Today's Regulatory Mix: USDA Announces Broadband Awards in Alaska, FCC Announces broadband Funding in US Virgin Islands, FCC Authorizes Seventh Year of CAF II Model Support for Price Cap Carriers
USDA Announces Broadband Awards in Alaska
The USDA announced it is investing $11.3 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska. The funding will allow three companies to deploy fiber networks in Alaska, as follows.
- Mukluk Telephone Company Inc. will use a $4.1 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 641 people, 24 businesses, two public schools, two fire stations, two post offices and a city hall to high-speed broadband in Teller and Brevig Mission.
- Matanuska Telephone Association Inc. will use a $1.9 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 463 people to high-speed broadband in the Sheep Creek and Kashwitna areas of the Mat-Su Borough.
- Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative Inc. will use a $5.3 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 239 people, 28 businesses, a public school and a post office to high-speed broadband in Kaktovik.
FCC Announces Broadband Funding in US Virgin Islands
The FCC announced additional funding through its Connect USVI Fund Stage 2 Competitive Process will bring 1 gigabit per second fixed broadband service to all locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Specifically, the winning applicant, Broadband VI, is eligible for $84.5 million over 10 years to provide the highest performance tier of 1 Gbps service to 46,039 locations after a competitive process that weighted price, network performance, including speed, latency, and usage allowance, and network resiliency and redundancy
In response to the announcement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said: “Today’s announcement is a big win for residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. This funding will ensure that fast, resilient broadband networks reach all homes and businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our action today, coming on the heels of the successful conclusion of the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund’s Stage 2 Competitive Process, is another milestone in our ongoing work to close the digital divide and bring the benefits of a high-speed broadband connection to all Americans. I congratulate our staff for their hard work administering the competitive process for both the Connect USVI Fund and Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund in a fair and rigorous manner.”
FCC Authorizes Seventh Year of CAF II Model Support for Price Cap Carriers
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau announced that all eligible price cap carriers that currently receive Connect America Phase II support based on the Connect America Cost Model (CAM) elected to receive an additional, seventh year of such support. Accordingly, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) was directed and authorized to obligate and disburse from the Universal Service Fund the amounts identified on Attachment A to the Notice to the various carriers beginning January 2021. In exchange for receiving this seventh year of support from January 2021 through December 2021, these carriers are required to continue providing broadband with performance characteristics that remain reasonably comparable to the performance characteristics of terrestrial fixed broadband service in urban America.
Recent Briefings from Inteserra!
- California Further Extends Suspension of Some LifeLine Processes and Rules
- FCC Resolves Remanded Issues in its Restoring Internet Freedom Proceeding; Affirms Prior Decisions
- FCC Adopts Call Authentication Rules - 4 Part Special Report
- Missouri Continues Suspension of USF Assessment for 2021
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.