AT&T and T-Mobile are objecting to the proposed FCC requirement that they actually test out their cellular coverage maps with tests.
They claim that it is too expensive, and too difficult, but the reality is that they have been marketing on a plausible lie, and good data will make those lies implausible:
AT&T and T-Mobile are fighting a Federal Communications Commission plan to require drive tests that would verify whether the mobile carriers’ coverage claims are accurate.
The carriers’ objections came in response to the FCC seeking comment on a plan to improve the nation’s inadequate broadband maps. Besides submitting more accurate coverage maps, the FCC plan would require carriers to do a statistically significant amount of drive testing.
This could prevent repeats of cases in which carriers exaggerated their coverage in FCC filings, which can result in government broadband funding not going to the areas where it is needed most. Small carriers that compete against the big three in rural areas previously had to conduct drive tests at their own expense in order to prove that the large carriers didn’t serve the areas they claimed to serve.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not punish Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular after finding that the carriers exaggerated their 4G coverage in official filings. But Pai is moving ahead with plans to require more accurate maps as mandated by Congress.
AT&T objected to the proposed drive-testing requirement in a filing to the FCC on Tuesday this week, saying that annual “drive testing is not the proper solution for verifying nationwide coverage maps” and that there is “potential difficulty in determining how to formulate a statistically valid sample for areas given the terrain variability nationwide.”
Also, they want the bad data, because it prevents subsidies going to small independent carriers in rural areas, and more than anything else, they want their oligopolies to remain intact.
F%$# the phone carriers, mobile and land line both.