Verizon has now filed an official response to claims leveled against the company by the Rural Wireless Association (RWA), stating that its Mobility Fund coverage map is exaggerated in the Oklahoma panhandle region. The maps are a central component in the FCC's proposed 4G LTE expansion and maintenance plan, which will provide around $435 million toward that goal annually for 10 years. The RWA contests that Verizon's maps don't comply with the standard mapping specifications set by the government organization. Those claims were based, at least partially, on tests performed by Panhandle Telecommunication Systems (PTSI) but Verizon says that the results and claims are completely unfounded. Moreover, the carrier suggests that the complaints were leveled out of fear that universal service support would be lost for participating RWA members since Verizon carries areas served by those. Many of those are subsidized by the government funding which could be at risk if Verizon is shown to have solid connections in the disputed coverage area.
Addressing each claim directly, the nations largest service provider says that RWA consultants were incorrect in their assumption that it used only a single model to map its coverage. In fact, it says it made use of more than 2,500 models and that all of those were optimized for the various terrain in which the company mapped its coverage. Moreover, contrary to RWA claims, Verizon indicates that the models were calibrated regularly for environmental changes and that "clutter height" was separately calibrated. Finally, the carrier asserts that its fade margin settings were set to the standard 6 dB deviation, which goes beyond the 5.85 dB deviation that would have been required for the region in question - based on its own propagation model data.
Verizon's response to the RWA's may be understandable since the accusation is that the carrier is deliberately attempting to funnel funds away from smaller mobile service providers in the area. Furthermore, it says it has invested tens of millions of dollars in the models it uses in order to map its coverage. Bearing that in mind, there is no way to verify the statements of either the RWA or Verizon and the FCC has yet to officially respond in the matter.