Recognizing the unique challenges facing carriers serving Alaska, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Alaska Plan (AK Plan) to provide support to rate-of-return carriers, and their wireless affiliates, to maintain, extend and upgrade broadband service across the state.
The AK Plan gives carriers a fixed amount of monthly support over 10 years (2017-2026) to offer both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas. The FCC also authorized eight mobile carriers to receive support under the AK Plan to improve and maintain mobile service in remote areas of the state.
The FCC established five-year (2021) and 10-year (2026) service milestones as part of each carrier’s individualized performance plan.
Annual Filing Requirements
Carriers receiving Alaska Plan support must comply with the following filing and certification requirements annually:
- March 1: Submit and certify geolocated broadband deployment data showing where the carrier built out broadband by latitude and longitude in the previous calendar year (and complete separate deployment milestone certifications), or certify that the carrier has “no locations to upload.” Submit Locations in the HUBB. USAC will conduct verification reviews to confirm deployment to a random sample of locations reported in the HUBB. (Please see the Alaska Plan verification review webinar recording and slides for more information about the verification review process). Carriers 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 build-out milestone (see 47 CFR Section 54.320(d)).
- Alaska Plan wireline carriers must 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, or certify “no nodes to upload.” An Alaska Plan wireline carrier must certify middle-mile data on behalf of its wireless affiliate.
- 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.
- July 1: Submit speed and latency test data from performance measures testing conducted in the previous calendar year at a random sample of locations with active subscribers reported in the HUBB. (USAC encourages carriers to file and certify test results on a quarterly basis after each quarter’s testing is complete.) Submit speed and latency test data in the Performance Measures Module.
- July 1: Certify financial and operational data collected by FCC Form 481.
- July 1: Submit FCC Form 507 to report line counts.
- October 1: Certify that the carrier is eligible to receive High Cost support and used all support received in the proceeding calendar year only to provide, maintain and upgrade the facilities for which the support was intended and will do the same in the coming calendar year. State utility commissions certify carriers under their jurisdiction as eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs). Carriers not subject to state jurisdiction self-certify. Learn more about the annual ETC certification.
Alaska Plan Order (FCC 16-115) – Adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska
Public Notice (DA 16-1425) – Authorizes support for 13 rate-of-return Alaskan carriers
Public Notice (DA 16-1419) – Approves performance plans of eight wireless providers
Public Notice (DA 17-865) – Provides instructions for filing middle-mile network maps
Order (DA 18-197) – Provides the original instructions in the appendix, as modified in response to a Petition for Reconsideration
Order (DA 18-666) – Extends middle-mile filing deadline and provides guidance on reporting of “community anchor institutions”
Order (DA 21-1394) – Extends the filing deadline for covered Alaska Plan mobile-provider participants to submit drive-test data pursuant to section 54.321(a) of the Commission’s rules from March 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022.
Public Notice (DA 21-1642) – Announces Performance Obligations For Rate-Of-Return Alaska Plan Recipients After the Midterm Review
Public Notice (DA 22-618) – Announces HUBB Deadline for Alaska Plan Carriers Adak, ASTAC, MTA