activities, and the reasons why 
some Americans still do not utilize these technologies. Whereas Form 
477 focuses on broadband availability and subscription data gathered 
from service providers, NTIA's CPS Supplements provide detailed 
information on adoption and usage of the internet, as reported by 
households across the country. The NTIA surveys, together with the 
FCC's Form 477 and three household broadband adoption questions on the 
American Community Survey, comprise a valuable, holistic set of federal 
data sources related to broadband.
    NTIA issues this RFC to solicit informed recommendations and 
feedback on sources of broadband availability data, mechanisms to 
validate broadband availability data using multiple data sources or new 
techniques, and approaches to leverage such data and techniques to 
inform broadband planning at the state and national levels by promoting 
the most efficient use of state or federal funding to areas that are 
insufficiently served by broadband.
    Request for Comments: NTIA invites comment on the full range of 
issues that may be presented by this inquiry, including issues that are 
not specifically raised in the questions below. Commenters are 
encouraged to address any or all of the questions below. Comments that 
contain references to studies, research, and other empirical data that 
are not widely published should include copies of the referenced 
materials with the submitted comments.
    1. Identifying additional broadband availability data:
    a. What additional data on broadband availability are available 
from federal, state, not-for-profit, academic, or private-sector 
sources to augment the FCC Form 477 data set?
    b. What obstacles--such as concerns about the quality, scope, or 
format of the data, as well as contractual, confidentiality, or data 
privacy concerns--might prevent the collaborative use of such data?
    2. Technology type, service areas, and bandwidth: Please consider 
providing a table or spreadsheet attachment when responding to question 
2, if needed.
    a. For each broadband availability data source, please define the 
specific broadband technologies (e.g., wireline, cable, fixed wireless, 
satellite, multiple sources, etc.) included in the data set. Please 
explain the service areas or geographic scope of the data set (e.g., 
Census block, county, cable franchises, publicly funded service areas, 
etc.) and describe how records from the data set could be matched with 
records from Form 477 data.
    b. Describe how frequently the data set is updated and the 
methodology used for collection and what measures are employed to 
validate or otherwise ensure the data is accurate. Please explain 
whether the data set differentiates between subscribed bandwidth and 
maximum available speeds.
    c. For each data set, please provide the name(s) and type(s) of 
entity that collects the data.
    d. Finally, please specify the format of the data (e.g., CSV, 
specific database, specific Geographic Information System (GIS) format, 
etc.)
    3. New approaches: Are there new approaches, tools, technologies, 
or methodologies that could be used to capture broadband availability 
data, particularly in rural areas?
    4. Validating broadband availability data:
    a. What methodologies, policies, standards, or technologies can be 
implemented to validate and compare various broadband availability data 
sources and identify and address conflicts between them?
    b. Do examples or studies of such validation exist?
    c. What thresholds or benchmarks should be taken into account when 
validating broadband availability, such as bandwidth, latency, 
geographic coverage, technology type, etc.? How can conformance to such 
standards be used to evaluate the accuracy of broadband data sets? How 
could those standards be used to improve policymaking, program 
management, or research in broadband-related fields?
    5. Identifying gaps in broadband availability:
    a. What data improvements can the government implement to better 
identify areas with insufficient broadband capacity?
    b. What other inputs should NTIA seek to inform data-driven 
broadband policy- and decision-making?
    Instructions for Commenters: Comments submitted by email should be 
machine-readable and should not be copy-protected. Comments submitted 
by mail may be in hard copy (paper) or electronic (on CD-ROM or disk). 
Responders should include the name of the person or organization filing 
the comment, as well as a page number on each page of their 
submissions. All comments received are a part of the public record and 
will generally be posted on the NTIA website, https://www.ntia.doc.gov, 
without change. All personal identifying information (for example, 
name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. NTIA will accept 
anonymous comments.

    Dated: May 23, 2018.
David J. Redl,
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
[FR Doc. 2018-11483 Filed 5-29-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-60-P