High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - July 2015

July 2015

In this issue...

Program Happenings   |   At the FCC   l   In the News   l   Don't Forget

54.314 Annual Certification

The 54.314 annual certification is due to USAC and the FCC on October 1, 2015. USAC urges state commissions and carriers, who file on their own behalf, to use USAC's E-File system to file online. The system is now available for states and carriers to begin making 2015 certifications. For more information on making this certification via E-File, the following resources can be found in the High Cost Program section of USAC's website:

FCC Publishes List of Extremely High Cost Census Blocks in Price Cap Areas

On June 23, 2015, the FCC released a list of census blocks in price cap service areas that are deemed "extremely high-cost." While these census blocks are not eligible for the offer of Connect America Fund Phase II model-based support to price cap carriers, price cap carriers accepting model-based support may substitute locations in these blocks in lieu of those in census blocks subject to the offer of support to meet their deployment obligations in a state. The list of blocks includes the number of locations in the block, the state where the offer of support is made, and the price cap carrier. Read More

Maps Detailing Broadband Availability Accessible on the FCC's Website

The FCC has made available maps that detail a wide variety of measurements related to national adoption of broadband. Maps include detail on the progress resulting from Connect America Fund programs such as Connect America Fund Phase I, Connect America Fund Phase II, Alternative Connect America Cost Model, and Mobility Fund. In addition, specifics on coverage (including areas currently unserved), number of providers in certain areas, speed, mobile deployment, and universal service fund per line support are available. View Maps

Upcoming Deadline

The 54.314 annual certification is due to USAC and the FCC on October 1, 2015. Learn More


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. 


The High Cost Program team is here to support you! Visit the Contact Us page and let us know how we can help.

Commissioner Pai Details Plan for Broadband Deployment

On June 29, 2015, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai announced a plan designed to enhance deployment of broadband networks by small, rural carriers by tweaking existing rules to allow for universal service fund support of stand-alone broadband connections and creating a path for rate-of-return carriers to participate voluntarily in the Connect America Fund program. Read More

Frontier Communications Accepts Over $283 Million Connect America Fund Offer

On June 16, 2015, the FCC announced that Frontier Communications Inc. has accepted $283.4 million from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband to over 1.3 million of its rural customers in 28 states. Read More

FCC Takes Action Relating to the Connect America Fund Rural Broadband Experiments

On June 15, 2015, the FCC released an Order taking action relating to requests for deadline extensions relating to the Connect America Fund rural broadband experiments. Read More

FCC Adopts Protective Order for ETC Financial Data

On June 17, 2015, the FCC issued a Protective Order so that ETCs filing certain information pursuant to section 54.313(f)(2) of the FCC's regulations in WC Docket No. 14-58 can follow procedures to protect competitively sensitive information from improper disclosure. Read More

FCC Meeting: ITTA, NECA, NTCA, et al. Detail Status of RLEC High Cost Program Support Plan Development

On May 20, 2015, representatives of ITTA, NECA, NTCA, et al met with FCC staff to report on the status of the ongoing negotiations by a variety of rural telephone industry representatives looking toward the development of a comprehensive plan for future High Cost Program support for rate-of-return  carriers. Read More

FCC Meeting: USTelecom and Price Cap Carriers Ask FCC for Clarification on Connect America Fund Phase II

On May 26, 2015, USTelecom, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, Verizon, FairPoint, and Windstream spoke with FCC staff, seeking additional clarification and guidance on the Connect America Fund Phase II program. Read More

FCC Meeting: USTelecom and Price Cap Carriers Discuss Connect America Fund Phase II Competitive Bidding

On May 28, 2015, USTelecom, AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, and CenturyLink met with FCC staff to discuss their rationale for the key elements of their proposal for an effective Connect America Fund Phase II bidding process. Read More

FCC Meeting: UTC, et al. Discuss Requests for Review and Reconsideration of Connect America Fund Phase II Challenge Order

On May 27, 2015, the Utilities Telecom Council, Co-Mo Connect, United Services, and Lake Region Technology & Communications met with FCC staff to discuss the pending Application for Review that was filed by Co-Mo Comm, Inc. and United Services, Inc., as well as the pending Petition for Reconsideration that was filed by Lake Region Technology & Communications, LLC – both of which were filed against the FCC's Challenge Order. Read More

FCC Meeting: Arctic Slope, Copper Valley, and GVNW Discuss Alaska Plan

On June 22, 2015, the Arctic Slope Telephone Association, Copper Valley Telecom, and GVNW met with the FCC to discuss the Alaska Consensus Plan and how it fits into the national plans. Read More

FCC Filing: Co-Mo and United Services Maintain FCC Erred in Denying Connect America Fund Phase II Census Block Challenges

On May 26, 2015, Co-Mo Connect and United Services filed a Reply to Centurylink's Opposition to their Application for Review of the FCC Order that denied Co-Mo and United's challenges of certain census blocks in Missouri. Read More

FCC Filing: ITTA Details Status of RLEC High Cost Program Support Plan Development

On June 3, 2015, ITTA filed a letter to report the results to date of the
Rate-of-Return industry's efforts regarding the two-path framework. Read More

FCC Filing: USTelecom Suggests Flexibility for CAF Broadband Measurement Implementation

On June 5, 2015, USTelecom filed a letter to discuss allowing flexibility for ETCs in implementing their Connect America Fund broadband measurement obligations. Read More

FCC Filing: NTTA Says Model-Based Universal Service Fund Support Would be Devastating for Tribal Areas

On June 5, 2015, The National Tribal Telecommunications Association (NTTA) filed its revised Statement of Position on the FCC's universal service fund reform efforts. The revisions are limited to the Tribal Broadband Fund section of the paper. Read More

FCC Filing: Alexicon Details Concerns with CAF Cost Model for RoR Carriers

On May 6, 2015, Hughes Network Systems met with FCC to discuss latency requirements for entities to participate in the High Cost Program. Read More

FCC Filing: NTTA Proposes Tribal Broadband Factor for RoR Universal Service Fund Reform

On June 22, 2015, The National Tribal Telecommunications Association filed a letter to propose adoption of a Tribal Broadband Factor  as part of the reform of the long term federal universal service fund  for rate-of-return carriers. Read More 

FCC Commissioner Visits GVTC to Learn of Rural Broadband Challenges

In the San Antonio Business Journal, Mike W. Thomas reported that Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly met with executives at GVTC, a Smithson Valley-based telephone cooperative, during his visit to the area to learn more about the challenges of connecting broadband in rural America. Read More

The State of Broadband in the States

On June 24, 2015, Niraj Chokshi reported in the Washington Post on the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai Technologies. The article includes maps detailing measurements by state, including connection speeds and speed growth. Read More

Read more articles in the High Cost Program's Latest News section.


High Cost Program


July 2015