FCC Authorizes Funding for First CAF II Auction Winners
The FCC has authorized nearly $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 37,148 unserved rural homes and businesses in 12 states representing the first wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Providers will begin receiving funding this month. In total, the auction allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years. Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding waves as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.
“I’m pleased to announce that funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to over 37,000 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband provides,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The FCC’s first-ever auction of fixed broadband support exceeded our expectations. Indeed, providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today. Moreover, this deployment is costing taxpayers much less than initially projected because the Commission allocated this funding through competitive bidding.”
The largest funding applications approved today are as follows:
- ECO Services, an electric cooperative, is receiving $22.2 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 7,700 locations in rural Oklahoma.
- United Services, an electric cooperative, is receiving $20.2 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 5,500 locations in rural Missouri.
- Hawaiian Telcom is receiving $18.1 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 3,900 locations in rural Hawaii.
Below is a complete list by state of the companies receiving support, the number of homes and businesses served (locations), the amount of support over 10 years, and the minimum download/ upload speeds to be provided. More information is available here:
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Authorizes Funding for First CAF II Auction Winners, FCC Announces Beginning of CETC Support Phase Down, FTC Announces Agenda for 14th and Final Competition and Consumer Protection Session
FCC Announces Beginning of CETC Support Phase Down
In connection with the award of CAF II Auction funding, the FCC also announced the beginning of the phase down of legacy high-cost universal service support for price cap carriers and fixed competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs) in the areas that were just authorized for CAF II Auction support. An updated report showing price cap carriers’ legacy CAF Phase I frozen support amounts associated with each census block, available here. It shows the census blocks for which CAF Phase II auction support was awarded and may ultimately be authorized, after which legacy support for those blocks will cease for price cap carriers that did not decline phase-down support. As CAF Phase II auction support is authorized, the report will be updated accordingly. In non-awarded, auction-eligible census blocks, a price cap carrier that did not decline phase-down support will continue receiving legacy phase-down support—in the amounts shown in the report—until further Commission action.
The FCC also has updated the report showing the legacy support amounts associated with CETCs offering service to fixed locations. Fixed CETCs will begin receiving legacy support at a reduced level (i.e., initially, two-thirds of the current legacy support amounts) beginning the first day of June, the month after the first authorization of any CAF Phase II auction support nationwide
FTC Announces Agenda for 14th and Final Competition and Consumer Protection Session
The FTC announced the 14th session of its Hearings Initiative at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska on June 12, 2019. This will conclude the FTC’s Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. The hearing will include a series of roundtable discussions with State Attorneys General on important consumer protection and antitrust issues. Participants will discuss areas of commonality and divergence between state and federal enforcers. The consumer protection panels will address big data and privacy, platforms, challenges unique to state enforcers, and federal/state collaboration. The competition panels will discuss the state of antitrust enforcement including big data and technology issues, multi-sided platforms, federal/state cooperation, monopsony, and occupational licensing.
Final comments for the Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century as well as comments specifically relating to the June 12 hearing can be submitted online and should be submitted no later than 11:59pm on June 30, 2019. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary that is included in a submitted public comment, such funding and its source should be identified on the first page of the comment.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.