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 with defined fixed broadband build-out obligations – which require them to provide voice and broadband service to a specific number of fixed locations in areas eligible for support – 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 data submitted to the HUBB is the foundation for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Map, an interactive online map that shows the impact of CAF support on broadband expansion in rural America. The map displays the geographic areas that are eligible for CAF support, as well as the specific fixed locations where carriers participating in the program have reported deployment in the HUBB. See the HUBB Dashboard for a high-level snapshot of data certified in the system as of Sept. 30, 2022, including data by fund, speed tier and state. The HUBB Dashboard shows that as of Sept. 30, 2022, carriers had reported deployment to nearly 6.4 million locations, including more than 710,000 locations with speeds of a gigabit or better.
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, 2023 to file data for all locations deployed with CAF support in 2022 or certify that they have “no locations to upload”:
- Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Original ACAM)
- Original 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 60 percent of the way toward meeting their final 10/1 Mbps build-out obligations as of the end of 2022 (60 percent 10/1 Mbps milestone).
- Revised Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Revised ACAM)
- Like Original ACAM carriers, 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 60 percent of the way toward meeting their final 10/1 Mbps build-out obligations as of the end of 2022 (60 percent 10/1 Mbps milestone). In addition, Revised ACAM carriers face a milestone for deploying broadband at speeds of at least 25 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabit per second upstream (25/3 Mbps) and must be at least 40 percent of the way toward meeting their final 25/3 Mbps build-out obligations as of the end of 2022 (40 percent 25/3 Mbps milestone).
- Alternative Connect America Cost Model II (ACAM II)
- ACAM II carriers face a milestone for deploying broadband at speeds of at least 25 megabits per second downstream and 3 megabit per second upstream (25/3 Mbps) and must be at least 40 percent of the way toward meeting their final 25/3 Mbps build-out obligations as of the end of 2022 (40 percent 25/3 Mbps milestone). ACAM II carriers must also meet similar deployment obligations for eligible locations on Tribal lands.
- Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS)
- All CAF BLS carriers are 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 2022 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 with individualized performance plans requiring them only to maintain service at existing levels over the program’s 10-year support term do not have defined deployment obligations and therefore do not have to file in the HUBB (although they were subject to the five-year service milestone certification that applied to all Alaska Plan carriers as of the end of 2021). USAC encourages these carriers to certify annually that they did not deploy service to any new locations during the previous year. If these carriers do deploy new locations or upgrade service to existing locations at any speed, they should report those locations in the HUBB. An Alaska Plan carrier may become subject to defined deployment obligations due to changed circumstances (such as access to new middle-mile capacity) and may get credit for any locations certified before those revised obligations become effective.
- Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (CAF II Auction)
- CAF II Auction carriers face a milestone for deploying broadband with speeds, usage allowance and latency consistent with their winning auction bids, and must be at least 40 percent of the way toward meeting their final build-out obligations as of the end of 2022 (40 percent milestone).
- Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)
- RDOF carriers must submit any locations deployed since July 1, 2019.
- RDOF carriers must deploy broadband with speeds, usage allowance and latency consistent with their winning auction bids, and can take advantage of an optional 20 percent deployment milestone (deploying to at least 20 percent of required locations) by the end of the second year of the program (the end of the second full calendar year following funding authorization) to reduce Letter of Credit (LOC) obligations (optional 20 percent milestone).
- RDOF carriers authorized for support in DA 23-33 do not have to file with the HUBB this year.
- Bringing Puerto Rico Together (Uniendo a Puerto Rico) Fund and the Connect the USVI Fund (PR/VI)
- Carriers receiving PR/VI Stage 2 fixed support must file in the HUBB for the first time by March 1, 2023.
Carriers that did not deploy any locations in 2022 must still log into the HUBB and certify “no locations to upload” by March 1, 2023.
Carriers with 2022 deployment milestones must also complete milestone certifications as part of the annual HUBB filing – including separate milestone certifications for separate deployment obligations by speed tier – 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].