No Five-Year Build-Out Plans for Price Cap ETCs This Year; Rate of Return Five-Year Plans Due July 1

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On its own motion, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has waived the requirement that price cap eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) receiving frozen or incremental support file new five-year build-out plans by July 1, 2014.  The Bureau provides the following justification for its decision:

Because the Bureau just finalized the Connect America Cost Model, and price cap carriers have not yet had the opportunity to make a state-level commitment for Connect America Phase II, we find that it is not in the public interest to require price cap ETCs to file new five-year plans in 2014 for the same reason as last year: they do not yet know which areas they will be serving in the future.

The Bureau has not waived the requirement for rate-of-return ETCs.  Those carriers must file five-year plans on or before July 1, 2014.  According to the Bureau, the five-year plans will enable it to monitor the impact of universal service reforms on rate-of-return carriers.

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