Ajit Pai FCC

Federal Communications Commission/Flickr (Public Domain)

FCC investigates major wireless carrier for lying about coverage

The investigation follows a complaint filed by the Rural Wireless Association.

Dec 11, 2018, 8:40 am

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Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will investigate whether “one or more major carriers” submitted incorrect coverage maps, which have sway into how the agency distributes billions of dollars.

As Ars Technica notes, the investigation comes after the Rural Wireless Association filed a complaint about Verizon’s coverage maps in relation to the agency’s “Mobility Fund” which serves rural areas that don’t have 4G LTE coverage.

The FCC, in a statement, did not name any of the wireless carriers that are being investigated.

“It’s critical that we know where access is and where it is not,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in the statement. “A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission’s rules. That’s why I’ve ordered an investigation into these matters. We must ensure that the data is accurate before we can proceed.”

The maps of its 4G LTE coverage are used by the FCC to determine how to use $4.5 billion of its Mobility Fund over a 10-year period. As part of the fund, wireless carriers were required to submit maps and coverage data to the FCC.

The Rural Wireless Association said it told the FCC in April that Verizon had “overstated” its coverage in Oklahoma and other parts of the country.

You can read all of Ars Technica’s report here.

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*First Published: Dec 11, 2018, 8:40 am