• FCC Revises USF High-Cost Support Rules.
  • May 12, 2017 | Author: C. Douglas Jarrett
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • The Commission adopted an Order on Reconsideration granting the Petition for Reconsideration of the March 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order filed by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. Under the old rules, high-cost carriers lose all universal service support for capital expenses on a construction project if the average cost per location exceeded a certain threshold. Because of this, carriers would exclude high-cost homes to avoid losing funding, even if this made construction less efficient overall. The Order on Reconsideration will allow carriers to pay the excess portion of the capital expenditure with their own funds, while still receiving universal service support for the non-excess portion. The Commission stated that “the change allows carriers greater flexibility in planning deployment projects that are funded by the high-cost universal service support program.”