WCB Grants Two Broadband Performance Pre-Testing Waivers, While Denying a Third


The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has issued an Order waiving the performance pre-testing requirement in the first and second quarters of 2022 for two carriers—Castleberry Telephone Company, Inc. and Ringsted Telephone Company—that sought relief because of supply chain issues.  Those two carriers, which receive Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS), will be required to start in the third quarter of 2022 with pre-testing of 100% of the sample locations provided by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). 

In the same Order, the Bureau denied similar relief to a third carrier—Venus Telephone Corporation—which also sought a pre-testing waiver due to vendor issues, because WCB concluded “there was no binding purchase agreement substantially prior to the start of the testing period.” Accordingly, USAC will withhold 5% of the company’s Connect America Cost Model II (A-CAM II) support until it comes into compliance with performance pre-testing requirements.  The Order also noted that “the circumstances underlying pre-testing waiver requests do not readily justify the waiving of the rules,” particularly as “the consequence of failing to complete and submit the results of pre-testing is [just] the withholding of 5% of the carrier’s high-cost support, to be restored when the carrier makes filings bringing it into compliance.”

Share Button