Commission Considers Revisions to Broadband Testing Requirements

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The FCC, in a recently released Order on Reconsideration (WC Docket No. 10-90), is proposing a number of changes to its previously published broadband testing requirements for carriers receiving high cost universal service support

The order (1) links the start of testing to the carriers’ timing of their specific deployment obligations; (2) allows greater flexibility for carriers to choose endpoints for testing their networks’ performance, and (3) establishes a pre-testing period, allowing them to address testing issues without any penalties before any formal testing period begins.

These pre-testing start dates would be as follows: CAF Phase II (Price Cap Carriers)—January 1, 2020; A-CAM I, A-CAM I Revised, Rural Broadband Experiment and Alaska Plan—January 1, 2021; ACAM II, Legacy Rate of Return, CAF II Auction, New  NY Broadband Program – January 1, 2022.

Testing start dates are January 1, 2020 for CAF Phase II (Price Cap Carriers), and one year later than the pre-testing date for all other carriers.

This order will provide small RLECs and others with additional time and flexibility to better satisfy their testing obligations. We will cover it in more detail once it is officially adopted.