47 CFR § 54.1020 - Non-compliance measures for 5G Fund support recipients.

§ 54.1020 Non-compliance measures for 5G Fund support recipients.

(a) General. A 5G Fund support recipient that has not deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to at least 20 percent of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas for which it is authorized to receive support in a state by the Year Three Interim Service Milestone deadline must notify the Commission and the Administrator within ten (10) business days after the Year Three Interim Service Milestone deadline that it failed to meet this milestone. Upon such notification, the support recipient will be deemed to be in default. The Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter evidencing the default and the support recipient will be subject to full support recovery. The provisions of paragraph (b) of this section will not be applicable to such a support recipient.

(b) Interim service milestones. A 5G Fund support recipient must notify the Commission, the Administrator, and the relevant state, U.S. Territory, or Tribal government, if applicable, within ten (10) business days after the applicable interim service milestone deadline if it has failed to meet an interim milestone. Upon notification that a support recipient has defaulted on an interim service milestone, the Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter evidencing the default. For purposes of determining whether a default has occurred, the support recipient must be offering service meeting the requisite performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c). The issuance of this letter shall initiate reporting obligations and withholding of a percentage of the 5G Fund support recipient's total monthly 5G Fund support, if applicable, starting the month after issuance of the letter:

(1) Tier 1. If a support recipient has a compliance gap of at least five percent but less than 15 percent of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas in a state for which it is to have deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) by the interim service milestone, the Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter to that effect. Starting three months after the issuance of this letter, a support recipient will be required to file a report with the Administrator every three months that identifies the eligible square kilometers to which the support recipient has newly deployed facilities capable of delivering service that meets the requisite 5G Fund performance requirements in the previous quarter. The support recipient must continue to file quarterly reports until it has reported, and the Administrator has verified, that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than five percent of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas for which it is authorized to receive support in a state by that interim service milestone and the Wireline Competition Bureau issues a letter to that effect. A support recipient that files a quarterly report late, but within seven days after the due date established by the letter issued by the Wireline Competition Bureau for filing the report, will have its 5G Fund support reduced by an amount equivalent to seven days of support. If a support recipient does not file a report within seven days after the report's due date, it will have its 5G Fund support reduced on a pro-rata daily basis equivalent to the period of non-compliance, plus the minimum seven-day reduction, until such time as the quarterly report is filed.

(2) Tier 2. If a support recipient has a compliance gap of at least 15 percent but less than 25 percent of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas in a state for which it is to have deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) by the interim service milestone, the Administrator will withhold 15 percent of the support recipient's monthly support for that state and the support recipient will be required to file quarterly reports with the Administrator. Once the support recipient has reported, and the Administrator has verified, that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 15 percent of the required eligible square kilometers for that interim service milestone for that state, the Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter to that effect, the Administrator will stop withholding support, and the support recipient will receive all of the support that had been withheld. The support recipient will then move to Tier 1 status.

(3) Tier 3. If a support recipient has a compliance gap of at least 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas in a state for which it is to have deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) by the interim service milestone, the Administrator will withhold 25 percent of the support recipient's monthly support for that state and the support recipient will be required to file quarterly reports with the Administrator. Once the support recipient has reported, and the Administrator has verified, that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 25 percent of the required eligible square kilometers for that interim service milestone for that state, the Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter to that effect, and the support recipient will move to Tier 2 or Tier 1 status, as applicable.

(4) Tier 4. If a support recipient has a compliance gap of 50 percent or more of the total square kilometers associated with the eligible areas in a state for which it is to have deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) by the interim service milestone:

(i) The Administrator will withhold 50 percent of the support recipient's monthly support for that state and the support recipient will then be required to file quarterly reports with the Administrator. As with the other tiers, as the support recipient reports, and the Administrator verifies, that it has lessened the extent of its non-compliance, and the Wireline Competition Bureau issues a letter to that effect, it will move through the tiers until it reaches Tier 1 (or no longer is out of compliance with the applicable interim service milestone).

(ii) If after having 50 percent of its support withheld for six months, the support recipient has not reported that it is eligible for Tier 3 status (or one of the lower tiers), the Administrator will withhold 100 percent of the support recipient's forthcoming monthly support for that state and will commence a recovery action for a percentage of support that is equal to the support recipient's compliance gap plus 10 percent of the support recipient's support in that state that has been disbursed to that date.

(5) If at any point prior to the Year Six Final Service Milestone the support recipient reports, and the Administrator verifies, that it is eligible for Tier 1 status or that it is no longer out of compliance with the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c), it will have its support fully restored and the Administrator will repay any funds that were recovered or withheld.

(c) Year six final service milestone. A 5G Fund support recipient must notify the Commission, the Administrator, and the relevant state, U.S. Territory, or Tribal government, if applicable, within 10 business days if it has failed to meet the Year Six Final Milestone. Upon notification that the support recipient has not met the Year Six Final Service Milestone, the support recipient will have twelve months from the date of the Year Six Final Milestone deadline to come into full compliance with this milestone. If the support recipient does not report that it has come into full compliance with the Year Six Final Milestone within twelve months, as verified by the Administrator, the Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a letter to this effect. Recipients of 5G Fund support shall be subject to the following non-compliance measures related to the recovery of support after this grace period:

(1) If a support recipient has deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to at least 80 percent of the total eligible square kilometers in a state, but less than the required 85 percent of the total eligible square kilometers in that state, the Administrator will recover an amount of support that is equal to 1.25 times the average amount of support per square kilometer that the support recipient has received in the state times the number of square kilometers unserved up to the 85 percent requirement;

(2) If a support recipient has deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to at least 75 percent, but less than 80 percent, of the total eligible square kilometers in that state, the Administrator will recover an amount of support that is equal to 1.5 times the average amount of support per square kilometer that the support recipient has received in the state times the number of square kilometers unserved up to the 85 percent requirement, plus 5 percent of the support recipient's total 5G Fund support for the 10 year support term for that state;

(3) If a support recipient has deployed service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to less than 75 percent of the total eligible square kilometers in a state, the Administrator will recover an amount of support that is equal to 1.75 times the average amount of support per square kilometer that the support recipient has received in the state times the number of square kilometers unserved up to the 85 percent requirement, plus 10 percent of the support recipient's total 5G Fund support for the 10 year support term for that state.

(d) Additional evidence required at year six final service milestone deadline. At the Year Six Final Service Milestone deadline, a 5G Fund support recipient is also required to provide evidence, which is subject to verification by the Administrator, that it has provided service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to at least 75 percent of the total square kilometers for each census tract or census tract group in which it was authorized to receive support. If after the grace period permitted in paragraph (c) of this section the Administrator has not verified based on the evidence provided that the support recipient has provided service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to at least 75 percent of the total square kilometers for each census tract or census tract group in which it was authorized to receive support, the Administrator will recover an amount of support that is equal to 1.5 times the average amount of support per square kilometer that the support recipient had received in the eligible area times the number of square kilometers unserved within that eligible area, up to the 75 percent requirement.

(e) Compliance reviews. If the Administrator determines subsequent to the Year Six Final Service Milestone that a support recipient does not have sufficient evidence to demonstrate that it continues to offer service that meets the 5G Fund performance requirements specified in § 54.1015(c) to all of the eligible square kilometers in the state as required by the Year Six Final Service Milestone, the Administrator shall immediately recover a percentage of support from the support recipient as specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through(c)(3) and (d) of this section.

Effective Date Note:
At 85 FR 75822, Nov. 25, 2020, § 54.1020 was revised, however, paragraphs (a), (b), and (c)(1) and (c)(2) have a delayed effective date.

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