High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - July 2016

July 2016

In this issue...

Program Happenings   |   At the FCC   l   In the News


Support Calculations for Budget Control Now Available

In the Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the FCC directed USAC to calculate the total support available for distribution to Rate-of-Return carriers.
To remain within the $1 billion budget for the second half of 2016 set by the FCC, USAC applied the FCC Budget Control Mechanism methodology to reduce support for each carrier. These support calculations are now available for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016.
The forecasted amounts are the total support for a six month period (the projected monthly support amounts would be one-sixth of the total support). These projected amounts are published on USAC's website. Please note these numbers are projections and subject to change.

FCC Ready to Authorize RBE Support 

In a Public Notice (DA 16-621) released on June 3, 2016, the FCC announced that it is ready to authorize six winning bids for Rural Broadband Experiment (RBE) support. Collectively, the support associated with these bids totals $4,355,984.61. Northeast Rural Services, Inc. (NRS) will use its allotted support to bring broadband services to 120 census blocks in Oklahoma, and Lake County Minnesota Lake County, d/b/a Lake Connections, will use its allotted support to bring broadband services to 845 census blocks in Minnesota.




If a carrier has relinquished its ETC designation, send a copy of the relinquishment order to HC Orders within one week. If USAC does not receive a copy of the relinquishment order within one week, USAC will invoice the carrier for any support paid following the relinquishment. 



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FCC Provides Guidance to Recipients of CAF Phase I Incremental Support

On June 3, 2016, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 16-618) providing guidance to price cap carriers that accepted Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase I incremental support regarding upcoming validation of compliance for Phase I incremental support.


FCC Releases Order About the Rate-of-Return Reform Order

On June 15, 2016, the FCC released an Order (DA 16-661) addressing several matters arising from implementation of the Rate-of-Return Reform Order, including application of monthly per-line limit on universal service support, timing of operating expense limitation and reductions, and additional guidance regarding operating expense limitations, among other things.

FCC Modernizes Comment System

On June 20, 2016, the FCC launched the modernization of their Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS). The goal is to provide a more efficient and reliable way for the public to submit and access input on Commission activities and to improve the public's ability to engage with the Commission on important issues. Further details on the changes, frequently asked questions, and a user guide on the new system may be found on the FCC's website.

PRA Comments Due August 22 on Urban Rate Survey

On June 22, 2016, the FCC published a notice in the Federal Register seeking PRA comments on the form and content of its survey of urban rates for fixed voice and fixed broadband residential services. Comments are due August 22.

Broadband Auction Entry Clearer for Co-Ops

On June 8, 2016, Cathy Cash reported on ETC.coop that the FCC agreed electric co-ops may satisfy the Connect America Fund auction program's technical qualifications with evidence of their capabilities to operate transmission or distribution systems.


High Cost Program


July 2016