On Aug.15, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the FCC’s proposed special access services data collection plan, subject to several modifications that limit the initial scope of the plan. The FCC’s special access data collection will require providers and purchasers of special access services to provide the FCC with responses to a series of data requests covering market structure, demand, terms and conditions, competition and pricing of special access services.

OMB’s approval, however, imposed several changes on the FCC’s original data requests. Immediately following the OMB’s announcement, on Aug.18, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau announced that it would move forward with the data collection and would amend the proposal to incorporate the modifications set forth by OMB. 

We believe that the FCC intends to initiate this data collection process as expeditiously as possible, with an expectation that all data requested will be sought to be collected by the end of the calendar year. To that end, we expect the Bureau will issue an order within the next several weeks finalizing the process and timeline. Publication of this anticipated follow-up order in the Federal Register will establish the definitive deadline for responding to the FCC’s data requests.

As noted above, the OMB made several changes to the FCC’s original data collection parameters which will narrow, slightly, the scope of data collected. The OMB changes are as follows:

  • Determined that data from a single year (2013) will be collected, rather than from two different years (2010 and 2012) as originally proposed by the FCC;
  • Exempted cable companies from showing feeder links to Locations on required fiber maps and limited the reporting of headends/Nodes to just those upgraded to provide metro Ethernet service or its equivalent;
  • Revised the definition of “Purchasers” to exclude entities that purchased less than $5 million in Dedicated Services (services that transport data between two or more designated points at a rate of at least 1.5 Mbps in both directions with certain prescribed performance parameters) in 2013 in markets served by price cap ILECs;
  • Exempted Purchasers from answering several questions regarding expenditures and tariffs;
  • Modified the requirements to report several types of information (including revenues and expenditures broken down by bandwidth in several questions, CLLI codes for ILEC wire centers in one question, and Location geocodes in two questions) to require the reporting of such information only if kept in the normal course of business; and
  • Modified a question regarding Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to eliminate the requirement to report on unsuccessful RFP bids.

These changes will be reflected in revised special access data collection instructions and other agency documentation.