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2013 High-Cost Loop Support Benchmarks Public Notice

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Released: January 29, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-99

Released: January 29, 2013



WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 05-337

In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission comprehensively reformed universal
service funding for high-cost, rural areas, adopting fiscally responsible, accountable, incentive-based
policies to preserve and advance voice and broadband service while ensuring fairness for consumers who
pay into the universal service fund.1 To help achieve this goal, the Commission limited the amount of
high-cost loop support a rate-of-return carrier could receive based on a comparison of that company's
costs relative to other carriers with similar characteristics.2 The Commission determined that, for each
study area, reimbursable capital expenses (capex) and operating expenses (opex) should be determined
using regression analysis.3 The methodology for determining capex and opex benchmarks was described
in the April 2012 HCLS Benchmarks Implementation Order, along with a listing of initial capex and opex
The Commission instructed the Wireline Competition Bureau to release updated capex and opex
figures on an annual basis.5 Per that instruction, as an Appendix to this public notice, the Bureau has
released an Excel file containing the capex and opex benchmarks to be used by the National Exchange
Carrier Association in calculating 2013 high-cost loop support, available at 6 As called for in the HCLS
Benchmarks Implementation Order
, these 2013 benchmarks were calculated using the same regression
coefficients as the 2012 benchmarks.7
- FCC -

1 See Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates
for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing a Unified Intercarrier
Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Lifeline and Link-Up; Universal Service
Reform--Mobility Fund
; WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45, GN
Docket No. 09-51, WT Docket No. 10-208, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC
17663 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order); pets. for review pending sub nom. In re: FCC 11-161, No. 11-9900
(10th Cir. filed Dec. 8, 2011).
2 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17743, para. 216.
3 See id. at 17742, para. 214.
4 See Connect America Fund, High-Cost Universal Service Support, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 05-337, Order, 27 FCC
Rcd 4235, 4255-4300, Appendices A & B (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012) (HCLS Benchmarks Implementation Order).
5 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17744, para. 218.
6 The Commission is considering pending petitions for reconsideration and applications for review of the HCLS
Benchmarks Implementation Order
. This Public Notice does not prejudge the disposition of those petitions or
applications for review.
7 HCLS Benchmarks Implementation Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 4251-52, para. 45.

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