[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 13, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10100-10102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03328]



47 CFR Part 54

[WC Docket Nos. 10-90 and 05-337; DA 12-1777]

Data Specifications for Collecting Study Area Boundaries

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule; announcement of effective date.


SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
has approved, until July 31, 2013, the information collection 
associated with the Commission's Connect America Fund; High-Cost 
Universal Service Support, Report and Order, (Order), released on 
November 6, 2012. The Commission submitted a request for approval of a 
new collection under control number 3060-1181 to the OMB for review and 
approval, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3520). This notice is consistent with the Order, which 
stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing the effective date of those rules once it receives 
OMB approval.

DATES: Paragraph 16 and Appendix A of document DA 12-1777, published at 
78 FR 5750, January 28, 2013, are effective February 27, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chelsea Fallon, Assistant Division 
Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-7991.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document announces that, on January 23, 
2013, OMB approved, for a period of six months, the information 
collection requirements contained in the Commission's Order, FCC 12-
1777, published at 78 FR 5750, January 28, 2013. The OMB Control Number 
is 3060-1181. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement 
of the effective date of paragraph 16 and Appendix A of document DA 12-
1777. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or 
how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens 
caused thereby, please contact Judith Boley-Herman, Federal 
Communications Commission, Room 1-B441, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1181, 
in your correspondence. The Commission also will accept comments via 
email. Please send them to [email protected].
    To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).


    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on 
January 23, 2013, for the information collection requirements contained 
in paragraph 16 and Appendix A of document DA 12-1777.
    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a 
collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB 
Control Number.
    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply 
with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act 
that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB 
Control Number is 3060-1181.
    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.
    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents 
are as follows:
    OMB Control Number: 3060-1181.
    OMB Approval Date: January 23, 2013.
    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2013.
    Title: Study Area Boundary Data Reporting in Esri Shapefile Format, 
DA 12-1777.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Respondents: Incumbent local exchange carriers, and state 
regulatory entities.
    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,443 respondents; 1,443 
    Estimated Time per Response: 26 hours.
    Frequency of Response: Annually if changes to study area 
boundaries; biannually for recertification or previously submitted 
    Obligation to Respond: Required. Statutory authority for this 
information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 254(b).
    Total Annual Burden: 7,924 hours for in-house work for large 
incumbent local exchange carriers
    Total Annual Cost: $705,935.00 contracting costs for small 
incumbent local exchange carriers.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission is not 
requesting that

[[Page 10101]]

respondents submit confidential information to the Commission. Also, 
respondents may request materials or information submitted to the 
Commission be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the 
Commission's rules.
    Needs and Uses: In November 2012, the Wireline Competition Bureau 
of the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order 
(Order), in WC Docket No. 10-90; WC Docket No. 05-337; DA 12-1777, 78 
FR 5750, Connect America Fund; High-Cost Universal Service Support.
    The Order adopts data specifications for collecting study area 
boundaries for purposes of implementing various reforms adopted as part 
of the USF/ICC Transformation Order, 76 FR 73830, November 29, 2011. In 
the USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM, 76 FR 78384, December 16, 2011, the 
Commission sought comment on a process to reduce support where such an 
unsubsidized competitor offers voice and broadband service to a 
substantial majority, but not 100 percent of the study area. Study area 
boundaries are needed to determine whether unsubsidized competitors 
offer service within all or a portion of an incumbent's study area
    The Order requires incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) to 
submit esri shapefiles of their study area boundaries, with each 
submitted shapefile representing a single study area in each state that 
the incumbent LEC serves. The shapefile for each study area must depict 
each exchange within the study area as a closed, non-overlapping 
polygon. Each exchange-area polygon must constitute one record in the 
shapefile and must contain associated data with certain attributes used 
to identify the exchange, such as the exchange name and CLLI (Common 
Language Location Identifier) code. The Bureau will collect study area 
boundary data at the exchange level so that it can distinguish those 
exchanges that are subject to ``frozen'' support levels from those that 
are not, and so that the data can be updated to reflect any exchanges 
that have been transferred from one incumbent LEC to another.
    The Order finds that collecting study area boundary data in an esri 
shapefile format best balances the need for accurate and timely data 
with the goal of minimizing burdens on providers. The Order states that 
the esri shapefile is the best among possible data formats. Since its 
introduction in the 1990s, the esri shapefile has become the industry 
standard for storing, depicting, and analyzing spatial data. As a 
result, there are multiple geographic information system (GIS) 
platforms capable of creating and managing esri shapefiles, and 
multiple software programs can convert spatial data stored in other 
formats (such as MapInfo) to an esri shapefile format. Incumbent LECs 
that do not already have esri shapefiles of their study area boundaries 
may either use software and information technology, and/or rely on the 
expertise of consultants, to develop a shapefile based on the 
presumably known locations of their physical plant and their customers. 
Thus, the benefits gained by requiring incumbent LECs to provide and 
verify esri shapefiles warrant the potential burdens imposed. Incumbent 
LECs or other entities are not expected to conduct physical surveys in 
order to produce the degree of accuracy required by the data 
specification. Incumbent LECs reasonably can be expected to know where 
they offer services and thus should be able to create and submit an 
esri shapefile to the degree of accuracy required based largely on 
existing information.
    State entities are well situated to assist incumbent LECs with 
their responsibilities under this R&O. Involvement of state entities 
that undertake or assist with this data collection effort could reduce 
the burden on incumbent LECs and on Commission staff, particularly 
because some states already have digitized service territory 
boundaries. State entities wishing to submit such data should notify 
the Commission in writing of their intention to do so and submit that 
notice to WC Docket No. 10-90 via the Commission's Electronic Comment 
Filing System (ECFS). The Bureau will release a Public Notice 
identifying the deadlines for these notices (as well as the deadlines 
for the shapefile submissions and incumbent LEC certifications). In 
cases where a state entity uploads data to the Commission-sponsored Web 
site on behalf of one or more incumbent LECs, each incumbent LEC whose 
data are submitted by the state must log into the Web site to review 
the shapefile. If the incumbent LEC has a reasonable basis to conclude 
the shapefile is correct, the incumbent LEC can certify and submit the 
data using the same web interface. The reporting obligation set forth 
in the Order ultimately rests with incumbent LECs; state entities may 
not certify as to the accuracy of the data on behalf of incumbent LECs. 
If the incumbent LEC cannot certify that the data submitted by the 
state entities are correct, the incumbent LEC must so notify the Bureau 
and upload corrected data, either on its own or in conjunction with the 
state entity that filed it. The incumbent LEC can then certify that the 
study area boundary data are accurate.
    After reviewing and, if necessary, correcting the study area 
boundary data submitted by itself or a state entity, each incumbent LEC 
must certify the accuracy of the data. An official of the firm, such as 
a corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor, must provide 
an electronic signature certifying that he or she has examined the 
study area boundary shapefile and that, to the best of his or her 
knowledge, information, and belief, the data contained in the shapefile 
are accurate and correct. The certifying official may be different from 
the GIS specialist or other individual who developed the study area 
boundary shapefile, and the web interface will allow filers to enter 
contact information for both the certifying official and the individual 
most knowledgeable about the spatial data.
    Once the shapefiles have been submitted and certified, the Bureau 
will review the study area boundaries and resolve any voids and 
overlaps. Overlap areas would be those shown to be served by more than 
one incumbent LEC, while void areas would be those shown to be served 
by no incumbent LEC. The Bureau will attempt to distinguish unpopulated 
void areas from populated void areas that are likely to be served by 
some incumbent LEC, in which case an error in the submitted data may 
need to be resolved. The Bureau may also seek help from state 
commissions to resolve gaps, voids, and overlap issues. During review, 
if boundary overlaps or void areas are found in the submitted boundary 
data, the Bureau will contact the filer(s) to resolve such issues. Once 
these issues are resolved, the Bureau will ask incumbent LECs to 
recertify the new, corrected boundaries. When a complete set of the 
reconciled boundaries has been compiled the study area boundary data 
will be published.
    Incumbent LECs must provide updated data when their study area 
boundaries change. Incumbent LECs and/or state entities must submit 
updated data by March 15 of each year, beginning the year following the 
initial data submissions, showing any changes made by December 31 of 
the previous year. The incumbent LEC is responsible for making any 
necessary changes and for filing the revised shapefile. The changes 
cannot be made using the web interface itself; incumbent LECs will need 
to modify the shapefile. However, incumbent LECs can upload a revised 
shapefile to the same Web site used for the original filing. In 
addition, all incumbent LECs must recertify their

[[Page 10102]]

study area boundary data every two years. Filers will need to examine, 
through the web interface described below, the boundary data previously 
submitted, and then either certify that they are correct or submit 
revised data.
    In the near future, the Bureau will issue a Public Notice providing 
detailed instructions and announcing the deadline for the submission of 
data and providing further filing information. The Commission plans to 
submit information required to obtain OMB review and approval to extend 
approval of this collection.

Federal Communications Commission.
Lisa Gelb,
Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau.
[FR Doc. 2013-03328 Filed 2-12-13; 8:45 am]