What is the Location Fabric?

The Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric) is a dataset of all locations in the United States and Territories where fixed broadband internet access service is or could be installed. The Fabric allows broadband data filers and the FCC to work from a single, standardized list of locations for the Broadband Data Collection (BDC). 

Filers of fixed broadband availability data in BDC should use the Fabric as the basis for developing their availability data.  Filers who choose to submit a list of locations (rather than a polygon coverage area) must match their data on the locations they serve to the Location IDs in the Fabric.  The FCC has contracted with CostQuest Associates to create the Fabric for the BDC.   

The version Fabric used for the initial BDC availability collection for data as of June 30, 2022 is available to broadband service providers, governmental entities, and other entities, subject to certain procedures.

What’s in (and not in) the Fabric? 

The Fabric is provided as a ZIP archive. Each archive consists of two files. One file (Active-FCC_Active_MMDDYYYY_ver) contains all of the location records. The other file (Secondary-FCC_Secondary_MMDDYYYY_ver) contains additional addresses corresponding to location_ids with multiple addresses, according to CostQuest’s data sources.

Both files are made available in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format. The Active file contains all active Fabric records within the counties covered by the Fabric license. The Secondary file contains the corresponding primary and secondary addresses, if available.

The set of fields (columns) included in the Fabric is listed below.

CostQuest is making a data dictionary for the Active and Secondary files and instructional video describing the fields in the Fabric data available to parties who download the data. 

Some of the key fields in the Fabric data are:  

  • Location ID: The unique, Commission-issued identifier for each location in the data. The Location ID provided in the Fabric are different than the Location ID in the Preliminary Fabric.  Preliminary Fabric Location IDS (those starting with a 9) should not be used for BDC submissions.
  • Geographic Coordinates:  The set of latitude/longitude coordinates associated with each location.  These coordinates are within the boundary or footprint of the location. 
  • Address:  The five fields that provide the address of the location: address_primary, state, city, zip, and zip_suffix.  
  • Unit Count:  In buildings with multiple units, such as an apartment or condominium, this field represents the number of units in the location. 
  • BSL Flag:  The Fabric will include both broadband serviceable locations (BSLs) and non-BSLs, and this field indicates whether a location is a BSL or not.
  • Building Type Code:  A flag identifying whether a location is business, residential, or both business and residential.
  • Census Geographies:  The data indicates the county and census block in which the location falls. 

 

Field 

Example 

Description / Notes 

location_id 

1029636097 

Unique 10-digit identifier for the location. Filers that submit a list of locations for their fixed availability data must include this in the data they upload.  Note that the location_id values present in the Preliminary Fabric dataset (which start with a 9) will not be accepted when filing June 30, 2022 BDC availability data. Filers must use the Location IDs from the production Fabric, which start with a 1.

address_primary 

477 SHILOH CIR 

Primary address of the location 

city 

AUTAUGAVILLE 

City 

state 

AL 

State abbreviation 

zip 

36003 

5-digit ZIP code for the location’s destination post office or delivery area 

zip_suffix 

2705 

4-digit suffix for specific delivery routes within delivery area of the location 

unit_count 

 

The number of separate units in the structure associated with the location.  

bsl_flag 

TRUE 

Indicator of whether the location is a broadband serviceable location (BSL) or not.

TRUE - the location is a BSL 

FALSE - the location is not a BSL 

building_type_code 

R 

The code indicating the type of type of building associate with the location. 

The following codes are associated with BSLs: 

R – Residential 

B – Business, non-residential 

X – Both residential and business 

G – Group quarters 

The following codes are associated with non-BSLs: 

C – Community Anchor Institution (CAI) 

E – Enterprise 

O - Other

land_use_code 

1 

A modeled land use designation estimated from assembled county assessor information.  

The - value may be null, or must be one of the following codes, if not null:  

1–Residential  

2–Land  

3–Business  

4–Unknown  

5–Agriculture  

6–Community  

7–Industrial  

8–Recreation  

9–Utility  

10–Mixed Use  

11–Transportation  

12–Water  

13–Communications  

14–ROW  

15–Wireless  

0–Other

address_confidence_code 

 

Code indicating the confidence in the association of the textual address with the location.

county_geoid 

01001 

Census (2020) state and county geographic identifier: STATE+COUNTY 

block_geoid 

010010211004026 

Census block (2020) geographic identifier: STATE+COUNTY+TRACT+BLOCKGROUP+BLOCK 

H3_9 

89283081013ffff 

A reference to the H3 georeferencing system.  This is the level-9 H3 hexagon within which the location falls.

Latitude 

32.4869018 

Geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the earth (WGS 84, EPSG:4326) 

Longitude 

-86.72924895 

Geographic coordinate that specifies the east–west position of a point on the earth (WGS 84, EPSG:4326) 

 

Data Sources for the Fabric 

The data sources used to identify the locations in the Fabric include a mix of satellite imagery, address databases, land and local tax records, and other sources the vendor identifies as helpful for determining, as completely as possible, the locations of structures throughout the United States where fixed broadband service can be installed.

For information about how the Fabric was generated, see this methods manual: https://cqafabric.s3.amazonaws.com/supportfiles/Broadband+Serviceable+Location+Fabric+Methods+Manual+Public+11022022.pdf 

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