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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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 conducts 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)).
- July 1: Submit speed and latency test data from performance measures testing conducted in the previous calendar year at a random sample of locations reported in the HUBB that have active subscribers. (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.
- 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.
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