Rural carriers accuse Verizon of lying about 4G coverage

CNET | 8/8/2018 | Marguerite Reardon
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Verizon is accused of "grossly" overstating its 4G coverage in rural areas.

A trade group representing rural cellular carriers is accusing Verizon of "grossly" overstating its 4G LTE coverage in government filings, claiming the bad data could prevent rural carriers from obtaining subsidies aimed at bringing broadband to remote areas.

Rural - Wireless - Association - RWA - Coverage

The Rural Wireless Association (RWA) alleges the coverage map Verizon submitted to the Federal Communications Commission is "a sham," and should be re-filed using accurate data, according to letter filed with the FCC on Tuesday. The group says the misinformation could prevent rural carriers from obtaining $4.5 billion in government subsidies as part of the agency's Mobility Fund, which specifically targets funding for "rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G," according to the FCC.

In other words, Verizon's data shows the carrier offering 4G coverage in areas where it doesn't, and because the map shows that area is already covered with 4G service, rural carriers looking to deploy there won't be able to access government funds to help bring service there.

Accusation - Policy - Makers - Members - Congress

The accusation comes as policy makers and members of Congress look more closely at bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas. The FCC estimates 39 percent of people living in rural regions do not have access to broadband, compared with just 4 percent of people in cities. The reason is simple. In sparsely populated areas, it's not economical for private industry to deploy infrastructure.

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(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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