FCC to Investigate Potential Mobility Fund Mapping Rule Violations


WASHINGTON, December 7, 2018—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the agency has launched an investigation into whether one or more major carriers violated the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) reverse auction’s mapping rules and submitted incorrect coverage maps. The investigation comes after a preliminary review of the 20,809,503 speed tests filed with the agency in connection with the MF-II challenge process; the window for initial challenges closed on November 26. The Commission has suspended the next step of the challenge process—the opening of a response window—pending the conclusion of this investigation.

“My top priority is bridging the digital divide and ensuring that Americans have access to digital opportunity regardless of where they live, and the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II program can play a key role in extending high-speed Internet access to rural areas across America,” said Chairman Pai. “In order to reach those areas, it’s critical that we know where access is and where it is not. A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission’s rules. That’s why I’ve ordered an investigation into these matters. We must ensure that the data is accurate before we can proceed.”

Mobility Fund II would allocate up to $4.53 billion over the next decade to advance high-speed mobile broadband service in rural areas that would not be served without government support. To formulate the eligibility map, mobile providers were required to submit current, standardized coverage data, which was used in conjunction with data from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). The Commission then initiated a challenge process, where interested parties had an opportunity to challenge initial determinations that an area was ineligible for MF-II support. After being extended to accommodate additional input, the challenge process for the map closed on November 26, with 20,809,503 speed tests filed across 37 states.

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