How Broadband Service Providers Can Access the Location Fabric

The FCC’s Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric) is currently available to broadband service providers and governmental entities (see How Governmental Entities Can Access the Fabric). 

Broadband providers who previously filed broadband deployment data on FCC Form 477 were invited to access a preliminary version of the Fabric earlier this year.  Those that did so do not need to take further action and can access the production Fabric data files for their relevant geographic areas using a link emailed to them by CostQuest Associates, the FCC’s Fabric contractor

Broadband service providers that did not access the preliminary Fabric may now access the production Fabric by sending an email to CostQuest at nbfsupport@costquest.com with the name and email of the provider’s contact person, the provider’s name, and the provider’s FCC Registration Number (FRN).  CostQuest will email the contact person instructions on how to access the Fabric, a process with which is detailed below.   

To access the Fabric data, each service provider will need to execute a limited end-user license agreement.  After executing the agreement, service providers will be able to access Fabric records for the counties in which they make broadband internet access service available.  The base list of counties is taken from each provider’s broadband deployment, as reported on their June 2021 Form 477, but providers will have an opportunity to modify this.

Fabric License Agreement

The limited access and usage rights to the Fabric data is consistent with the Statement of Objectives the FCC issued as part of its Request for Proposals for the Fabric and FCC’s contract with CostQuest, which allows for distinct sets of data rights depending upon entity type.  As such, CostQuest and the FCC cannot entertain any changes to the language of the agreement.  Access to and use of the Fabric data will only be allowed via signing the published language in the agreement. 

For each holding company, the license agreement defines three roles: licensee, administrator, and recipient.  The licensee is the person who will request and sign the license on behalf of the holding company.  The licensee is typically an individual identified by the holding company who is authorized to sign agreements on behalf of that holding company.  The administrator will manage geographic scope and recipients of the data.  There is allowance for two data recipients on the license request form.   

Instructions for accessing the Fabric 

  1. Send an email to CostQuest at nbfsupport@costquest.com with the name and email of the provider’s contact person, the provider’s name, and the provider’s FCC Registration Number (FRN).  You will be able to access the Fabric faster if the contract person provided in the email is someone who can sign the Fabric license agreement on behalf of the company.

  2. CostQuest will email the contact person identified in Step 1 further instructions and link to CostQuest’s website to create a user account.  Providers that did not file Form 477 in 2021 will first need to complete CostQuest’s “Add New Entity” form using the link provided in the email. 

  3. Create a user account – email and password – within CostQuest’s help desk system.  Note: This is a unique account, not tied to any other existing FCC accounts.

  4. If you are authorized to sign a license on behalf of your company (you’re the licensee), skip to step 6.  If you are not authorized to sign a license on behalf of your company, submit the contact information for the individual with that authority using the Add Licensee form available in the Request Your Data section of the help desk.  To complete the form, you will need (a) the Name of the Licensee and (b) the Email address of the Licensee. 

  5. After submitting the Add Licensee form, you can’t immediately proceed further since only the licensee may request the license.  After you complete the Add Licensee form, the Licensee will receive an email with instructions to set up an account within 1-2 days. Once this email is received, the Licensee can request a license.

  6. If you are authorized to sign a license on behalf of your company, submit a License Request form, available under the “Request Your Data” section, “Step 1: Request a License” link of the help desk.  To complete the request, you’ll need the following info: 
    • Name; 
    • Title; 
    • Principal Place of Business Address; 
    • Phone Number; 
    • Name and email address of an administrator who can add other recipients or counties covered by the license; and  
    • Contact information for data recipients receiving access to the data file.

  7. After the License Request form is submitted, the Licensee will receive a confirmation email.  

  8. CostQuest will validate the request and if it’s free of exceptions or errors, CostQuest will prepare the license and email a validation notification with links to access the license agreement.  If CostQuest discovers errors or incomplete information on the form, they will reach out to the requestor for clarification.  Assuming the request form is complete, the expected time from the license request to receipt of an electronic license is 1-2 business days.

  9. Sign the agreement via an electronic signature platform.  Once that’s done, CostQuest will send a copy of the completed agreement within 1-3 business days.  CostQuest will also prepare the data file, and you will receive a link to access the data through the help desk system within 1-2 business days.

  10. The link to download the data file will be emailed to the license requestor, the administrator, and any recipients associated with the holding company as listed in the license request form. 

Any questions about accessing the license agreement or how to access the Fabric data should be addressed to CostQuest at NBFsupport@costquest.com.  

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