COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business. Learn more about USF program responses.


The High Cost/Connect America program consists of multiple funds that subsidize the delivery of voice and broadband service across rural America.

Modernized Funds

  • Alaska Plan – Provides support to rate-of-return carriers and their wireless affiliates, to maintain, extend, and upgrade broadband service across the state.
  • Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) – Provides support to rate-of-return carriers that voluntarily elected to transition to a new cost model for calculating High Cost funding. ACAM models forward-looking economic costs of deploying and operating a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network.
  • Revised Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Revised ACAM) – Increases model-based support for existing ACAM carriers (ACAM I carriers) to up to $200 per location, expands the ACAM I program budget by $67 million and establishes a new ten-year term of support.
  • Alternative Connect America Cost Model II (ACAM II) – Provides funding to rate-of-return carriers that voluntarily elected to transition to a new cost model for calculating High Cost support in exchange for meeting defined broadband build-out obligations.
  • Connect America Fund Phase II Model – This support is determined by the Connect America Cost Model (CAM), a forward-looking broadband cost projection tool.
  • Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction – Provides support to carriers to deliver service in extremely high-cost areas, including those where the incumbent price cap carrier didn’t accept CAF Phase II model-based funding.
  • Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) – Provides support for broadband-only lines, as well as voice lines and voice/broadband lines. It helps carriers recover the difference between loop costs associated with providing broadband-only service and consumer broadband-only loop revenues.
  • Mobility Fund – This fund provides support for the expansion of mobile broadband networks in areas that might otherwise not be served.
  • Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE) – Provides funding for experiments in price-cap areas to bring robust, scalable broadband networks to residential and small business locations in rural communities. In total, over $41 million in RBE support has been authorized.
  • Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) – Will disburse up to $20.4 billion over 10 years to bring fixed broadband and voice service to millions of unserved homes and small businesses in rural America.
  • Bringing Puerto Rico Together (Uniendo a Puerto Rico) Fund and the Connect USVI Fund – Provides funding to support the restoration, expansion and upgrade of fixed and mobile communications networks throughout the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Legacy Funds

  • Frozen High Cost Support – With the advent of the Connect American Fund, existing High Cost program support was frozen at December 2011 levels as part of the transition of universal service from focusing on voice networks to supporting and expanding broadband availability.
  • High Cost Loop (HCL) – This fund provides support for the last mile of connection for rural carriers in service areas where the cost to provide this service exceeds 115 percent of the national average cost per line.
  • Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) Recovery – This is a transitional recovery mechanism to facilitate incumbent LEC’s gradual transition from regulated, per-minute intercarrier compensation charges to a bill-and-keep methodology.
  • Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) – This fund helps to offset interstate access charges and is designed to permit each rate-of-return carrier to recover its common line revenue requirement, while ensuring that its subscriber line charges (SLCs) remain affordable to its customers.
  • Safety Valve Support (SVS) – This fund is additional support above the HCL cap that is available to rural carriers that acquire high-cost exchanges and make substantial post-transaction investments to enhance network infrastructure.