Rural Broadband Experiments

The 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. Learn more.

Deployment Requirements

Entities that receive RBE support are subject to build out requirements, which must be submitted to USAC and the FCC by the end of the third and fifth years of receiving disbursements showing that the carrier has met required service obligations.

  • By the end of the third year, carriers must offer the required level of service to at least 85% of the number of required locations. They must also submit the required certifications and evidence to USAC and the FCC.
  • By the end of the fifth year, carriers must offer the required level of service to 100% of the number of required locations, and submit the required certifications and evidence to USAC and the FCC.
Accelerated Disbursement

For RBE participants that chose the accelerated disbursement option, the following build out requirement must be met:

  • Within 15 months of the first disbursement month, carriers must submit required certifications and evidence that they have met 25% of the number of required locations.
Build Out Completed

After a carrier has completed its build-out requirements, it must submit the following to USAC at hccerts@usac.org:

  • Certification of completion (generated by the HUBB)
  • Evidence supporting deployment and compliance with the relevant public service obligations, including the FCC’s latency requirement

Annual Filing Requirements

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

  • March 1: Submit the geocoded locations where you have newly deployed facilities capable of delivering broadband that meets or exceeds the defined speed tiers in the previous year. Submit Locations in the HUBB.
  • July 1: Certify your data by filing FCC Form 481 (Carrier Data Annual Collection Form). File Online.
  • October 1: Certify you have used High Cost funding correctly per program rules. Most carriers are certified by their states, but if your company is not subject to state jurisdiction, you must file yourself. Learn more.

Related Orders

Report and Order (FCC 14-5) – Began the process for a diverse set of experiments and data collection initiatives that allows evaluation of how customers are affected by the transformation of our nation’s voice communications services.

Report and Order (DA 14-98) – Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE) order

Additional RBE Orders