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FCC Form 477 Technical Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs are added and may be updated from time to time, so each item is dated with the most recent update.

These FAQs clarify technical aspects of using the new web-based Form 477 filing system.  They are not a substitute for carefully reviewing the Form 477 instructions. (“Who must file?” etc.)

Form 477 filers with questions not addressed in these FAQs may send them to 477INFO@fcc.gov.

WHAT TO AVOID

1.  Can I complete my new filing by simply updating a previous filing with those data that changed in the interim?

No.  A new submission must be created to accept the new data.  The “Data as of” date in a submission completed for an earlier filing round cannot be changed.  Attempting to do this will overwrite your previously submitted data and you will have to recreate that submission.  07/27/2010

RECENT CHANGES TO THE SYSTEM

1.  Has the system changed since the previous filing round?

No. Filers submitting broadband information for December 31, 2011, and later dates must use Year 2010 Census tract codes to report the information required in Part VI of the form. Filers revising (or originally submitting) broadband information for June 30, 2011, and earlier dates must continue to use Year 2000 Census tract codes to revise the Part VI information that was filed for those dates.   7/5/2012

SYSTEM LOGIN -- FRN & PASSWORD

1.  What does "Accessible Version" mean on the Login page?

The accessible version is a version of the Web-based system designed for ease of use with screen reading applications for the visually impaired. Leave the default option on the Login page set at "No" unless you require such a version.  03/05/2009

2.  Is there a particular format for entering the FRN on the Login page?

Yes. Enter the FRN without dashes or spaces.  02/24/2009

3.  May filers use the same FRN to file regulatory fees and to prepare and submit Form 477?

Yes.  02/12/2009

4.  How can I obtain an FRN and password to use for logging into the system?

To obtain a new FRN, filers can use the FCC Registration Number (FRN) Commission Registration System (CORES) link in the left-hand index bar on the main FCC home page or the “FRN” link at the bottom of the Form 477 Login page. Once at the “FCC Registration” webpage, click on the “Register” option to apply for an FRN and password. Filers can also use an existing FRN and associated password if they already have one.  03/05/2009

5.  I have an FRN, but how do I find its password?

Click on the “Update” option at the FCC Registration Number (FRN) Commission Registration System (CORES) link. If you have previously provided a Personal Security Question and Answer, you will be able to use the “online password reset” option to select a new password. If you have not done this, you may wish to contact Technical Support at toll-free number 1-877-480-3201 and select option #1 from the menu for password reset assistance (Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm ET).  03/05/2009

FILING SUBMISSION & CERTIFICATION

1.  How do I know if my FCC Form 477 submission was successfully submitted?

Your submission was successful if "Original - Submitted" or "Revised - Submitted" appears in the left-hand "Status" column of the main menu for that particular FRN and Company, which can be reached by using the "Form 477 Home" link. Your submission was not successful if "Original - In Progress" or "Revised - In Progress" appears in the "Status" column.  03/12/2009

2.  Must a separate Certification Statement be submitted?

No.  When a particular submission has been officially submitted to the FCC as complete, and the Web-based electronic filing system has accepted it, the official (corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor) listed on line 10 of the Submission Cover Page is deemed to have certified that submission.  See the “Certification of Filing Accuracy” paragraph on page 19 of the Form 477 Instructions, and item 10 on the Submission Cover Page, for more information.  03/05/2009

3.  Is there a summary print-out page?

The Submission Menu now offers options to print out (or save to your computer) copies of the individual parts of an in-progress or officially submitted form. An option to print out the complete form is offered if the form includes data for no more than 50 Census Tracts or has no more than 3,600 individual Census Tract data cells filled out. Throughout the filing process, an option is available to print a copy of any errors/warnings the system is generating.   07/22/2009

CONSOLIDATED VS. NON-CONSOLIDATED FILINGS

1.  If a company has more than one FRN, which one should be used?

This is up to the company, and companies still have the same choices they have always had for consolidating filings or making multiple filings.  The only restriction is that each Form 477 submission in the new web-based system must be uniquely identified by: 

  • FRN;
  • Type of operations (ILEC or non-ILEC); and
  • State.  03/05/2009 

2.  If an ILEC operation has to file for two entities within the same state, how can this be done?

Two or more ILECs in the same state can not share the same FRN when filing Form 477.  You can solve this by either consolidating the ILEC filings into one filing (for which you could use an FRN assigned to the holding company, if there is one, or an FRN assigned to one of the ILECs), or you can make separate filings (for which you would use the FRNs assigned to each individual ILEC).  Entities with both ILEC and non-ILEC operations should also see FAQ #3, immediately below.  03/05/2009

3.  If a non-ILEC operation has to file for two entities within the same state, how can this be done?

Two or more non-ILECs in the same state can not share the same FRN when filing Form 477.  You can solve this by either consolidating the non-ILEC filings into one filing or you can use separate FRNs for each non-ILEC entity.  Note: an ILEC and a non-ILEC can use the same FRN within a state when filing Form 477 (for example, an FRN that’s assigned to a holding company).  Entities with both non-ILEC and ILEC operations should also see FAQ #2, immediately above.  03/05/2009

ERRONEOUS FILES

1.  Can an erroneous file be deleted – for example, if “ILEC” was inappropriately selected instead of “non-ILEC” when the file was created, or the wrong state was selected?

From the Submission Menu, a file may be deleted before it has been officially submitted and accepted by the system.

It is also possible to return to the Cover Page to correct an erroneous selection of "ILEC" or "non-ILEC" type of operations - unless doing this would create a file with the same FRN, state, and type of operations as a file that already exists. (If the file has been successfully submitted, it will be necessary to reopen it "for revision," make the correction, and officially resubmit the corrected file.)

An erroneous state cannot be corrected after the file has been successfully submitted. Instead, reopen that file for revision and simply leave it in the resulting "Revised - In Progress" status. Further, deleting all data entries in Parts I through III of the file will ensure that the erroneous file won't be accidentally resubmitted.   07/27/2010

CENSUS TRACT-LEVEL DATA

1.  Is there a “default” location for broadband connections that can’t be easily matched with a Census Tract?

No.  02/12/2009

2.  How do I calculate the “percentage residential” values for the Part VI Census Tract data?

The "percentage residential" values reported in Part VI are calculated on an individual basis. For example, if there are 50 total connections to report for a particular technology within a particular Census Tract, for a specific upload/download speed tier, you must report the percentage of the 50 connections that are provided to residential end users. So, if 10 of the 50 total connections are provided to business end users and 40 of the 50 total connections are provided to residential end users, to calculate the percentage residential you would divide 40 by 50, and this equals 80% for the percentage residential. DO NOT divide the 40 residential connections by the number of connections you reported for the entire state in Part I.A. Instead, divide by the number of connections that you are reporting - in Part VI - for that particular Census Tract and upload/download speed tier. If you have questions or need help, please call (202) 418-0940 and ask to speak to a Form 477 Team member.  09/18/2009

3.  Will the web-based filing system automatically add up the Census Tract broadband information into state-level totals?

No.  For any individual technology, state-level data must be entered in Part I.A before Census Tract detail data may be entered in Part VI.  When the complete file is submitted, the web-based system will perform error checks and, if the Census Tract data are not consistent with the state-level totals, that submission will be rejected.  09/18/2009

4.  Where can I find a list of the County and Census Tract codes that the system accepts?

Within the filing system, the valid County FIPs/Census Tract code combinations for a particular state appear in the Part VI, Census Tract Bulk Data Upload option screen of the state-specific file.   07/27/2010

REPORTING TERRESTRIAL MOBILE WIRELESS CENSUS TRACT DATA

1. What does “mobile wireless broadband service area in this state” mean?

For Form 477 purposes, it means the area of land within the state where a subscriber to a broadband-speed data plan can receive service over your own broadband-speed network. The websites of many mobile wireless service providers present coverage-area maps which, importantly, distinguish the broadband-speed coverage area from the slower “legacy cell phone” and lower-speed data coverage area. However, to the extent that such maps include geographic areas where your company (including affiliates) does not itself own or operate the broadband-speed network, those “roaming” areas must be excluded from the Part VI Census Tract detail data that you report.  01/22/2010

ERROR MESSAGES

1.  In Part VI, we reported what appears to be correct broadband information for Census Tracts, but when we try to submit the file we keep getting error messages that begin "This submission could not be accepted. Some of the totals computed from the detail data do not match reported state totals." But the error message shows no state totals for comparison.

Error checks have been added to the system to warn of several data-formatting errors that previously led to this situation. Now, it takes a particular set of circumstances for a reported state total to be missing, which are as follows.

First, the filer used the bulk data upload option for reporting Census Tract data. Second, a row (or rows) in the upload file has zero (0) broadband connections in field 7. [Note: Such rows will be required if the filer has a “defined service territory” for Form 477 reporting purposes but has zero broadband connections to report in some Census Tracts in that territory. On this, see pages 15 and 18-19 of the Form 477 Instructions.] Third, the codes for the upload-and-download speed combination (fields 3 and 4) in that row define a speed tier for which no connections are reported at the state level for that broadband technology.

The bulk data upload file can be corrected by using the Replace function in Part VI to replace the old file, or by uploading a file with just the changed entries by using the Merge function. As an alternative, go to the Submission Menu, review the data that the system has saved for particular Census Tracts and technologies, and delete zero (0) broadband counts for incorrect speed tiers by hand.   07/22/2009

2.  When I attempt to submit my file, I get an error message that mentions one or more technologies my company doesn't use to provide its end-user broadband connections, for example:

Query for Part I.A: Broadband - Asymmetric xDSL census tract detail for all residential percentages failed. Query for Part I.A: Broadband - Asymmetric xDSL residential percentages failed.

At the Submission Menu, check if the Status column shows "Data Entered" for any Data Section that's irrelevant to your company. If it does, go into that Data Section, check that it contains no data and no spaces (which could be hard to see but might exist if data were accidentally entered into that section and then deleted), and then click on "Save and Return to Submission Menu" at the bottom of the screen. (Do not use your browser's back button or any of the links at the very top of the screen to exit the data-section screen.) Back at the Submission Menu screen, check that the Status column now shows as "No data for this category."   02/12/2010

REPORTING INTERCONNECTED VoIP

1.  What is the difference between a VoIP subscriber and a VoIP customer in Part II.B of the form?

The parties you may think of as “retail customers” are called “subscribers” in Part II.B. They purchase a VoIP service “subscription” for their own purposes and do not resell VoIP service to another entity. The term “customer” is intended to mean a wholesale customer. A wholesale customer would purchase VoIP components or services from your company and resell them to third parties as part of its own VoIP service. The number of companies that are reselling your company’s VoIP service in a particular state is reported in Column (3) of Part II.B. Note: Both service retailers and service wholesalers complete Part II.B. Service retailers also report ZIP Codes in Part V, but service wholesalers do not.  11/3/2011

2.  Where do cable system operators report retail VoIP customers who don’t purchase the company’s broadband Internet-access service?

Column (1) of Part II.B is the place to report “stand alone” VoIP service subscribers and also those subscribers who purchase both cable TV and retail VoIP service. (Although your company installed IP capability at the customer’s premises to make the VoIP service work, the subscriber is not purchasing broadband Internet-access service from your company.)  09/22/2009

3.  My company resells another company’s broadband Internet-access service along with its own retail VoIP service. What should it report on Form 477?

Report the retail VoIP subscribers in Column (2) of Part II.B because your company is selling both services to its customers. Do not report the (resold) broadband Internet-access service connections in Part I.A of your form, however. (The company that provided the broadband Internet-access connections to your company will report them in its own Form 477 filing.)  09/22/2009

4.  We provide interconnected VoIP service to business end users on a retail basis. Many of these customers have multiple "users" or "extensions" at each business location. How should VoIP "subscribers" be counted in these circumstances?

The number of "subscribers" at a business location is the maximum number of simultaneous VoIP calls your customer can have active at one time from that location. This would be established by your company's Service Agreement with its customer.  09/22/2009

5.  Some of our residential VoIP customers are buying more than one VoIP service subscription from us and a single broadband Internet-access connection. How should they be counted?

Count as many separate VoIP service subscriptions as the customer is paying for. (An add-on charge for “nomadic” capability – the ability to use a single service subscription on broadband connections other than “at home” – does not count as a second VoIP subscription, however.)  09/22/2009

     
last reviewed/updated on July 05, 2012  


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