Rules & Orders


High Cost Program Rules. 47 C.F.R. Sections 54.302-320 are the rules governing the federal universal service fund for this program.


2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order (FCC 16-33). Established the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM), which gives carriers a set amount of monthly support over a 10-year term to deploy broadband at speeds of up to 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream (25/3 Mbps). The order required carriers to decide whether to elect ACAM support or remain with a modified version of the legacy support mechanisms, Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) and High Cost Loop (HCL) Support. For more information, see our Rate-of-Return Reform Order webpage.

Performance Measures Order (DA 18-710) – Adopted requirements promoting greater accountability for certain recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) high cost universal service support. For more information, see our Performance Measures Testing webpage.

2018 Rate-of-Return Reform Order (FCC 18-176). Made a revised ACAM offer to carriers that had previously elected ACAM support, offering them additional funding to meet expanded broadband deployment obligations. This order also established a new ACAM II fund open to carriers that had remained on CAF BLS support, and adopted a new budget and new broadband deployment obligations for carriers that opt to remain with CAF BLS. For more information, see our Rate-of-Return Reform Order webpage.