ACAM

Established by the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) 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. (Carriers that elected ACAM support following the 2016 order, but did not elect the new Revised ACAM offer, continue to participate in the original ACAM program, or ACAM I.) ACAM models the forward-looking economic costs of deploying a high-speed network and delivering broadband service. Carriers that elected this option receive predictable monthly payments to provide voice and broadband service to all funded locations over the program’s 10-year support term (2017-2026). Learn more.

Service Requirements

Carriers that elected ACAM funding must meet the deployment obligations published in the Public Notice authorizing them to receive A-CAM support. These deployment obligations are based on the following service requirements:

  • Maintain existing voice and broadband service and offer broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream (10/1 Mbps) to a number of eligible locations equal to the number of fully-funded locations (locations for which the carrier receives support for the full cost of build-out)
  • Offer broadband speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to a certain percentage of fully funded locations depending on the population density of the carrier’s service area.
    • For a density threshold of 10 or more locations per square mile, offer speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to at least 75 percent of fully-funded locations by the end of 2026
    • For a density threshold of more than five but fewer than 10 locations per square mile, offer speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to at least 50 percent of fully-funded locations by the end of 2026
    • For a density threshold of five or fewer locations per square mile, offer speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to at least 25 percent of fully-funded locations by the end of 2026
  • Offer broadband speeds of at least 4/1 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to a certain percentage of capped locations (locations for which the carrier receives support for only the partial cost of build-out) depending on the population density of the carrier’s service area
    • For a density threshold of 10 or more locations per square mile, offer speeds of at least 4/1 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to at least 50 percent of capped funded locations by the end of 2026
    • For a density threshold of fewer than 10 locations per square mile, offer speeds of at least 4/1 Mbps to a number of eligible locations equal to at least 25 percent of capped funded locations by the end of 2026
  • Provide broadband upon reasonable request to the remainder of locations

Deployment Requirements

Carriers must offer at least one commercial voice and one commercial broadband service that meet the relevant service requirements, and must meet the following broadband deployment milestones:

  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 40 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 4 (2020)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 50 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 5 (2021)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 60 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 6 (2022)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 70 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 7 (2023)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 80 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 8 (2024)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 90 percent of fully funded locations by the end of year 9 (2025)
  • Deploy at least 10/1 Mbps service to the number of eligible locations equal to at least 100 percent of fully funded locations, in addition to meeting final deployment obligations to deploy 25/3 Mbps and 4/1 Mbps by the end of year 10 (2026)

Annual Filing Requirements

Carriers receiving ACAM support must also complete the following filing and certification requirements annually:

  • March 1: Submit geolocated broadband deployment data showing where they have built out broadband by latitude and longitude in the previous calendar year. Submit Locations in the HUBB.
  • July 1: Certify financial and operational data by filing FCC Form 481 (Carrier Data Annual Collection Form). File Online
  • October 1: Certify that they have used High Cost funding correctly per program rules. Most carriers are certified by their states, but carriers not subject to state jurisdiction must self-certify. Learn more.

Related Orders

Rate-of-Return Reform Order (FCC 16-33) – Order adopting voluntary path to model based support for rate-of-return carriers (ACAM)

Public Notice (DA 16-1246) – Notice announcing the results of the rate-of-return carriers that accepted the initial offer of model support

ACAM Order (FCC 16-178) – adopted measures to address the significant demand for Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) support

Public Notice (DA 16-1422) – Notice announcing the first authorizations of support and revised offers

Public Notice (DA 17-99) – Notice announcing second authorizations of support

Public Notice (DA 18-750) – Notice announcing third authorizations of support

Public Notice (DA 19-650) – Notice providing guidance regarding ACAM final deployment obligations