USF/ICC Zone

The changing landscape of USF and ICC have profound implications on the broadband ecosystem. Stay tuned to Telecompetitor for the latest news, analysis, & commentary.

Telergee: Rural Telecom Margins Decline, But Network Investment Increases

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Declining margins are an ongoing issue for small rural telcos, as new data from the Telergee Alliance of accounting firms reminds us. The average small telco saw margins drop 1.7% between 2013 and 2014, despite a 2.1% increase in average revenues, according to the 2015...Learn More

Rural Telecom Consolidation: LICT Exec Shares Dixon/ Central Scott Strategy

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Rural telecom consolidation continues with an announcement yesterday involving two incumbent rural Iowa carriers. Central Scott Telephone Company,  a subsidiary of LICT Corporation, is purchasing Dixon Telephone Company. LICT expects to see synergies from combining the personnel of the two companies, which are adjacent to one...Learn More

Upcoming CAF Reverse Auction Puts Markets in 20 States Up for Grabs for Broadband Funding

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Now that the nation’s largest price cap telecom carriers have announced their decisions on broadband Connect America Phase II funding, a portion of locations targeted in the program will be teed up for a reverse auction expected to occur in 2016. Carriers had until last...Learn More

AT&T and Verizon CAF Plans for Rural Broadband Heading in Two Different Directions

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AT&T and Verizon CAF plans were revealed today, and it appears they have differing views on their rural broadband future. AT&T joins the list of telecom companies that have opted to accept most of the Connect America funding they were offered by the FCC earlier...Learn More

Consolidated, CenturyLink Accept CAF Totaling $514 Million

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CenturyLink said today that it will accept approximately $500 million  annually from the FCC’s Connect America Fund to cover some of the cost of bringing broadband to parts of the company’s local service territory that can’t get broadband today or only have low-speed broadband available....Learn More

FairPoint Accepts CAF Support of $37.4 Million Annually, Rejects Two States

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Updated August 20th with information about Hawaiian Telcom Add FairPoint Communications to the list of carriers that have accepted Connect America Fund dollars in exchange for agreeing to bring broadband to portions of their local service territories where broadband isn’t available today or is available...Learn More

Customer Analytics, E-Rate Fuel Cloud Wi-Fi Opportunities

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Selling cloud-based Wi-Fi can be an excellent opportunity, especially now that cloud platforms can support a range of value-added capabilities. I got a demo of some of these capabilities at Adtran Connect, an event for press and analysts at telecom vendor Adtran’s Huntsville, Alabama headquarters...Learn More

Is Rise Broadband the New Carrier of Last Resort?

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Rise Broadband issued a press release yesterday touting the $16.9 million it will receive through the FCC rural broadband experiment program.  The company plans to use broadband wireless to bring broadband to areas in price cap territories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas –...Learn More

$11 Million Released to FCC Rural Broadband Experiment Winners

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The FCC on Friday released rural broadband experiment funding to four entities that were provisionally awarded funding back in late 2014. The four entities – Skybeam, Consolidated Communications Networks, Delta Communications and Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative – will receive a total of $11,273,764 in support to...Learn More

Windstream Accepts CAF Funding of $175 Million, Declines New Mexico

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Windstream today said it would accept the majority of the funding offered to it in Phase 2 of the Connect America Fund program to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to rural areas of its local service territory that currently lack Internet connectivity...Learn More

USDA Accepting Rural Broadband Loan Applications

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The USDA is accepting applications for rural broadband loans using funding provided through the 2014 Farm Bill. The minimum loan amount is $100,000 and the maximum is $20 million. Applicants must serve areas where at least 15% of households cannot get broadband service. The USDA...Learn More

15 Small Telcos Could Lose USF Support: FCC Analysis Shows 100% Competitive Overlap

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Fifteen small U.S. rate-of-return telecom providers could lose Universal Service Fund high-cost support for an entire study area as the result of an analysis conducted by the FCC and released Wednesday. The telcos are in areas where the FCC’s analysis shows that an unsubsidized competitor...Learn More