Recently the FCC has put out a press release about updating the national broadband map. If you are a WISP and wondering why you aren’t on there ask your self this question: Have you been filing your form 477? If not, then that is why. If you are an ISP you are required to file form 477.
So, where do you begin? The above link will get you started. If you are confused by census tracts, blocks, 15 digit codes for, and the sheer amount of formatting you need to know you have come to the right place. Also, for you facebook users I will share a link to the WISPAMERICA 2018 session in Birmingham about what forms to fill out.
Option number one is your WISP billing platform may already support doing something with form 477. Many of the billing platforms geared toward the WISP industry already support form 477 exporting. Check with your vendor or have a conversation with one at an event such as the upcoming WISPAMERICA.
Second is an online service such as www.towercoverage.com. While many folks know towercoverage for their RF propagation maps, they can also turn data you can use for form 477. Here are some searches from the towercoverage.com wiki to get you started on their 477 support. If you are going to WispAmerica check them out in booth 600.
Lastly, but not least, we have firms such as wirelessmapping.com. Not only can they help you generate maps and data, but they can help you turn your data into marketing as well. They are also able to make sure you are filing your paperwork properly and in the correct format. In my local area, I see companies that do not have a coverage listed on the national broadband map. I can only assume this is an honest mistake due to an error in a census block mistake or improper coding.
If you don’t file your Form 477, not only are you doing yourself an injustice but not letting the government know you are there, but you are skirting the law as well. If the government does not know you are providing broadband to an area, they may let your competitor overbuild on taxpayer money. You are missing out on opportunities as well as potential fines.