The FCC has recently approved increases in USF loop cost support for small, average schedule companies, while making official its recent order giving small RLECs more time, coordination, and flexibility in their broadband testing requirements.
The Wireline Carrier Bureau’s approval of NECA’s 2020 Modification of Average Schedule High Cost Loop Support Schedule increases revenue for some of the nation’s smallest carriers. RLECs with 0-500 lines will receive a composite increase of about 18.5%, from about $70,000 to $83,000, a gain of $2.27 per loop. Those from 501-1000 lines will increase about 49%, from $74,000 to $110,000, or $1.85 per loop. The third major group, with 1001-2500 lines will increase about 59%, from $34,000 to $54,000, or $.52 per loop.
Meanwhile, the Commission’s recently released Order on Reconsideration concerning broadband testing, which was covered in our previous blog, was published in the Federal Register and will be effective January 8th. This order allows small carriers to link their start of testing to their specific deployment obligations; allows greater flexibility in choosing their testing endpoints; and establishes a pre-testing period to address issues in advance of the formal testing period, i.e. to solves problems before actual warnings and fines are issued.
All-in-all, a very good couple of days for the nation’s smallest RLECs.