On January 1, 2021, three categories of high-cost funding recipients will begin their year of pre-testing for the broadband measurement filing requirement: A-CAM-I and A-CAM-I Revised companies, Rural Broadband Experiment (RBE) winners, and Alaska Plan companies. The pre-testing year will give these funding recipients an opportunity to complete the quarterly testing requirements without being held accountable for attaining certain metrics. The pre-testing itself is required, but companies will not be penalized for the results of the subpar tests until 2022. In 2020, the price cap carriers are completing their pre-testing year, which will hopefully provide some insight for rate-of-return companies.
In order to begin pre-testing, companies must have a selection of active subscribers indicated on their HUBB data for USAC to randomly select from. There has been considerable uncertainty over how this process will be completed prior to January. USAC will be having a webinar on November 19 at 2pm ET to provide an overview of the testing requirements and their Performance Measures Module (PMM), which will generate the random subscriber locations to test. We encourage all A-CAM-I, RBE and Alaska Plan companies to attend this webinar to better understand the PMM and random selection process. JSI plans to hold a comprehensive webinar in early December, which will cover the various solutions that currently exist and a reminder of the rules and procedures.
For more information about the testing requirements or USAC’s webinar, please contact Cassandra Heyne or Valerie Wimer at 301-459-7590.