broadband availablity

Using RPA to help verify broadband compliance

The organization that administers the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund is looking for robotic process automation (RPA) solutions to make it easier for staff to verify evidence submitted by carriers proving they’ve met their network build-out obligations and are providing the quality of experience to the subscribers as intended.

Among the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) responsibilities is the High Cost (HC) program, which provides support for fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in rural areas of the United States and ensures rates across the country are reasonably comparable.

The plan to automate the HC program staff’s structured repetitive tasks in an effort to minimize manual intervention and improve efficiency was outlined in a Nov. 25 request for proposals.

Typically HC verifications staff members manually review documentation submitted by carriers attesting to their fulfillment of obligations to expand networks and upgrade user experience. Several times a year, the verifications team also collects and reviews location certification and test performance data. They also perform “limited” financial audits and ensure carriers attach the correct information to their annual certifications. With the roll out of 5G, the team must also ensure the providers’ broadband deployment coverage maps comply with radio frequency standards.

Most of the verification processes are manual, labor intensive and time consuming, as are the program performance metrics and statistical reporting, all of which increases the risk of human error.

USAC is looking for an RPA solution to replace the manual review processes associated with HC verifications. Specifically, the system would generate the statistically significant samples carriers use to provide evidence of service, automate large volume email transactions and metrics generation, populate verification and workflow tracking documents and perform automated verifications of evidence, including GIS data.

The single, secure RPA platform should be hosted in a government cloud-based environment accredited by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

Proposals are due Dec. 29. Read the full RFP here.

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