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CPUC June 2021: Instructions for Sonar V1

Julianna Durie Updated by Julianna Durie

Update to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Broadband Data Submission Report in Sonar

There has been an update regarding the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Broadband Data Submission report provided in Sonar. This report is available as a variation to the “FCC Form 477” report offered in our software and was initially introduced due to the underlying similarities in the data required for both reports.

As you are likely already aware, CPUC introduced a number of changes to the format and expected data for their 2020 submissions. Once we had become familiar with these changes, we began work to determine what changes would be necessary to make to our reports, in order to provide you with compliant data for this year’s filings. The most significant change introduced by CPUC is the requirement for your subscriber locations to be aligned to 2020 Census Block data. Previous CPUC submissions called for the 2010 Census Block data to be referenced, which is aligned with the FCC Form 477 requirements. This is a distinct departure from the FCC, as even for 2020 data filings, Form 477 still requires that the 2010 data is referenced.

What is the problem?

When we generate our reports, we use the FCC’s public lookup resource to determine Census Block alignment for your subscribers, based on their recorded Latitude/Longitude. Unfortunately, the FCC’s resource does not offer the option to provide 2020 Census Block data. We attempted to leverage the census.gov public lookup resource for this, and have discovered that it does not successfully return valid data for many of the California state Census Blocks. We have been in contact with CPUC regarding this issue, and they have confirmed that this issue with the census.gov resource is a known problem with no forecasted resolution. They were unable to direct us to an alternative public lookup resource that can provide the 2020 Census Block data, and as such, we no longer have means of providing you with a complete report that will be accepted by CPUC.

What can Sonar do?

Sonar can provide you with custom reports that include all of the data required for assembling your 2020 CPUC Broadband Data Submission, with the exception of the subscriber location Census Block lookups. The data in these reports can be leveraged to create your submission, but will not be formatted for direct submission to CPUC.

What can you do?

Being a service provider in California, we encourage you to reach out directly to CPUC to express your concerns and seek advice as to how you can work with them to ensure your ongoing compliance. By instituting these recent changes, without providing the necessary public resources to generate the data required, they have left a gap in the process that is not easily filled by the service providers, or their software vendors. There are some private lookup resources that could potentially be leveraged in order to complete the 2020 Census Block data lookups, however, at this time none have been specifically identified by CPUC as being endorsed, and the additional costs associated with using them would fall on you.

We understand that this is not a pleasant update to receive, and would have much preferred making the necessary changes to Sonar in order to provide you with a 2020-compliant report. Unfortunately, due to the specific challenges faced in accessing accurate 2020 Census Block data, it is not possible for us to do so. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and are here to make sure you have open access to whatever customer data you need in order to manually assemble your CPUC Broadband Data Submissions moving forward. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is any additional information we may be able to provide - our Support contact information is provided below.

Support Contact Information

Phone (US): (702) 447-1247

Email: support@sonar.software

How did we do?

Account List View: Overview

CPUC June 2021: Instructions for Sonar V2

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