FCC says one or more major U.S. carriers may have submitted fake coverage maps to sway Mobility Fund

FCC says one or more major U.S. carriers may have submitted fake coverage maps to sway Mobility Fund
The FCC announced today (via Engadget) that one or more major U.S. carriers might have submitted incorrect coverage maps, violating mapping rules pertaining to the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) reverse auction. The Fund is expected to allocate over $4.53 billion over the next ten years to provide high-speed mobile broadband service to rural areas that wouldn't have it without government support. The regulatory agency is investigating.

Nearly 21 million speed tests from 37 states prove the inaccuracies of some of the maps. The issue is whether Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint exaggerated their LTE coverage in order to prevent rural carriers from receiving money from the Mobility Fund. These rural carriers would benefit from "dead spots" where none of the major wireless providers carry an LTE signal.


Verizon has already been accused this year by the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) of submitting false data to the FCC. In an filing made earlier with the regulatory agency, Verizon said that its signal covers 5,706 square miles of the Oklahoma Panhandle; an engineering report proved that Big Red's coverage in the region was half of what the carrier claimed.

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6 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This is why they need to be regulated, Moon Pai.

2. worldpeace

Posts: 3106; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Fake coverage map? did any carrier even have a "real" coverage map? All carrier's coverage map that I know is far from accurate. I'll stick with OpenSignal if I ever need to check coverage area.

3. D34ever

Posts: 221; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

I'm sure TMO is one of the culprits. Their coverage still sucks despite all their claims.

4. TBomb

Posts: 1283; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

If Verizon's not on this list then I'm calling BS on the entire claim.

5. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Verizon: "Oh, you said LTE coverage. Oopsie... I thought you said CDMA. Now hold on, what did I do with that LTE map..." Not sure what's up with VZW lately, been with them a long long time after a bad experience with Sprint, but I've been considering switching due to network performance not in parity with the price I'm paying for it anymore.

6. ShadowHammer

Posts: 199; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

My initial thought is that all of the major carriers fudge their coverage maps to one degree or another. Why they would want to deny federal funding for rural providers when they don't provide the coverage themselves is a bit mysterious to me, though.

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