As discussed previously on this site (see ICORE Blog entry dated 1/20/23), in May of last year the FCC issued a NPRM seeking comments on a proposal by the ACAM Broadband Coalition (Coalition) recommending significant changes to the existing ACAM program. The Coalition’s proposal is intended to achieve widespread deployment of broadband at speeds of 100/20 in rural areas served by carriers receiving broadband support. The proposal also recommends increased support amounts and an extension of support payments through the end of 2034. Comments and reply comments in the NPRM were filed last year and numerous ex-partes have been filed in support of the need for changes to the current ACAM program. Given the potential for major changes to the current rules for ACAM carriers, we thought it would be beneficial to review the current support amounts and deployment obligations for ACAM, ACAM I, and ACAM II.
* Original ACAM Offer – from FCC Order of March, 2016
* Offered 10 years of model based support with associated build-out obligations. Covers the period 2017-2026.
* Locations in census blocks where the monthly average cost per location is below $52.50 are not funded.
* Locations where the monthly average cost exceeds $52.50 but does not exceed $252.50 are fully funded. No location receives more than $200 in monthly support.
* Locations where the average cost exceeds $252.50 per month receive a maximum of $200 in monthly support. These locations are “capped locations”.
* ACAM carriers must provide 10/1 broadband service to 100% of fully funded locations by the end of 2026 and meet annual deployment milestones.
* ACAM carriers must also offer 25/3 service to a percentage of fully funded locations based on density by the end of 2026 ( no annual deployment milestones for 25/3).
* For capped locations, ACAM carriers must offer 4/1 service to a percentage of locations based on density.
* ACAM I Offer – from FCC Order of December, 2018
* New offer made to Original ACAM carriers.
* Provided an additional two years of model based support thru 2028.
* Monthly support amounts are the same as provided in the Original ACAM offer detailed above.
* ACAM I carriers must meet previously agreed to deployment obligations for 10/1 service to fully funded locations.
* ACAM I carriers must meet increased deployment obligations for 25/3 to a percentage of fully funded locations by year 10 (2028) with interim annual milestones now required for 25/3.
* The deployment obligations for capped locations are the same as with Original ACAM.
* ACAM II Offer – From FCC Order of December, 2018
* New offer made to legacy Rate of Return carriers.
* Provides 10 years of model based support. Covers the period 2019 thru 2028.
* Monthly support amounts are the same as provided in the Original ACAM offer detailed above
* ACAM II carriers must meet the deployment obligations for 10/1 service required of ACAM I carriers.
* ACAM II carriers must provide 25/3 to 100% of fully funded locations by the end of 2028 and must meet interim annual milestones for 25/3 deployment.
* The deployment obligations for capped locations are the same as with Original ACAM and ACAM I.
As previously discussed on this site, we at ICORE believe that significant changes to the ACAM programs discussed above are likely to occur in the near future. We will continue to monitor this important issue and will provide updates as events occur.