FCC Offers Enhanced A-CAM Support to Rate-of-Return Carriers

FCC Offers Enhanced A-CAM Support to Rate-of-Return Carriers

Deadline for Acceptance of Offers is Sept 29, 2023

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced its Enhanced A-CAM (EA-CAM) offers to rate-of-return carriers. The FCC gives both existing A-CAM carriers and legacy support carriers the voluntary option to accept EA-CAM support that will obligate carriers to provide voice and at least 100/20 Mbps broadband service to 100% of the required EA-CAM locations identified in their study areas by 2028 (with a possible one-year extension the Bureau may grant in 2027 to align EA-CAM service buildout with BEAD requirements). In exchange for this obligation, electing carriers will receive a defined amount of EA-CAM support from 2024 to 2038.

The Bureau Order and related materials detail the specifics of the offer for each carrier. The Bureau is using a monthly threshold of $63.69, a funding cap per location of $350, or an alternative cap set at 80% of modeled costs (Tribal location amounts vary). Based on these parameters, the Bureau’s annual budget for these offers is $1.24B.

JSI encourages clients to review their offer and the related materials released by the Bureau and contact JSI when you have questions or need assistance. A critical examination for each carrier contemplating their offer is whether it can deploy infrastructure to 100% of the required locations within the limited timeframe. JSI’s financial, mapping, and engineering services are available to examine this important threshold question.

The deadline for accepting this offer is Friday, September 29, 2023—less than one month away. JSI recommends clients devote significant time and resources to thoroughly examine this offer as it would set the path for federal high-cost universal service support for the next 15 years.

For further information, contact Ryan Denzel, Brian Sullivan, or Jeremiah Raya.