High Cost

Rules & Orders

Rate-of-Return Reform Order


The FCC is working to increase the reach of broadband so that all Americans have access to high-speed internet connections no matter where they live. The Rate-of-Return Reform Order released by the FCC at the end of March 2016 aims to bring broadband to the parts of rural America that still lack access. Carriers that receive funding must meet defined build-out obligations in the communities they serve that most need investment. The goal: to make broadband available to all.

Elect A-CAM by November 1 or Remain with Legacy Funding

You can elect the new Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) support mechanism or choose to remain with a reformed version of legacy support mechanisms with Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) and High Cost Loop Support (HCLS). The Overview of the FCC's Rate-of-Return Reforms presentation gives helpful guidance on the new and reformed, legacy support mechanisms (see below video).

If you are interested in receiving the new A-CAM support, you must file an election by November 1, 2016. Notify the FCC of your choice via email at ConnectAmerica@fcc.gov. Do not mail a hard copy of your election letter to the FCC.

No action is required if you wish to continue to receive support from the reformed legacy mechanisms, including CAF-BLS and HCLS, if applicable.

Additional Resources
Overview of the FCC's Rate-of-Return Reforms Webinar

Update on Implementation of RoR Reform Order Webinar

Next Steps and Key Dates

November 1, 2016 (no later than): USAC to announce budget figures for first half of 2017

November 1, 2016: Deadline to elect A-CAM support

December 19, 2016: Carriers to file tariffs for broadband-only loop service (15 days’ notice)

December 27, 2016: Carriers to file tariffs for broadband-only loop service (seven days’ notice)

January 1, 2017: Opex limits, capital investment allowance, CAF-BLS support implemented

January 3, 2017: Broadband-only loop service tariffs effective

March 1, 2017 (no later than): Carriers submit broadband deployment information to USAC

May 1, 2017: USAC announces budget figures for upcoming tariff year

We will continue to update this page with the most current information on upcoming requirements so check back often.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, we are here to help you navigate these changes successfully. Contact us at HCQuestions@usac.org.