By Chris Morris
August 8, 2018

A trade group representing rural cellular carriers says Verizon “grossly overstated” its 4G LTE coverage in government filings, which could prevent people in areas that are underserved from seeing improvements in service.

The Rural Wireless Association (RWA), in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, said Verizon’s coverage map, submitted last year to the FCC, was “a sham”. And the misinformation in it could prevent the federal agency from distributing outlays (up to $4.5 billion) from the Mobility Fund over the next 10 years to areas that need it most.

Put another way: Because Verizon’s data makes it appear as though certain areas are covered, said the RWA, the FCC might not offer funding to those areas.

The group has asked the agency to launch an investigation into Verizon’s coverage claims.

“RWA’s members are in the middle of the Challenge Process but are expending enormous time and financial resources in their efforts due to inaccurate data submitted by Verizon,” the group said. “RWA requests that the Commission investigate the 4G LTE coverage claimed by Verizon and require re-filing of Verizon’s data to correct its overstated coverage.”

Verizon told Ars Technica it is reviewing the RWA’s claims, but is confident its map is “fully consistent with the FCC’s mapping specifications”.

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