Utility and Telecom Groups Propose CAF Phase II Weighting and Validation Frameworks


A coalition of eight rural utility and telecom groups dubbed the “Rural Coalition” has submitted a Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II proposal to the FCC addressing issues of weighting of targeted broadband performance tiers and validating performance. Using the baseline 25/3 Mbps tier as an unweighted tier, the groups propose a 10% handicap for bids in the minimum 10/Mbps tier, whereas the faster 100/20 Mbps and 1Gbps/500 Mbps tiers would receive cumulative -15% and -45% advantages, respectively (up to -60% total).  Bids that include high latency would be handicapped by 25%.

Performance Tier Weighting %
10/1 Mbps +10
25/3 Mbps 0
100/20 Mbps -15
1Gbps/500 Mbps -45 for a total of -60
High latency (regardless of speed) +25


Additionally, the groups propose an accountability and validation framework that would include (1) stricter eligibility requirements to compete for the higher 100/20 Mbps and 1Gbps/500 Mbps performance tiers and (2) an engineering-based validation process that would account for localized conditions and challenges.

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