Submit Data in the HUBB
The HUBB Portal
USAC closely monitors compliance with broadband build-out obligations to ensure that carriers receiving Connect America Fund (CAF) support are deploying broadband in rural America as required. Carriers participating in modernized funds must file deployment data with the High Cost Universal Broadband portal, or HUBB, showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service using CAF support. This information includes latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available, as well as the broadband speeds offered and the date of deployment.
The HUBB conducts automated, real-time validation checks of the deployment data submitted by the carriers. The system validates, for instance, that a location’s latitude and longitude coordinates fall within an area eligible for funding and that the location is not a duplicate of one that has already been filed. The HUBB also checks to be sure that the date of deployment falls within the timeline of the fund in which the carrier participates and calculates carrier progress toward meeting the fund’s broadband build-out obligations, including interim deployment milestones. The HUBB will not accept locations that do not pass these automated validation checks and carriers will not receive credit for those deployments.
The HUBB is the foundation for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Map, which shows the impact of CAF support on broadband expansion in rural America. In addition, the HUBB serves as a starting point for a more in-depth verification process to confirm deployment to a random sample of locations reported in the system. All carriers participating in CAF programs with defined broadband build-out obligations are subject to this verification process, with verification reviews tied to annual deployment milestones. The HUBB is also a starting point for the Performance Measures compliance framework, which ensures that broadband service subsidized by the Connect America Fund meets basic speed and latency performance standards so that people living in rural communities have access to the same high-quality networks as those living in urban areas.
HUBB Filing Deadlines
Carriers participating in the following funds have until March 1, 2022 to file data for all locations deployed with CAF support in 2021 or certify that they have “no locations to upload”:
- Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Model
- CAF II Model carriers faced a 100 percent deployment milestone as of the end of 2020.
- Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Original A-CAM) and Revised ACAM
- Original and Revised ACAM carriers face a milestone for deploying broadband at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream (10/1 Mbps) and must be at least 50 percent of the way toward meeting their final 10/1 Mbps build-out obligations as of the end of 2021 (50 percent 10/1 Mbps milestone).
- ACAM II
- Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS)
- All CAF BLS carriers are now subject to HUBB filing obligations, including CAF BLS carriers that were exempt from HUBB reporting in the past because they had already built out 10/1 Mbps broadband to at least 80 percent of their study area.
- The HUBB will not accept any locations deployed before May 25, 2016, the effective date of the 2016 Rate of Return reform order.
- CAF BLS carriers that were fully deployed to all locations in their study area before May 25, 2016 or become fully deployed – meaning that they are offering broadband at speeds of at least 25 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabit per second upstream (25/3 Mbps) to all locations – have satisfied their buildout obligation. USAC and the FCC will develop a process for these carriers to certify to full deployment. Fully deployed carriers should not attempt to record any broadband locations built prior to May 25, 2016 in the HUBB, but still need to file any locations deployed in 2021 or certify “no locations to upload” for the year.
- Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE)
- RBE carriers face rolling deployment milestones.
- Alaska Plan (other than carriers with individualized performance plans that only require them to maintain service at existing levels)
- Alaska Plan carriers must also submit node and link data showing any new deployments or upgrades made to the middle-mile fiber and microwave nodes or networks needed to deliver broadband service in areas eligible for CAF support.
- Alaska Plan carriers face a five-year milestone as of the end of 2021. This five-year milestone applies to all Alaska Plan carriers, including those that submit only middle-mile data to the HUBB and those that do not file broadband deployment data in the HUBB because they have individualized performance plans that only require them to maintain service.
- CAF Phase II Auction
- CAF II Auction carriers can take advantage of an optional 20 percent milestone as of the end of 2021 to reduce Letter of Credit (LOC) obligations.
- Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
Carriers that did not deploy any locations in 2021 must still log into the HUBB and certify “no locations to upload” by March 1, 2022.
Carriers with 2021 deployment milestones must also complete milestone certifications as part of the annual HUBB filing and will face verification reviews tied to those milestones. Carriers subject to defined deployment milestones must notify the FCC and USAC, and relevant state, U.S. Territory or Tribal governments if applicable, within 10 business days after the applicable deadline if they have failed to meet a milestone. (See 47 CFR Section 54.320(d)) Carriers that miss milestones face increased reporting obligations and potential loss of support.
Accurate geolocation data is the key to filing successfully with the HUBB. Please see the USAC Geolocations Methods Guide for an overview of different methods for collecting accurate latitude and longitude coordinates.
The HUBB portal is accessible through USAC’s E-File system. To log in, click on “HUBB” on the left-hand navigation panel. Users and agents can upload, validate, and save data. Officers can perform all of those functions as well as certify locations. Please see USAC’s Multifactor Authentication Troubleshooting Steps for help logging into E-File.
Eligible telecommunications carriers will see a reduction of at least seven days of support for late certifications. After the first seven days, USAC will continue to reduce support on a day-by-day basis, plus an additional seven days, until the required certification is complete. A carrier would lose seven days of support for a certification that is four days late, for instance. And a carrier would lose 21 days of support for a certification that is 14 days late. [Report and Order (FCC 14-190), section C, numbers 131-132].
The FCC grants a one-time, three-day grace period for late certifications across all fillings. This means that carriers will see no reduction in support for a late certification submitted within three days of the filing deadline if it is the first time that the certification is late. [Report and Order (FCC 14-190), paragraph 133].
This one-time grace period applies at the holding company level and across filing obligations. This means that if a carrier takes advantage of the three-day grace period for any filing, the grace period will not be available for any filing in subsequent years to other operating companies that serve different study areas but are owned by the same holding company. [Report and Order (FCC 14-190), paragraph 134].