FCC Releases Order on Additional A-CAM Funding and Related Issues

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On December 20, the Commission released an order resolving A-CAM funding and related questions, including final model offers. The order includes:

An additional $50 million per year to help offset the oversubscription to A-CAM that caused the plan to exceed its preset budget. This additional allocation is not enough to fully fund the model plan.

A reduction in the basic per location cap from $200 to $146.10 due to this underfunding, with further decreases in that maximum amount based on a sliding scale of the degree of broadband buildout. Electing carriers that are 20% to 40% built out, for instance, will be offered 95% of the base amount, with the reductions going down by 5% until those with 80%-90% buildout will be offered 80%.

After release of the order and its accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), the FCC issued a Public Notice that set forth the final offers of model support for each electing company. Since the new offers are significantly lower than the originals, companies now have an additional 30 days to accept or reject the reduced offers.

The FNPRM seeks comment on adding further funding for A-CAM, and clarifies that the final offers are subject to companies accepting their original model offers if full funding becomes available in the future.