In a December 2014 order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to forbear from the requirement that price cap local exchange carriers offer voice service throughout their service areas in three specific types of geographic areas. To help carry out this directive, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has released a list of census blocks where price cap carriers continue to have the obligation to provide voice service. The list is available at https://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/CAM43_PC_ETC_Obligation_Final_062315.csv.
On a related note, the Bureau is seeking to refresh the record on issues raised in proceedings related to eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) designations and obligations in areas served by price cap carriers. Generally, comment is sought on whether and how existing voice telephony service obligations for ETCs should change as high-cost universal service funding shifts to new, more targeted mechanisms. Comments are due 30 days after the Bureau’s Public Notice is published in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 45 days after publication.