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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart D → §54.317


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


§54.317   Alaska Plan for competitive eligible telecommunications carriers serving remote Alaska.

(a) Election of support. Subject to the requirements of this section, certain competitive eligible telecommunications carriers serving remote areas in Alaska, as defined in §54.307(e)(3)(i), shall have a one-time option to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan. Carriers exercising this option with approved performance plans shall have their support frozen for a period of ten years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding §54.307.

(b) Carriers eligible for support. A competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall be eligible for frozen support pursuant to the Alaska Plan if that carrier serves remote areas in Alaska as defined by §54.307(e)(3)(i) and if that carrier certified that it served covered locations in Alaska in its September 30, 2011, filing of line counts with the Administrator and submitted a performance plan by August 23, 2016.

(c) Interim support for remote areas in Alaska. From January 1, 2012, until December 31, 2016, competitive eligible telecommunications carriers subject to the delayed phase down for remote areas in Alaska pursuant to §54.307(e)(3) shall receive support as calculated in §54.307(e)(3)(v).

(d) Support amounts and support term. For a period of 10 years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding §54.307, each Alaska Plan participant shall receive monthly Alaska Plan support in an amount equal to the annualized monthly support amount it received for December 2014. Alaska Plan participants shall no longer be required to file line counts.

(e) Use of frozen support. Frozen support allocated through the Alaska Plan may only be used to provide mobile voice and mobile broadband service in those census blocks in remote areas of Alaska, as defined in §54.307(e)(3)(i), that did not, as of December 31, 2014, receive 4G LTE service directly from providers that were either unsubsidized or ineligible to claim the delayed phase down under §54.307(e)(3) and covering, in the aggregate, at least 85 percent of the population of the block. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the use of frozen support to build or upgrade middle-mile infrastructure outside such remote areas of Alaska if such middle mile infrastructure is necessary to the provision of mobile voice and mobile broadband service in such remote areas. Alaska Plan participants may use frozen support to provide mobile voice and mobile broadband service in remote areas of Alaska served by competitive eligible telecommunications carrier partners of ineligible carriers if those areas are served using the competitive eligible telecommunications carrier's infrastructure.

(f) Performance plans. In order to receive support pursuant to this section, a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier must be subject to a performance plan approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. The performance plan must indicate specific deployment obligations and performance requirements sufficient to demonstrate that support is being used in the public interest and in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section and the requirements adopted by the Commission for the Alaska Plan. For each level of wireless service offered (2G/Voice, 3G, and 4G LTE) and each type of middle mile used in connection with that level of service, the performance plan must specify minimum speeds that will be offered to a specified population by the end of the fifth year of support and by the end of the tenth year of support. Alaska Plan participants shall, no later than the end of the fourth year of the ten-year term, review and modify their end-of-term commitments in light of any new developments, including newly available infrastructure. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may require the filing of revised commitments at other times if justified by developments that occur after the approval of the initial performance commitments. If the specific performance obligations are not achieved in the time period identified in the approved performance plans the carrier shall be subject to §54.320(c) and (d).

(g) Phase down of non-participating competitive eligible telecommunications carrier high-cost support. Notwithstanding §54.307, and except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, support distributed in Alaska on or after January 1, 2017 to competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that serve areas in Alaska other than remote areas of Alaska, that are ineligible for frozen support under paragraphs (b) or (e) of this section, or that do not elect to receive support under this section, shall be governed by this paragraph. Such support shall be subject to phase down in three years as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, except that carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan will instead be subject to a three-year phase down commencing on September 1, 2017, and competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that are signatories to the Alaska Plan but did not submit a performance plan by August 23, 2016 shall not receive support in remote areas beginning January 1, 2017.

(1) From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, each such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive two-thirds of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 2014 for the relevant study area.

(2) From January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, each such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive one-third of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 2014 for the relevant study area.

(3) Beginning January 1, 2019, no such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive universal service support for the relevant study area pursuant to this section or §54.307.

(h) Support for unserved remote areas of Alaska. Beginning January 1, 2017, support that, but for paragraph (g) of this section, would be allocated to carriers subject to paragraph (g) of this section shall be allocated for a reverse auction, with performance obligations established at the time of such auction, for deployment of mobile service to remote areas of Alaska, as defined in §54.307(e)(3)(i), that are without commercial mobile radio service as of December 31, 2014.

[81 FR 69714, Oct. 7, 2016]

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