On Friday, September 30, the FCC released important additional information for rate-of-return carriers to use to prepare for the upcoming rate-of-return competitive overlap challenge process (which is not yet initiated). The data shows census blocks in each rate-of-return study area where a competitor has reported voice and 10/1 Mbps broadband deployment; the name of the unsubsidized competitor; the technology used; the percent of the census block covered by the rate-of-return carrier; and the square miles of the census block in the rate-of-return carrier’s study area.
The FCC emphasizes that this is not the final list of 85% overlap of unsubsidized competitors. This data is purely informational. The FCC must first undergo the OMB approval process which could take months. It will then release the preliminary list of unsubsidized competitors who will then have to certify that they cover 85% or more of a census block to have any impact on RLEC support. The data released on Friday is based on the Form 477 and only shows that at least one customer in the census block is served by the competitor. As such, the FCC anticipates that the final list of census blocks subject to 85% competitive overlap will be much smaller than what is shown on the list released last week.
For more information about the list of broadband deployment by unsubsidized competitors, contact a member of our team by clicking the button below.