State Broadband Data & Development Program

Frequently Asked Questions: Clarification of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA)

 

  1. How does the clarification of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA)  (“the Clarification”) published on August 7, 2009 impact the data that is to be delivered to NTIA?

    The Clarification to the NOFA published on July 8, 2009 provides additional guidance and further refines the exact level of detail required by the information collection set forth in the Technical Appendix to the NOFA as follows:

    1. In the section entitled “Broadband Service Availability in Provider’s Service Area” of the Technical Appendix, Awardees may now satisfy the requirements of this section by providing NTIA, for each facilities-based provider of broadband service in their state, a list of census blocks of no greater than two square miles in area in which broadband service is available to end users, along with the associated service characteristics identified in the Technical Appendix.

      For those census blocks larger in area than two square miles, Awardees must provide NTIA, for each facilities-based provider of broadband service in their states, a list of all street segments with address ranges in such census blocks, as contained within the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line Files or such other database of at least equivalent granularity, in which broadband service is available to end users, along with the associated service characteristics identified in the Technical Appendix.

      Awardees may still satisfy the requirements of this section of the Technical Appendix by providing address-level data, as described in the NOFA.

    2.  

    3. In the Record Format chart, Awardees are not required to report the 11 fields of data expressly denominated as “End User” fields. These fields include: 
        • End-User Address
        • End-User Building Number
        • End-User Prefix Direction
        • End-User Street
        • End-User Street Type
        • End-User Suffix Direction
        • End-User City
        • End-User State Abbreviation
        • End-User ZIP Code
        • End-User ZIP Plus 4
        • Category of End User

       

    4. In the section entitled “Broadband Service Availability in Provider’s Service Area” of the Technical Appendix, Awardees are not required to provide Maximum Advertised Downstream or Maximum Advertised Upstream Speed at the address level and may satisfy this requirement by providing such speeds across each service area or local franchise area, by Metropolitan or Rural Statistical Area.
    5.  

    6. In the section entitled “Residential Broadband Service Pricing in Provider’s Service Area” of the Technical Appendix, Awardees are not required to report average revenue per end user.  Awardees must satisfy the remaining conditions of this section of the Technical Appendix, provided that such data may be reported across a provider’s service or local franchise area, by Metropolitan or Rural Statistical Area.
    7.  

    8. In the section entitled “Residential Broadband Service Pricing in Provider’s Service Area” of the Technical Appendix, Awardees shall continue to use the methodology described in the Technical Appendix to determine the subscriber-weighted nominal speed.
    9.  

    10. In the section entitled, “Broadband Service Infrastructure in Provider’s Service Area: (a) Last-Mile Connection Points,” Awardees are not required to report the data identified:

        To the extent an Awardee is unable to reasonably verify the network service area availability data required under Section 1 of the Technical Appendix by other means, the Awardee should be prepared to conduct verification by reference to the first points of aggregation in the networks (serving facilities) used by facilities-based providers to provide broadband service to end users, as described in the Technical Appendix.
    11.  

    12. To satisfy the requirements of item 4 under “Availability Area Shapefile Details” in the subsection entitled “Availability by Shapefile - Wireless Services not Provided to a Specific Address,” Applicants may submit, for each polygon, the authorized maximum downstream and upstream speed available.

    How does the Clarification impact the definition of Confidential Information?

    In light of the clarification regarding reporting of availability data at a census block level rather than street address level, the definition of “Confidential Information” in section III of the NOFA, shall no longer include the identification of a service provider’s specific Service Area.  A service provider’s “footprint” will likewise no longer be included in the definition of “Confidential Information.”  In practical terms, this means that while identification of a provider’s name and its availability/speed at a particular address will still be considered confidential, identification of a provider’s name and availability/speed at a census block or street segment level will not be considered confidential and will be displayed on the national broadband map.

    How are Applicants expected to determine typical downstream and upstream speeds?

    There are a number of methods that Applicants may consider in this regard. This may include utilizing tools such as statistical sampling and other methods such as speed tests. NTIA expects that in many cases the most accurate option to determine typical speed experienced by a household will be through the use of tools such as those named above.

    If I need more time to complete my application, how do I request a waiver of the application window closing date?

    Upon request, NTIA may waive any of the discretionary provisions in the NOFA under extraordinary circumstances and when it is in the best interests of the Federal government.  For more information on this waiver authority, please refer to provision K (Waiver Authority) of the NOFA.  

    The application window for this program closes on August 14, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).  Any request from a potential applicant for a waiver of this application window closing date must adequately describe the extraordinary circumstances preventing the submission of an application by this deadline and any relevant information supporting the request.  Please note that NTIA will not favorably consider any request for additional time that would exceed submission by September 1, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. ET.  To be considered timely, any such request must be submitted in writing no later than August 14, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. ET,  to Anne W. Neville, Program Director, State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 4716, Washington, DC, 20230. Applicants may also fax a waiver request to 202-501-0536 or attach a scanned copy of the signed letter to an email and email to broadbandmapping@ntia.doc.gov.

    Requests for a waiver of the application window closing date will be considered on a case-by-case basis and requesters will be notified in writing of the agency’s decision.

 

August 11, 2009