On August 30, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order, DA 23-778, that provides the Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Enhanced A-CAM) offers of support by broadband carrier and clarifies some information regarding the Enhanced A-CAM program’s support calculations, supported and unsupported location information, and obligations.
Also, the FCC clarified—in a Public Notice (DA 23-779) released concurrently with the Order—that decisions to voluntarily adopt Enhanced A-CAM must be made no later than September 29, 2023, not October 1, 2023, as prescribed in its previous Enhanced A-CAM Order (FCC 23-60, released July 24, 2023). The basis for determining supported locations remains unchanged, based on the FCC’s National Broadband Map (aka Fabric Map) v.2.
FCC Parameters for Calculating Enhanced A-CAM Support
The FCC set the following parameters for calculating support:
- Calculations are based on the “A-CAM 2.6.0 Solution Set.”
- Maximum monthly support per location is the greater of no more than $350 per location or 80% of the model cost per location for non-tribal locations.
- Maximum monthly support per location is the greater of no more than $365.93 per location or 80% of the model cost per location for tribal locations.
- Funding threshold of $63.69 per location for non-tribal locations.
- Meaning no support is available if the location cost is $63.69 or less per month.
- Funding threshold of $47.76 per location for tribal locations.
- Meaning no support is available if the location cost is $47.76 or less per month.
- Existing 100/20 Mbps locations served only by the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) will be limited to receive 60% of the support calculated.
- Grants received on existing ILEC-served locations will receive support as they are deemed complementary, rather than duplicative.
- This is a change from the FCC’s previous decision on this matter.
- Loans were already deemed complementary, rather than duplicative, in the original Enhanced A-CAM Order (FCC 23-60), but the FCC reiterated this information in this Order.
- Existing 100/20 Mbps locations served by the ILEC and an unsubsidized competitor will be limited to receive 33% of the support calculated.
- Grants, as of the date of the order, on unserved locations will block the location from receiving any support.
- Loans on unserved locations are considered complementary rather than duplicative and will not impact support calculations in 2025 when the FCC performs its review of locations, competition, and enforcement commitments (federal and state grants).
- If you voluntarily adopt Enhanced A-CAM, you are prohibited from accepting grants—federal or state—on Enhanced A-CAM locations.
Clarification on Performance Testing for Enhanced A-CAM Adopting Carriers
The FCC released additional information about when performance testing would begin for Enhanced A-CAM adopting carriers. Pre-testing will start on January 1, 2026, with the same one week of testing required as the current A-CAM programs, on a quarterly basis. Filing of the one week’s testing data is due no later than seven days after the end of the quarter. Performance testing (aka actual or live testing) begins January 1, 2027. The FCC clarified that all locations to which carriers have deployed 100/20 Mbps or greater speed are subject to testing, regardless of funding being received at that location.
For questions regarding the FCC’s revised deadline and clarifications, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or use our Contact Us form below.