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FCC USF Reform Order outlines two paths for rate-of-return carriers

by Teresa Evert, Senior Regulatory Manager, and Bob Deegan, Senior Government Relations Counsel
The FCC has finally released its much-anticipated Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on USF Reform for rate-of-return carriers. While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was not able to meet his initial end-of-football season commitment, he did manage to beat the clock on the college basketball season and Major League Baseball's opening day. The document was expected to be quite lengthy and detailed, and certainly lived up to expectations.
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with USF, USF Reform

How much broadband speed is enough? Depends on what you want it for

by Doug Laws, Project Manager – Technical Planning & Implementation
There is much talk about broadband speeds these days from the FCC and service providers, and inside NECA. With its recent USF Reform Order the FCC now requires broadband providers to offer 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream (4/1), 10/1, or 25/3 for their customers, depending on several factors.
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with Broadband, Technology

Washington Report: FCC Commissioners continue to clash on contentious issues, Congress steps up oversight efforts

by Bob Deegan, Senior Government Relations Counsel, and Colin Sandy, Senior Regulatory Attorney
Since our last report the FCC has been quite busy dealing with contentious issues such as the set-top box proposal, Internet service provider privacy NPRM, Lifeline reform and, most importantly for our neck of the woods, USF reform for rate-of-return carriers.
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with Congress, FCC, Muni broadband, Net neutrality, USF

Lifeline order sets new standards for supported broadband, strengthens verification process

by Colin Sandy, Senior Regulatory Attorney
Lifeline is an important component of the Universal Service Fund. It provides support to low-income households to make telephone service more affordable. As broadband has become a more essential method of communication, the FCC decided it is good policy to support not only traditional voice, but broadband connectivity as well.
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with Congress, Lifeline

NECA EXPO 2016: Industry in Motion

by Rocky Marcelle, Manager - IR Communications and Methods
At the conclusion of a long, exhaustive presidential election season, NECA EXPO 2016 awaits like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And speaking of somewhere over the rainbow, what more appropriate venue than the iconic MGM Grand in Las Vegas. You'll have that feeling you're not in Kansas anymore!
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with EXPO, Training

In Focus

by Bill Hegmann, President and CEO
Like me, you may still be trying to wrap your head around what the USF RoR Reform Order will mean for your operations. On one hand, it gives a lot more clarity on what universal support will look like going forward. On the other hand, for many carriers it may mean doing more with less as you invest in and maintain your network.
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Filed under April 2016 , Tagged with In Focus, Tariffs, USF Reform

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