The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has released Connect America Cost Model illustrative results which show the number of locations that would be eligible for the offer of model-based support in Phase II of the Connect America Fund (CAF) if the proposed broadband service speed benchmark of 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream is used to determine the presence of an unsubsidized competitor. Phase II of the CAF will offer model-based support to incumbent price cap carriers to provide broadband service to areas where costs are above a specified benchmark, but below a second extremely high-cost benchmark, and are not served by an unsubsidized competitor that offers broadband service meeting the FCC’s Phase II service obligations.
The Bureau previously released cost model illustrative results that used a speed benchmark of 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. They showed that 4.25 million locations would be eligible for CAF Phase II model-based support. The newly–released illustrative results utilizing the 10 Mbps/1 Mbps speed benchmark would make 4.7 million locations eligible for the offer of model-based support, of which 3.6 million are unserved by 10 Mbps/768 kbps. The illustrative results are produced using the adopted Connect America Cost Model (CAM v4.1.1), and are available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/connect-america-cost-model-illustrative-results. The illustrative results also provide a comparison of census blocks and locations that would be eligible for the offer of model-based support using the 4 Mbps/1 Mbps speed benchmark to determine broadband coverage versus using 10 Mbps/1 Mbps. Additionally, the Bureau’s Public Notice provides aggregate information for each price cap carrier at the national level.