Broadband Performance Testing

To ensure recipients of high-cost support are meeting their service obligations, the FCC has established a uniform framework for measuring the speed and latency performance of fixed voice and broadband services for recipients of high-cost support. Providers are required to submit testing results as part of their annual compliance certification. Carriers that do not comply with the speed and latency requirements will be subject to a reduction in support, commensurate with their level of noncompliance.

Broadband performance testing is required for recipients of the Connect America Fund high-cost universal service support, including:

  • price cap carriers accepting model-based CAF Phase II support;
  • rate-of-return carriers, including Alternative Connect America Cost Model and CAF BLS recipients;
  • rural broadband experiment support recipients;
  • Alaska Plan carriers; and
  • CAF Phase II auction winners.

The FCC released the order on reconsideration on CAF testing procedures and performance measures on October 31, 2019, adopted at the October 25, 2019 Open Meeting. The order addressed several petitions for reconsideration and applications for review of the 2018 Performance Measures Order and provides some flexibility for smaller carriers by making targeted modifications to the testing procedures carriers must use to show their networks perform at the Commission’s speed and latency standards.

Although the order rejected several proposed changes requested by the industry, such as the where the end points of testing must be, the Commission did delay the start date of testing. The Commission also implemented a pre-testing period that will occur prior to the commencement of each carrier’s testing start date. Pre-testing will require carriers to conduct testing according to the Commission’s requirements using a USAC-determined random sample of subscribers, and results must be submitted to USAC within one week of the end of each quarter.

Applicable testing dates for each program are found below:

Program Pre-testing start dateTesting start date
CAF Phase IIJanuary 1, 2020July 1, 2020
RBEJanuary 1, 2021January 1, 2022
Alaska PlanJanuary 1, 2021January 1, 2022
A-CAM IJanuary 1, 2021 January 1, 2022
A-CAM I RevisedJanuary 1, 2021 January 1, 2022
ACAM II January 1, 2022 January 1, 2023
Legacy RORJanuary 1, 2022January 1, 2023
CAF II AuctionJanuary 1, 2022January 1, 2023
New NY Broadband ProgramJanuary 1, 2022January 1, 2023


Products and services

NECA has partnered with the following companies to assist members in meeting the FCC’s broadband performance testing requirements:

ADTRAN: solution information | schedule demo

Calix: solution information | schedule demo

Vantage Point: product information | purchase

* These companies are not affiliated with NECA. While we are being compensated for including their products on our website, we do not endorse any one product or service.