2018 Urban Rate Survey Results Announced for Fixed Voice & Broadband

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The results of the 2018 urban rate survey for fixed voice and broadband services have been released by the FCC’s Wireline Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau). The FCC conducts annual surveys of fixed voice and broadband service rates offered to customers in urban areas and uses the data to determine the local voice rate floor and reasonable comparability rate benchmarks for universal service purposes. The 2017 rate floor for voice services for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) is $25.50 and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $45.38. For broadband rates, the FCC has released a table providing the 2018 benchmarks (as well as Alaska-specific benchmarks) for a number of different broadband service offerings, depending on the supported service’s download and upload bandwidths and usage allowance. The Bureau has also posted a spreadsheet and online Reasonable Comparability Benchmark Calculator to allow providers to calculate the benchmark for specific service characteristics. Additionally, the Bureau has updated for 2018 the fixed broadband required minimum monthly usage allowance to 170 GB (up from 160 GB in 2017) for both price cap carriers receiving Connect America Fund Phase II model-based support and rate-of-return carriers.

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