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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart D → §54.311


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE
Subpart D—Universal Service Support for High Cost Areas


§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.

(1) For the purposes of this section, “A-CAM I” refers to carriers initially authorized to receive CAF-ACAM support as of January 24, 2017, including any carriers that later elected revised offers, except for carriers described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. For such carriers, the first program year of CAF-ACAM is 2017.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “Revised A-CAM I” refers to carriers initially authorized to receive CAF-ACAM support as of January 24, 2017, and were subsequently authorized to receive CAF-ACAM pursuant to a revised offer after January 1, 2019. For such carriers, the first program year of CAF-ACAM is 2017.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “A-CAM II” refers to carriers first authorized to receive A-CAM support after January 1, 2019. For such carriers, the first program year of CAF-ACAM is 2019.

(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 A-CAM I carriers for a term that extends until December 31, 2026, and to Revised A-CAM I and A-CAM II carriers for a term that extends until December 31, 2028.

(d) Interim deployment milestones. Recipients of CAF-ACAM model-based support must meet the following interim milestones with respect to their deployment obligations set forth in §54.308(a)(1)(i) of this subpart. 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)(ii).

(1) A-CAM I and Revised A-CAM I carriers must complete deployment of 10/1 Mbps service to a number of eligible locations equal 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, A-CAM I 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). For Revised A-CAM I carriers, the deployment milestones for 10/1 Mbps service described in this paragraph shall be based on the number of locations that were fully funded pursuant to authorizations made prior to January 1, 2019.

(2) Revised A-CAM I and A-CAM II carriers must complete deployment of 25/3 Mbps service to a number of eligible locations equal to 40 percent of locations required by §54.308(a)(1) of this subpart by the end of 2022, 50 percent of requisite locations by the end of 2023, 60 percent of requisite locations by the end of 2024, 70 percent of requisite location by the end of 2025, 80 percent of requisite locations by the end of 2026, 90 percent of requisite locations by the end of 2027, and 100 percent of requisite locations by the end of 2028.

(e) Transition to CAF-ACAM Support. An A-CAM I, Revised A-CAM I, or A-CAM II carrier whose final model-based support is less than the carrier's legacy rate-of-return support in its base year as defined in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, will transition as follows:

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

(2) If the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its base year 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 program 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 base year support amount. If 20 percent of the difference between a carrier's model-based support and base year support is less than five percent of the total base year support amount, the transition payments will be phased-down five percent of the total base year support amount each year.

(3) If the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its base year 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 base year support amount. If ten percent of the difference between a carrier's model-based support and its base year support is less than five percent of the total base year support amount, the transition payments will be phased-down five percent of the total base year support amount each year.

(4) The carrier's base year support for purposes of the calculation of transition payments is:

(i) For A-CAM I and Revised A-CAM I carriers, 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; and

(ii) For A-CAM II carriers, the amount of high-cost loop support and Connect America Fund—Broadband Loop Support disbursed to the carrier for 2018 without regard to prior period adjustments related to years other than 2018, as determined by the Administrator as of January 31, 2019 and publicly announced prior to the election period for the voluntary path to the model.

81 FR 24340, Apr. 25, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 14339, Mar. 20, 2017; 84 FR 4731, Feb. 19, 2019]

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