In conjunction with various changes the FCC made to performance testing requirements for Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II) support won in Auction 903, the FCC bureau staff has issued an order clarifying various aspects of CAF-II performance testing and support withholding in the event of non-compliance. Among other things, the FCC bureau staff clarified the following:
- Though CAF-II recipients have a final buildout milestone at the end of year 6, these carriers must conduct performance testing for the entire 10 years of the support term and will be subject to compliance withholding at the end of that period if their performance does not meet the FCC’s speed and latency standards.
- Carriers are permitted one additional year after a final milestone to address any performance measurement shortcomings.
- Carriers participating in multiple high-cost programs with required testing or subject to multiple speed obligations will have compliance / non-compliance / withholding determinations specifically for each program, state, and speed tier. By contrast, carriers receiving a single amount of high-cost support associated with multiple speed tier obligations, would in the event of non-compliance have their support withheld relative to the percentage of locations for which the carrier is obligated to provide particular speeds.