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

Stand-Alone Broadband: Will Rural Users Still Pay Twice What Urban Users Pay?

The FCC’s plan to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to collect Universal Service funding for stand-alone broadband may not achieve its intended goal of substantially reducing the cost of that service, cautioned Michael Romano, senior vice president of industry affairs and business development for NTCA—The Rural...Learn More

AT&T Asks FCC to Take Action on “Nefarious” Inter-Carrier Compensation Practices

 AT&T last week asked the FCC to address what it called “nefarious” inter-carrier compensation(ICC) practices including unusually high tandem switching and transport access charges and non-competitive 800-number database dips. In a blog post AT&T noted that such practices are counter-productive to FCC efforts to phase...Learn More

Rural Telecom Financials: Telergee Study Finds Margins and Revenues Up

The average rural telco saw revenues increase 2.8% between 2014 and 2015, according to new research about rural telecom financials from the Telergee Alliance of accounting firms specializing in rural telecom. This is an improvement over the previous year, when margins dropped 1.7% despite a...Learn More

Wheeler Rural Wireless Plans Include Revised Roaming Rules, Mobility Fund

The FCC will take action aimed at revising mobile data roaming rules this year, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday, speaking at a Competitive Carriers Association event. Such reforms, he said, would be particularly important to rural wireless carriers, who must rely on roaming agreements...Learn More

FCC Commissioner Pai Gigabit Opportunity Zones Proposal Would Target Rural Areas

A proposal from FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai aims to encourage gigabit deployments in rural America by giving tax breaks to network operators deploying the high-speed broadband service. The Pai Gigabit Opportunity Zones proposal also would set aside 10% of the money raised from spectrum auctions...Learn More

Three FCC Rural Broadband Experiment Awardees Rejected Over Letters of Credit

An FCC order released last week denies petitions from three entities that were provisionally awarded funding in the FCC Rural Broadband Experiment program because the awardees were unable to obtain satisfactory letters of credit — a decision that does not bode well for other provisional...Learn More

Fatbeam E-Rate Strategy Fuels Fiber Expansion in Four Mountain West States

Fatbeam E-Rate plans will help the competitive access provider build out wide-area fiber network infrastructure in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based broadband access provider won 11 FCC E-rate contracts, which will help fund the construction of an additional 200 miles...Learn More

Final FCC A-CAM Model Outlines $1 Billion in Annual Rural Broadband Support

Final FCC A-CAM model details were released today, outlining the level of Connect America Fund (CAF) support the FCC is offering small rural rate-of-return (ROR) service providers to help cover the costs of bringing broadband to rural areas where service is not available today. The...Learn More

FCC Commissioner: Don’t Plan CAF Mobility Fund Without Planning Remote Area Fund

The FCC should not plan for a CAF Mobility Fund without also planning the parameters for a Remote Area Fund (RAF), argued FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in a blog post this week. The RAF is intended to help cover the costs of bringing broadband to...Learn More

Verizon CAF Auction Ideas: Declined States, Least Costly Locations Should Get Priority

Although Verizon to date has declined to accept funding through the Connect America Fund (CAF) program to bring broadband to unserved parts of its local service territory, the company may be having a change of heart. Comments filed by Verizon with the FCC suggest the...Learn More

Senators Want USF Mobility Fund to Target Croplands

A bi-partisan group of 26 senators is asking the FCC to establish new parameters for a USF mobility fund that would target broadband availability in croplands “or some other geographic measurement.” The goal would be to better support precision agriculture technology aimed at enhancing productivity...Learn More

CAF Auction and Satellite Broadband: ViaSat Expects to Meet Latency Requirements

Satellite broadband provider ViaSat on Friday issued a press release suggesting the company envisions participating in the upcoming Connect America Fund auction – and not just in the portion of the Connect America Fund targeting extremely high-cost areas as some stakeholders initially envisioned. The CAF...Learn More