The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) USF/ICC Transformation Order required Connect America Fund recipients to offer voice and broadband services in supported areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates for similar services in urban areas. In the Order, the FCC directed the Wireline Competition and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus to conduct a survey of residential urban rates for fixed voice, fixed broadband, mobile voice, and mobile broadband services. The Commission has made data collected in the 2015 urban rate survey available to the public here.
The Wireline Competition Bureau has announced the 2015 rate floor for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) and the reasonable comparability benchmark for fixed voice and broadband services. Based on the survey results, the 2015 rate floor for voice services is $21.22, and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $47.48. By July 1, 2015, all ETCs that are incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) recipients of high-cost support must report in their annual FCC Form 481 the number of residential service lines for which the sum of the local rate and state fees (as of June 1, 2015) is below $21.22.