Bureaus to Refresh Record on Compliance With Broadband Speed Obligations


The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology (collectively, Bureaus) are seeking comment on the methodology to be used for demonstrating compliance with speed obligations for carriers that receive high-cost support to deploy broadband networks to fixed locations.  Under the FCC’s reformed universal service regime, recipients of high-cost support must offer broadband service that meets certain basic performance requirements: speeds of 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream; latency suitable for real-time applications, such as VoIP; and usage capacity reasonably comparable to that available in comparable offerings in urban areas.  The FCC previously sought comment on how support recipients should measure whether their broadband services are meeting these requirements, along with the format in which they should report their results, but according to the Bureaus, the record is “not well developed.”  For that reason, the Bureaus are seeking to refresh the record on the methodology to be used for demonstrating compliance with these obligations.  Additionally, they ask whether the same testing methodologies adopted for price cap carriers accepting model-based Connect America Fund Phase II support should be applied to other recipients of support, such as rate-of-return carriers and carriers awarded support through a competitive bidding process, and they request comment on what circumstances should trigger an audit of the speed and latency metrics.  Comments are due 30 days after the Bureaus’ Public Notice has been published in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

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