Fixed Broadband Subscription Definitions

Facilities-based provider 

An entity is a “facilities-based” provider of fixed broadband connections if any of the following conditions are met: (1) it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end-user premises or obtains the right to use dark fiber or satellite transponder capacity as part of its own network to complete such terminations; (2) it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end-user premises and provisions/equips them as broadband; or (3) it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end-user premises over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. 

Note that the facilities-based provider of the broadband connection may—or may not—sell the end user the Internet access service delivered over that broadband connection. 

Broadband connections 

Broadband connections are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction. 

Advertised speeds 

For purposes of this form, distinguish the terms “advertised speeds” or “advertised bandwidths” from “theoretical capacity” or other engineering-based concepts that do not represent the downstream and upstream bandwidths that the end user reasonably may expect to receive. “Advertising” is not restricted to “on the web,” “in print,” “by broadcast,” “in person,” or any other specific format. 

Among other methods, a service is “advertised” to the end user when it is described at point of sale or when the end user is charged at a rate associated with a particular grade of service in the end user’s area. 

The grade of service may be characterized by, among other features, the downstream and upstream bandwidths that the end user may reasonably expect to receive. 

End user 

An “end user” is a residential, business, institutional, or government entity that uses services for its own purposes and does not resell such services to other entities. For the purposes of this form, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not an end user of a broadband connection. 

End-user premises 

“End-user premises” is a building, store, shop, apartment, or other structure, or group of structures, occupied by or under the control of an end user. 

Census Tract 

Census tracts are “small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county or equivalent entity” with a target population of 4,000 and a range of between 1,200 and 8,000 people. Because of the target population, the area of census tracts varies widely. While there are 233 counties that contain a single tract, Los Angeles County, CA is divided into almost 2,500 tracts. 

Tract codes and boundaries change somewhat between censuses. Use 2020 Census tracts. 

For more information, see How to Format Fixed Broadband Subscription Data and More About Census Tracts.

Service Characteristics 

In each census tract, for each last-mile technology, for each broadband internet access service option sold (i.e., combination of advertised downstream and upstream bandwidths), your data should show the total number of connections, and, of the total, the number of connections provided in consumer-grade service plans. 


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