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There have been delays from the FCC and USAC on when CAF-II and ACAM compliance reporting needs to commence, but the date is closer than many are prepared for – starting in the first quarter of 2020. While communications providers around the nation have a set deadline and specific reporting requirements, an unclear picture of how exactly they are going to tackle the critical task remains.

National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) has the industry insight and critical tools you need to tackle this challenge.

NISC is an industry leader in providing information technology solutions, including the User Services System, a powerful Auto Configuration Server (ACS) management solution. This hardware-independent, cloud-based solution offers powerful reporting options to bring the simplicity and efficiency you are searching for to your CAF-II and ACAM compliance reporting.

Breaking Down the Requirements

  • Who is affected? ISPs who are CAF Phase II, ACAM, Price-cap, Rate-of-return, Alaska plan and RBE federal support recipients
  • What is required? ISPs must perform FCC mandated speed and latency testing meeting the requirements of DA-18-710A1
  • When is this due? Quarterly testing starting Q1-2020 with annual report submission due July 2021 and 2022 for the full years of 2020 and 2021

The DA-18-710A1 Requirements
Speed and latency tests must be run daily for one full week each quarter with download/upload speed tests measured hourly and latency tests running each minute during the evening hours of 6 p.m. to midnight during this test window week. The FCC/USAC will randomly select and assign the required test locations to 50 companies per speed tier and state service area. Finally, the test traffic must flow through one of the 16 FCC designated IXPs.

To pass certification:

  • Speed: 80 percent of the tests must meet 80 percent of the speed level offered
    Latency: 95 percent of the tests must be at or below 100ms

Meeting the Requirements
The good news is that many of you likely already have customer premise equipment (CPE) deployed in the field that are able to perform the required speed and latency tests. Such CPE is TR-069 manageable and supports the TR-143 network throughput performance tests that meet the requirement. Then you just need the device management and CAF-II reporting system, such as the NISC User Services System, to schedule and orchestrate the tests and package the results. The benefit of this approach is no new hardware and a test run from the same CPE that delivers the subscriber’s broadband service experience.

The alternative is to add a white box, such as those offered under the Measuring Broadband America (MBA) program, that is dedicated to these required network performance compliance tests. There are some privacy concerns regarding the installation of a white “spy” box that has no perceivable subscriber benefit as well as additional hardware, installation and maintenance costs. The white box solution may provide the answer for special cases though, such BYOR (bring your own router) homes, including the test site where the subscriber has only a modem from the service provider and his own retail-purchased WiFi system.

Simplify Reporting and Subscriber Self Care
NISC User Services Compliance is a full turn-key service hosted by NISC that includes a high-performance test server network that automatically optimizes data flowing through the FCC approved IXPs. It supports the simple import of USAC specified test locations, as well as the option of adding extra non-FCC test locations for general monitoring and service assurance. The scheduler facilitates planning and automating the test cycles quarterly. The reports include data files ready for submission to the FCC and added reports with visual and tabular detail that provide the operator useful insights for improving operational performance where needed. User Services Compliance is included with the NISC User Services System and includes operations management, customer care and subscriber self-care components.

Interested in Getting Started?
With the NISC User Services System, operating your broadband service offerings at peak efficiency and providing true customer care and support of the Internet of Things (IoT) is now a reality. Visit www.nisc.coop to learn more about the User Services System solution for efficient device management as well as simplified FCC compliance reporting.

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