Goto Section: 54.307 | 54.309 | Table of Contents

FCC 54.308
Revised as of December 20, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 54.308   Broadband public interest obligations for recipients of high-cost
support.

   (a) Rate-of-return carrier recipients of high-cost support are required
   to offer broadband service, at speeds described below, with latency
   suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet
   Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to
   comparable offerings in urban areas, at rates that are reasonably
   comparable to rates for comparable offerings in urban areas. For
   purposes of determining reasonable comparability of rates, recipients
   are presumed to meet this requirement if they offer rates at or below
   the applicable benchmark to be announced annually by public notice
   issued by the Wireline Competition Bureau.

   (1) Carriers that elect to receive Connect America Fund-Alternative
   Connect America Cost Model (CAF-ACAM) support pursuant to § 54.311 are
   required to offer broadband service at actual speeds of at least 10
   Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream to a defined number of locations as
   specified by public notice, with a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB
   per month, subject to the requirement that usage allowances remain
   consistent with median usage in the United States over the course of
   the ten-year term. In addition, such carriers must offer other speeds
   to subsets of locations, as specified below:

   (i) Fully funded locations. Fully funded locations are those locations
   identified by the Alternative-Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) where
   the average cost is above the funding benchmark and at or below the
   funding cap. Carriers are required to offer broadband speeds to
   locations that are fully funded, as specified by public notice at the
   time of authorization, as follows:

   (A) Carriers with a state-level density of more than 10 housing units
   per square mile, as specified by public notice at the time of election,
   are required to offer broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream/3
   Mbps upstream to 75 percent of all fully funded locations in the state
   by the end of the ten-year period.

   (B) Carriers with a state-level density of 10 or fewer, but more than
   five, housing units per square mile, as specified by public notice at
   the time of election, are required to offer broadband speeds of at
   least 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream to 50 percent of fully funded
   locations in the state by the end of the ten-year period.

   (C) Carriers with a state-level density of five or fewer housing units
   per square mile, as specified by public notice at the time of election,
   are required to offer broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream/3
   Mbps upstream to 25 percent of fully funded locations in the state by
   the end of the ten-year period.

   (ii) Capped locations. Capped locations are those locations in census
   blocks for which A-CAM calculates an average cost per location above
   the funding cap. Carriers are required to offer broadband speeds to
   locations that are receiving capped support, as specified by public
   notice at the time of authorization, as follows:

   (A) Carriers with a state-level density of more than 10 housing units
   per square mile, as specified by public notice at the time of election,
   are required to offer broadband speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream/1
   Mbps upstream to 50 percent of all capped locations in the state by the
   end of the ten-year period.

   (B) Carriers with a state-level density of 10 or fewer housing units
   per square mile, as specified by public notice at the time of election,
   are required to offer broadband speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream/1
   Mbps upstream to 25 percent of capped locations in the state by the end
   of the ten-year period.

   (C) Carriers shall provide to all other capped locations, upon
   reasonable request, broadband at actual speeds of at least 4 Mbps
   downstream/1 Mbps upstream.

   (2) Rate-of-return recipients of Connect America Fund Broadband Loop
   Support (CAF BLS) shall be required to offer broadband service at
   actual speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, over a
   five-year period, to a defined number of unserved locations as
   specified by public notice, as determined by the following methodology:

   (i) Percentage of CAF BLS. Each rate-of-return carrier is required to
   target a defined percentage of its five-year forecasted CAF-BLS support
   to the deployment of broadband service to locations that are unserved
   with 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream broadband service as follows:

   (A) Rate-of-return carriers with less than 20 percent deployment of
   10/1 Mbps broadband service in their study areas, as determined by the
   Wireline Competition Bureau, will be required to utilize 35 percent of
   their five-year forecasted CAF-BLS support to extend broadband service
   where it is currently lacking.

   (B) Rate-of-return carriers with more than 20 percent but less than 40
   percent deployment of 10/1 Mbps broadband service in their study areas,
   as determined by the Wireline Competition Bureau, will be required to
   utilize 25 percent of their five-year forecasted CAF-BLS support to
   extend broadband service where it is currently lacking.

   (C) Rate-of-return carriers with more than 40 percent but less than 80
   percent deployment of 10/1 Mbps broadband service in their study areas,
   as determined by the Wireline Competition Bureau, will be required to
   utilize 20 percent of their five-year forecasted CAF-BLS support to
   extend broadband service where it is currently lacking.

   (ii) Cost per location. The deployment obligation shall be determined
   by dividing the amount of support set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of
   this section by a cost per location figure based on one of two
   methodologies, at the carrier's election:

   (A) The higher of:

   (1) The weighted average unseparated cost per loop for carriers of
   similar density that offer 10/1 Mbps or better broadband service to at
   least 95 percent of locations, based on the most current FCC Form 477
   data as determined by the Wireline Competition Bureau, but excluding
   carriers subject to the current $250 per line per month cap set forth
   in § 54.302 and carriers subject to limitations on operating expenses
   set forth in § 54.303; or

   (2) 150% of the weighted average of the cost per loop for carriers of
   similar density, but excluding carriers subject to the current $250 per
   line per month cap set forth in § 54.302 and carriers subject to
   limitations on operating expenses set forth in § 54.303, with a similar
   level of deployment of 10/1 Mbps or better broadband based on the most
   current FCC Form 477 data, as determined by Wireline Competition
   Bureau; or

   (B) The average cost per location for census blocks lacking 10/1 Mbps
   broadband service in the carrier's study area as determined by the
   A-CAM.

   (iii) Restrictions on deployment obligations. (A) No rate-of-return
   carrier shall deploy terrestrial wireline technology in any census
   block if doing so would result in total support per line in the study
   area to exceed the $250 per-line per-month cap in § 54.302.

   (B) No rate-of-return carrier shall deploy terrestrial wireline
   technology to unserved locations to meet this obligation if that would
   exceed the per location/per project capital investment allowance set
   forth in § 54.303(f)(1).

   (iv) Future deployment obligations. Prior to publishing the deployment
   obligations for subsequent five-year periods, the Administrator shall
   update the unseparated average cost per loop amounts for carriers with
   95 percent or greater deployment of the then-current standard, based on
   the then-current NECA cost data, and the Wireline Competition Bureau
   shall examine the density groupings and make any necessary adjustments
   based on then-current U.S. Census data.

   (b) Rate-of-return carrier recipients of high-cost support are required
   upon reasonable request to bid on category one telecommunications and
   Internet access services in response to a posted FCC Form 470 seeking
   broadband service that meets the connectivity targets for the schools
   and libraries universal service support program for eligible schools
   and libraries (as described in § 54.501) within that carrier's service
   area. Such bids must be at rates reasonably comparable to rates charged
   to eligible schools and libraries in urban areas for comparable
   offerings.

   (c) Alaskan rate-of-return carriers receiving support from the Alaska
   Plan pursuant to § 54.306 are exempt from paragraph (a) of this section
   and are instead required to offer voice and broadband service with
   latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over
   Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to
   comparable offerings in urban areas, at rates that are reasonably
   comparable to rates for comparable offerings in urban areas, subject to
   any limitations in access to backhaul as described in § 54.313(g).
   Alaska Plan recipients' specific broadband deployment and speed
   obligations shall be governed by the terms of their approved
   performance plans as described in § 54.306(b). Alaska Plan recipients
   must also comply with paragraph (b) of this section.

   (d) Mobile carriers that are receiving support from the Alaska Plan
   pursuant to § 54.317(e) shall certify in their annual compliance filings
   that their rates are reasonably comparable to rates for comparable
   offerings in urban areas. The mobile carrier must also demonstrate
   compliance at the end of the five-year milestone and 10-year milestone
   and may do this by showing that its required stand-alone voice plan,
   and one service plan that offers broadband data services, if it offers
   such plans, are:

   (1) Substantially similar to a service plan offered by at least one
   mobile wireless service provider in the cellular market area (CMA) for
   Anchorage, Alaska, and

   (2) Offered for the same or a lower rate than the matching plan in the
   CMA for Anchorage.

   [ 80 FR 4477 , Jan. 27, 2015, as amended at  80 FR 5987 , Feb. 4, 2015;  81 FR 24339 , Apr. 25, 2016;  81 FR 69712 , Oct. 7, 2016;  82 FR 14339 , Mar.
   20, 2017]

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Goto Section: 54.307 | 54.309

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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