FCC Fines a Half Dozen Broadband ISPs for Failing to Timely File Form 477s

Today, the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing fines of between $10,000 and $20,000 against a half dozen facilities-based broadband ISPs for, allegedly, failing to timely file their 2020 FCC Form 477s.  The impacted ISPs are:

To accomplish its broadband goals, the FCC requires facilities-based broadband service providers to file FCC Form 477 twice each year.  Although the recent slew of enforcement actions specifically targeted broadband ISPs, it is important to clarify that Form 477s must also be filed by providers of voice services, including resold and facilities-based providers of local telecommunications and interconnected VoIP services.

The March 1 filing reports data as of December 31 of the prior year, and the September 1 filing reports data as of June 30 of the current year.  Form 477 contains important information that assists the Commission in carrying out its statutory mandates, including the requirement that the Commission “shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans.” Form 477 filings contain service speed and subscriber information that the Commission uses to assess the state of broadband availability in the United States, and to take steps to further the goal of increasing that availability.  The Commission uses data obtained from FCC Form 477 to “describe the deployment of broadband infrastructure,” and the collected data enable the Commission to appropriately target universal service funds to unserved and underserved regions and to meet public safety obligations.  Federal and state agencies and the general public also benefit from the data reported on Form 477.

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