47 CFR 54.311 - Interim hold-harmless support for non-rural carriers.

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§ 54.311 Connect America Fund Alternative-Connect America Cost Model Support.

(a) Voluntary election of model-based support. A rate-of-return carrier (as that term is defined in § 54.5) receiving support pursuant to subparts K or M of this part shall have the opportunity to voluntarily elect, on a state-level basis, to receive Connect America Fund-Alternative Connect America Cost Model (CAF-ACAM) support as calculated by the Alternative-Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) adopted by the Commission in lieu of support calculated pursuant to subparts K or M of this part. Any rate-of-return carrier not electing support pursuant to this section shall continue to receive support calculated pursuant to those mechanisms as specified in Commission rules for high-cost support.

(b) Geographic areas eligible for support. CAF-ACAM model-based support will be made available for a specific number of locations in census blocks identified as eligible for each carrier by public notice. The eligible areas and number of locations for each state identified by the public notice shall not change during the term of support identified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Term of support. CAF-ACAM model-based support shall be provided to the carriers that elect to make a state-level commitment for a term that extends until December 31, 2026.

(d) Interim deployment milestones. Recipients of CAF-ACAM model-based support must complete deployment to 40 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2020, to 50 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2021, to 60 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2022, to 70 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2023, to 80 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2024, to 90 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2025, and to 100 percent of fully funded locations by the end of 2026. By the end of 2026, carriers must complete deployment of broadband meeting a standard of at least 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream to the requisite number of locations specified in § 54.308(a)(1)(i) through (iii). Compliance shall be determined based on the total number of fully funded locations in a state. Carriers that complete deployment to at least 95 percent of the requisite number of locations will be deemed to be in compliance with their deployment obligations. The remaining locations that receive capped support are subject to the standard specified in § 54.308(a)(1)(iv).

(e) Transition to CAF-ACAM Support. Carriers electing CAF-ACAM model-based support whose final model-based support is less than the carrier's high-cost loop support and interstate common line support disbursements for 2015, will transition to model-based support as follows:

(1) If the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its 2015 high-cost support, as determined in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, is 10 percent or less, it will receive, in addition to model-based support, 50 percent of that difference in year one, and then will receive model support in years two through ten.

(2) If the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its 2015 high-cost support, as determined in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, is 25 percent or less, but more than 10 percent, it will receive, in addition to model-based support, an additional transition payment for up to four years, and then will receive model support in years five through ten. The transition payments will be phased-down 20 percent per year, provided that each phase-down amount is at least five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount. If 20 percent of the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its 2015 high-cost support is less than five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount, the transition payments will be phased-down five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount each year.

(3) If the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its 2015 high-cost support, as determined in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, is more than 25 percent, it will receive, in addition to model-based support, an additional transition payment for up to nine years, and then will receive model support in year ten. The transition payments will be phased-down ten percent per year, provided that each phase-down amount is at least five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount. If ten percent of the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its 2015 high-cost support is less than five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount, the transition payments will be phased-down five percent of the total 2015 high-cost support amount each year.

(4) The carrier's 2015 support for purposes of the calculation of transition payments is the amount of high-cost loop support and interstate common line support disbursed to the carrier for 2015 without regard to prior period adjustments related to years other than 2015, as determined by the Administrator as of January 31, 2016 and publicly announced prior to the election period for the voluntary path to the model.

81 FR 24340, Apr. 25, 2016]

Title 47 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR Part 54 after this date.

  • 2015-10-16; vol. 80 # 200 - Friday, October 16, 2015
    1. 80 FR 62512 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding; Correction
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      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Petitions for reconsideration; correction.
      Replies to opposition are due on October 29, 2015.
      47 CFR Part 54