The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the deadline for service providers to file a form on their deployments of broadband.

Cable companies had complained that the form – Form 477 – was available on too short notice to meet the original March 2 deadline. In light of that, the FCC agreed to extend the deadline to March 16.

The American Cable Association (ACA) also complained that reporting was a burden on small cable operators (story here), especially given some new reporting requirements.

Even in government form-speak, the FCC managed to reject the latter argument in pretty acerbic terms: “We do not agree that the revised FCC Form 477 imposes an undue hardship upon smaller filers. These arguments were considered and rejected in the order adopting the revisions,” the official response reads.

It goes on, too: “We also reject arguments that filers will need several weeks after they see the revised Form 477 in an electronic format in order to file accurate data. The ability to input and review data in this electronic form was not necessary for filers to initiate the collection of the new data required by the revisions, especially with regard to the identification of Census Tracts. The key details of the new data requirements have been available since the revisions were released on June 12, 2008. In addition, filers have been able to view an electronic version of the revised form since Dec. 24, 2008, when screenshots were posted on the Office of Management and Budget Web site.”

FCC Form 477 collects data on local telephone and broadband Internet access lines from providers on a semi-annual basis (usually on March 1 and Sept. 1). Data obtained from this form is used to describe the deployment of broadband infrastructure and competition to provide local telecommunications services.

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