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Connect America Phase I Challenge Process Limited to Price Cap Areas

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Released: September 24, 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 13-1972

Released: September 24, 2013


WC Docket No. 10-90

In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission established Connect America Phase I
incremental support to spur immediate deployment of broadband-capable infrastructure to unserved
locations in price cap territories.1 Connect America Phase I incremental support provides a fixed amount
of per location support in exchange for a price cap carrier's commitment to deploy broadband-capable
infrastructure to a number of unserved locations within its territory.2 When electing to accept Phase I
incremental support, price cap carriers were required to identify the census blocks in which they intended
to use Phase I incremental support, and those requests are subject to a challenge process to determine
whether the census block is unserved and thus eligible for support.3 As census block demarcations do not
always align with study area boundaries, some census blocks may be divided among two or more
incumbent local exchange carriers.
In response to inquiries,4 the Bureau emphasizes that the Phase I challenge process is focused
solely on areas within a price cap carrier's study area. Phase I funds may only be used to deploy
infrastructure in areas within the price cap carrier's territory. We note that for divided census blocks, the
challenge process is focused on whether the portion of the census block falling within the price cap
carrier's study area should be deemed unserved. The price cap carrier may not deploy in the portion of
the census block that is outside its study area. Therefore, there is no need for rate of return incumbent
carriers to participate in the challenge process merely to confirm that they serve the portion of the census
block within their study areas.
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental
Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
For further information, please contact Ryan Yates, Telecommunications Access Policy Division,
Wireline Competition Bureau at 202-418-7400, or at TTY (202) 418-0484.
- FCC -

1 See Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 26 FCC 17663, 17712, para. 127 (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 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17720-21, paras. 146-47.
3 Id. at 17720, para. 146; Connect America Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 7766,
7775, para. 23 (2013).
4 See Letter from Michael R. Romano, Senior Vice President, NTCA The Rural Broadband Association, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al. (filed Sept. 4,

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