Seeks Comment on Addressing Location Shortage
In a Public Notice released late yesterday afternoon, the FCC delayed the deadline for making the A-CAM II election for one month – until July 17, 2019. In a posting on USAC’s website, the FCC’s Wireline Bureau also provided the official A-CAM II support amounts for carriers whose annual amount of A-CAM II support is less than their 2018 Legacy support claims. The support amounts for these “glidepath” carriers include the amount of Legacy support these companies will continue to receive for a period of time as they “glide” down to model support if they elect A-CAM II.
According to the Public Notice, the one-month delay is due to errors made by the Bureau that impacted 37 carriers. The errors were mostly due to the Bureau not associating affiliates with 34 ILECs, which excluded support in those census blocks. The remaining errors were situations where the Bureau failed to properly identify common ownership or control. A list of the affected companies impacted are included in the Public Notice and revised offers to these carriers are shown in an associated Report 16. Please note that in this report, changes were only made to those companies’ offers listed in the Public Notice; all other companies can continue to use analyses that utilized data provided in Report 15.
Comments Sought on Location Discrepancies
The FCC also seeks comment on approaches to identify and resolve “apparent discrepancies” between the number of locations shown in the A-CAM and the actual number of locations in the supported census blocks. Recently, JSI conducted an ex parte meeting with the FCC Chairman’s office on behalf of both A-CAM I clients and clients considering A-CAM II offers who have these discrepancies. In the meeting, we urged the FCC to adopt a process, similar to the one being developed for CAF Phase II auction winners, that would allow these companies to avoid any penalties in meeting buildout requirements where such discrepancies exist.
In the Public Notice, the FCC agreed with JSI’s approach and seeks comment on whether the CAF Phase II auction process being developed or some other process should be adopted for A-CAM carriers to resolve discrepancies. Comments will be due 14 days after the Public Notice appears in the Federal Register. If your company is A-CAM I or is considering A-CAM II, and has been unable to identify the number of locations in the supported census blocks which the model requires you to have, please let us know if you would like to participate in JSI’s joint comments.
If you are considering electing A-CAM II, please know that we are here to assist in many ways including providing you with a comparison of the A-CAM offer with projected Legacy support over the 10-year period, along with discussing factors which may impact future support if your company decides to stay on Legacy support. Please contact your cost consultant, Steve Meltzer, Brian Sullivan or John Kuykendall in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590 if you would like any of the assistance above or have any questions regarding the A-CAM II offer.