FCC launches investigation of inaccurate wireless coverage maps

The FCC has launched an investigation into possible violations of its Mobility Fund Phase II mapping rules following a preliminary review of speed test data submitted by wireless carriers. The Mobility Fund allocates money to build high-speed mobile broadband service (4G LTE) in unserved rural areas.

The announcement comes after the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) disclosed the results of tests conducted by its members showing that Verizon and T-Mobile submitted incorrect and overstated mapping data. The RWA results indicate that more than 80 percent of their tests either tested below 5 Mbps download speed or did not register 4G LTE service at all. Furthermore, the RWA believes that in many areas, T-Mobile reported its future projections rather than current speeds.

FCC’s broadband maps have received increased scrutiny in recent months. The maps reflect information submitted by private companies without verification, often overestimating coverage.

The FCC has suspended the map challenge process while investigating the RWA allegations.



FCC launches investigation into potential violations of Mobility Fund Phase II mapping rules (FCC, Dec 7, 2018)

Ex Parte notice of Rural Wireless Association (FCC, Dec. 10, 2018)

T-Mobile, Verizon may be under investigation by the FCC for submitting incorrect mapping data (FierceWireless, Dec 12, 2018).

FCC kicks off investigation into broadband map accuracy (CNET, Dec 7, 2018)