FCC to probe whether major carriers gave false coverage information

FILE PHOTO - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen in Washington February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

(Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission said on Friday it was investigating whether major wireless service providers submitted false information about their coverage areas.

Under here the FCC's Mobility Fund Phase II mapping program, the agency would allocate up to $4.53 billion over the next decade to advance high-speed mobile broadband service in rural areas that would not be served without government support.

The program required major mobile providers to submit data on their coverage reach to determine areas lacking unsubsidized services and in need of government funding.

"A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission's rules. That's why I've ordered an investigation into these matters," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement here.

The FCC said it had suspended the next step of finalizing the eligibility of areas that need funding support, pending the investigation.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru