Thursday, August 09, 2018

Rural telcos say Verizon lied about rural 4G LTE coverage

"Verizon 'grossly overstated' its 4G LTE coverage in government filings, potentially preventing smaller carriers from obtaining funding needed to expand coverage in underserved rural areas, according to the Rural Wireless Association, a trade group that represents rural carriers, Jon Brodkin reports for Ars Technica.

Last year the Federal Communications Commission required wireless carriers to file maps and data that showed their 4G LTE coverage, in order to help the FCC determine where to distribute up to $4.5 billion in funding over the next 10 years to rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G service. In the RWA's filing with the FCC, the group claimed that, if Verizon said areas were covered that really weren't, its rural competitors wouldn't be able to get that funding, Brodkin reports.

Specifically, Verizon claims to cover almost all of the Oklahoma Panhandle, but the RWA says that's false. According to their investigation, not even half of Verizon's claimed LTE coverage area has 4G service. Verizon disputes RWA's methodology and says its map is accurate. The FCC has not yet said whether it will investigate RWA's claim.

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