Late Friday April 10th, the Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice announcing that the long-awaited shapefile study area boundaries for rate-of-return areas have been compiled, and in some cases modified, and are available for viewing on an online map.  The shapefile boundaries and certain network topology data shown on the map within those boundaries will be incorporated into the next version of the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM).

Although A-CAM is being developed for carriers that voluntarily elect to transition to a model-based program, it is possible that the FCC may use the model in other ways in the future.  Accordingly, JSI encourages all clients to review the data in the map related to your company to determine whether the Wireline Bureau made wrong assumptions regarding locations of central offices (COs) and/or optical line terminals within exchanges. The following explains how the Bureau made these assumptions and provides guidance to make corrections if needed by the May 11 deadline as well as how JSI can assist in the process.

Clients Should Verify Assumptions Made by FCC

When finalized, the A-CAM will be used to calculate the forward-looking economic costs of deploying and operating a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network.  In order to make this calculation, the model utilizes subdivisions of the study area called “service areas” in which all locations are served from a common network node or CO.  As explained in the Public Notice, “

[a] ‘service area’ in A-CAM is analogous to a wire center and represents an area where all the locations are served from a common network node (specifically, an optical line terminal in a FTTP network).”

To determine CO/terminal locations, the Bureau first used proprietary data provided by a company called GeoResults.  If GeoResults did not show any COs for a service area, the Bureau made a determination as to where one might be by identifying the most populated place nearest to the CO shown in a previous model developed in 2002.  The service areas which have COs provided by GeoResults are shown on the map in cross-hatch while the others have a white dot in the service area.

Clients also need to be aware that while in many cases, service area boundaries equate to exchange boundaries, this is not always the case.  For example, in cases where exchanges had more than one CO location greater than 10 miles apart, the Bureau “split” the exchanges into smaller areas.  The Bureau also consolidated some small exchanges in cases where the CO was within one mile of an adjacent exchange boundary.

Request for Corrections and Ways JSI Can Assist

Clients should be aware that if you would like to verify service areas that have COs provided by GeoResults, you first will need to execute an NDA (if you have not already done so). Please contact us if you need assistance in how to obtain the NDA and file it with the FCC.  If you find that corrections to the interior service area boundaries or CO/terminal locations need to be made, you can do so by sending an email to the A-CAM support desk (cacmsupport@costquest.com) by May 11th.  If you would like JSI to assist with reviewing the map, verifying the FCC’s assumptions or making corrections, please contact Cassandra Heyne in the Maryland office 301-459-7590.  If you have any questions about the Public Notice or the A-CAM, please contact Douglas Meredith in our Utah office at 801-294-4576.

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