January 12, 2022 — The annual HUBB filing deadline is rapidly approaching. Carriers participating in modernized Connect America Fund (CAF) programs with defined broadband buildout obligations have until March 1, 2022 to file deployment data with USAC’s High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal showing where they built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service in calendar year 2021.
With FCC reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High Cost program, USAC closely monitors compliance with broadband build-out obligations to ensure that carriers receiving CAF support are deploying broadband as required to close the digital divide in rural America. Carriers must file deployment data with the HUBB annually showing where they are making broadband service available by latitude and longitude. This information is the foundation for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Map, which shows the impact of CAF support on broadband expansion in rural America.
The HUBB performs real-time validation of this geolocated deployment data by conducting a series of automated checks of the information. Among other things, the system validates that the latitude/longitude coordinates of a reported location fall within an area eligible for funding under the program in which the carrier participates and that the location is not a duplicate of one that has already been filed. The HUBB also calculates carrier progress toward meeting broadband build-out obligations, including interim deployment milestones.
In addition, the HUBB acts as a platform for in-depth verification reviews to substantiate broadband deployment and confirm that carriers are in fact building out service that meets the FCC’s performance standards at a statistically valid, randomly selected sample of locations reported in the system. All carriers participating in CAF programs with defined broadband build-out obligations are subject to this verification process, with verification reviews tied to their annual deployment milestones.
The HUBB is also a starting point for the Performance Measures compliance framework, which ensures that broadband service subsidized by the Connect America Fund meets basic speed and latency performance standards so that people living in rural communities have access to the same high-quality networks as those living in urban areas.
Please join USAC at 2 pm EST on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 for a webinar overview of the HUBB filing requirements and a walk through of the system. Click the Register Now button to sign up for this webinar.
Carriers participating in the following funds have until March 1, 2022 to file data for all locations deployed with CAF support in 2021 or certify that they have “no locations to upload”:
- Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Model
- CAF II Model carriers faced a 100 percent deployment milestone as of the end of 2020.
- Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Original A-CAM) and Revised ACAM
- Original and Revised ACAM carriers face a milestone for deploying broadband at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream (10/1 Mbps) and must be at least 50 percent of the way toward meeting their final 10/1 Mbps build-out obligations by the end of 2021 (50 percent 10/1 Mbps milestone).
- ACAM II
- Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS)
- All CAF BLS carriers must file locations deployed since May 25, 2016 in the HUBB, including CAF BLS carriers that were exempt from HUBB reporting obligations in the past because they had already built out 10/1 Mbps broadband to at least 80 percent of their study area.
- CAF BLS carriers that were fully deployed to all locations in their study area with 25/3 Mbps broadband before May 25, 2016, or become fully deployed, have satisfied their buildout obligation. USAC and the FCC will develop a process for these carriers to certify to full deployment. Fully deployed carriers should not attempt to record any broadband locations built prior to May 25, 2016 in the HUBB, but still need to certify “no locations to upload” for 2021.
- Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE)
- RBE Carriers face rolling deployment milestones.
- Alaska Plan (other than carriers with individualized performance plans that only require them to maintain service at existing levels)
- Alaska Plan carriers face a five-year milestone by the end of 2021. USAC will notify Alaska Plan carriers when the HUBB is ready to accept this certification.
- CAF Phase II Auction
- Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)
- RDOF carriers must submit any locations deployed since July 1, 2019.
- The HUBB is not yet ready to accept RDOF locations. USAC will notify RDOF carriers when the HUBB is open for them to submit and certify deployment data.
- Please note that only the first RDOF carriers authorized for support by the FCC – those authorized in DA 21-1158 and DA 21-1287 – must file deployment data in the HUBB by March 1, 2022.
Carriers with 2021 deployment milestones must also complete milestone certifications as part of the annual HUBB filing and will face verification reviews tied to those milestones. Carriers subject to defined deployment milestones must notify the FCC and USAC, and relevant state, U.S. Territory or Tribal governments if applicable, within 10 business days after the applicable deadline if they have failed to meet a milestone. o The HUBB is not yet ready to accept RDOF locations. USAC will notify RDOF carriers when the HUBB is open for them to submit and certify deployment data. o Please note that only the first 51 RDOF carriers authorized for support by the FCC (in DA 21-1158 and DA 21-1287) must file deployment data in the HUBB by March 1, 2022. (see 47 CFR Section 54.320(d)) Carriers that miss milestones face increased reporting obligations and potential loss of support.
Accurate geolocation data is the key to filing successfully with the HUBB. Please see the USAC Geolocations Methods Guide for an overview of different methods for collecting accurate latitude and longitude coordinates.
The HUBB portal is accessible through USAC’s E-File system. To log in, click on “HUBB” on the One Portal dashboard. Users and agents can upload, validate, and save data. Officers can perform all of those functions as well as certify locations. Please see USAC’s Multifactor Authentication Troubleshooting Steps for help logging into E-File.