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

  • 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 geolocated broadband deployment data showing where the carrier built out broadband by latitude and longitude in the previous calendar year. Submit Locations in the HUBB. USAC will conduct rolling verification reviews to confirm deployment to a random sample of locations reported in the HUBB following rolling deployment milestones. 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)).
  • Quarterly: Submit speed and latency pre-test or test data from performance measures testing conducted at a random sample of locations with active subscribers reported in the HUBB. Submit speed and latency test data in the Performance Measures Module.
  • July 1: Certify your data by filing FCC Form 481 (Carrier Data Annual Collection Form). File Online.
  • October 1: Certify that the carrier has used High Cost funding correctly per program rules. Most carriers are certified by their states. If not subject to state jurisdiction, the carrier must file directly with USAC and the FCC. 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