[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 195 (Friday, October 7, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 69696-69716]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23918]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 54 and 69

[WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271; WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 16-115]


Connect America Fund, Connect America Fund--Alaska Plan, 
Universal Service Reform--Mobility Fund

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile 
voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska, 
building on a proposal submitted by the Alaska Telephone Association.

DATES: Effective November 7, 2016, except for Sec. Sec.  
54.313(f)(1)(i), 54.313(f)(3), 54.313(l), 54.316(a)(1), 54.316(a)(5) 
and (6), 54.316(b)(6), 54.320(d), and 54.321 which contain new or 
modified information collection requirements that will not be effective 
until approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Federal 
Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing the effective date for those sections.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexander Minard, Wireline Competition 
Bureau, (202) 418-7400 or TTY: (202) 418-0484, Matthew Warner of the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2419, or Audra Hale-
Maddox of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0794.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order in WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271, WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 
16-115, adopted on August 23, 2016 and released on August 31, 2016. The 
full text of this document is available for public inspection during 
regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 
12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, or at the following Internet 
address: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-115A1.docx.
    The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that was adopted 
concurrently with the Report and Order is published elsewhere in this 
issue of the Federal Register.

I. Introduction

    1. In this Order, the Commission adopts an integrated plan to 
address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost 
areas of the state of Alaska, building on a proposal submitted by the 
Alaska Telephone Association. In February 2015, the Alaska Telephone 
Association (ATA) proposed a consensus plan designed to maintain, 
extend, and upgrade broadband service across all areas of Alaska served 
by rate-of-return carriers and their wireless affiliates. Given the 
unique climate and geographic conditions of Alaska, the Commission 
finds that it is in the public interest to provide Alaskan carriers 
with the option of receiving fixed amounts of support over the next ten 
years to deploy and maintain their fixed and mobile networks. If each 
of the Alaska carriers elects this option, the Commission expects this 
plan to bring broadband to as many as 111,302 fixed locations and 
133,788 mobile consumers at the end of this 10-year term.

II. Alaska Plan for Rate-of-Return Carriers

    2. Today the Commission adopts ATA's proposed consensus plan for 
rate-of-return carriers serving Alaska, subject to the minor 
modifications described herein. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers face 
unique circumstances including Alaska's large size, varied terrain, 
harsh climate, isolated populations, shortened construction

[[Page 69697]]

season, and lack of access to infrastructure that make it challenging 
to deploy voice and broadband-capable networks. Not only do Alaskan 
rate-of-return carriers face conditions that are unique to the state, 
unlike challenges in the Lower 48, the circumstances and challenges can 
also vary widely from carrier to carrier depending on where their 
service areas are located within Alaska.
    3. Accordingly, the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan to provide 
Alaskan rate-of-return carriers with the option to obtain a fixed level 
of funding for a defined term in exchange for committing to deployment 
obligations that are tailored to each Alaska rate-of-return carrier's 
circumstances. Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time 
opportunity for Alaskan rate-of-return carriers to elect to receive 
support frozen at adjusted 2011 levels for a 10-year term in exchange 
for meeting individualized performance obligations to offer voice and 
broadband services meeting the service obligations the Commission 
adopts in this Order at specified minimum speeds by five-year and 10-
year service milestones to a specified number of locations. As proposed 
by ATA, the Commission delegates to the Wireline Competition Bureau 
authority to approve such plans if consistent with the public interest 
and in compliance with the requirements adopted in this Order.
    4. As a result of today's action, Alaska rate-of-return carriers 
have the option of receiving support pursuant to the Alaska Plan, 
electing to receive support calculated by A-CAM, or remaining on the 
reformed legacy rate-of-return support mechanisms. Like all other 
Connect America programs, Alaska Plan participants will report on their 
progress in meeting their deployment obligations throughout the 10-year 
term, allowing the Commission, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, and 
other interested stakeholders to monitor their progress.
    5. ATA represents that collectively, as of year-end 2015, the 
Alaska rate-of-return carriers served 124,166 remote locations, with 
49,062 of those locations lacking broadband at speeds of 10/1 Mbps or 
above. If all Alaska rate-of-return carriers that have submitted 
proposed performance plans participate in the Alaska Plan, and those 
performance plans are approved as submitted, over 36,000 locations will 
become newly served with broadband at speeds of 10/1 Mbps or above, and 
the number of locations with 25/3 Mbps service will increase from 8,823 
to 77,516 locations. Moreover, under ATA's proposed plan, the 24,138 
locations that were unserved by any benchmark at the end of 2015 would 
be reduced from 24,138 locations to only 758 locations over the term of 
the Plan.
    6. As proposed by ATA, each carrier with an approved performance 
plan in the Alaska Plan will receive annually an amount of support 
equal to its HCLS and ICLS frozen at 2011 levels, subject to certain 
adjustments, as was determined by the Universal Service Administrative 
Company (USAC) on January 31, 2012. This support will be provided in 
monthly installments over the 10-year term that the Commission adopts 
below. The frozen support that participants receive will be adjusted 
downward to account for the $3,000 per line annual support cap and for 
the corporate operations expense limits on ICLS.
    7. Our decision to freeze support at 2011 levels for Alaska Plan 
participants is consistent with our decision in 2014 to permit price 
cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas, such as Alaska 
Communications Systems (ACS), to elect to receive support that has been 
frozen at 2011 levels, recognizing the unique circumstances and 
challenges such carriers face. The Commission is persuaded by the 
Alaska rate-of-return carriers that making available the adjusted 2011 
support levels will provide carriers participating in the Alaska Plan 
the certainty they need to commit to investing in maintaining and 
deploying voice and broadband-capable networks in Alaska. The 
Commission also notes that the average annual support amounts for 
locations that would be covered under the Alaska Plan is $449, which is 
within the range of the model-based support offers to the price cap 
carriers for Phase II.
    8. Recognizing the unique, individualized challenges faced by each 
rate-of return carrier serving Alaska, the Commission addresses here 
the general public interest obligations that would apply to individual 
carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan. The Commission 
also adopts general parameters for deployment obligations in this 
Order. As initially proposed by ATA, rate-of-return carriers wishing to 
participate in the Alaska Plan must submit a performance plan, and the 
Wireline Competition Bureau will have delegated authority to review and 
approve each carrier's performance plan. Since submitting the initial 
filing regarding the Alaska Plan, ATA has submitted proposed 
performance plans for its individual members. The Commission authorizes 
the Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans that 
adhere to the requirements the Commission has adopted in this Order and 
that serve the public interest.
    9. To merit approval by the Wireline Competition Bureau, these 
plans shall commit, to the extent possible, to offer at least one voice 
service and one broadband service that meets these minimum service 
requirements to a specified number of locations served by the 
submitting carrier. Carriers must make a binding commitment to serve a 
specific number of locations in their service area with such minimum 
speed(s) by the five-year and 10-year service milestones the Commission 
adopts below. This approach will advance our statutory mandate of using 
Connect America support to maintain and advance the deployment of voice 
and broadband services that are reasonably comparable to those offered 
in urban areas, while at the same time providing individualized 
flexibility for the distinctive geographic, climate, and infrastructure 
challenges of deploying and maintaining voice and broadband services in 
Alaska.
    10. Below the Commission provides more specific descriptions of our 
expectations for the general parameters with respect to speed, latency, 
data usage, and reasonably comparable prices.
    11. Speed. The Commission recognizes that there is a significant 
disparity today among the Alaska carriers in terms of the different 
speed of services that they can offer and propose to offer in the 
future. The Commission seeks to advance to the extent possible the 
number of locations in Alaska that have access to at least 10/1 Mbps 
service. The Commission also recognizes that some carriers may be able 
to upgrade service to provide speeds greater than 10/1 Mbps. Therefore, 
the Commission requires carriers to report the number of locations in 
their service areas that will receive broadband at speeds of 25/3 Mbps 
or higher, as well as 10/1 Mbps, as a result of their deployment. The 
Commission also grants the flexibility for participants in the Alaska 
plan to relax the speed requirements to a specified number of locations 
to account for limitations due to geography, climate, and access to 
infrastructure, as discussed below.
    12. The Commission has adopted a minimum speed standard of 10/1 
Mbps for price cap carriers receiving Phase II model-based support, 
winning bidders in the Phase II auction, and rate-of-return carriers 
receiving A-CAM and legacy support. At the same time, the Commission 
also is requiring recipients of A-CAM support to offer 25 Mbps/3 Mbps 
service in more dense areas and

[[Page 69698]]

have established a baseline speed for the Phase II auction of 25/3 
Mbps. The Commission sees nothing in the record to suggest that a 
fundamentally different approach should be followed here, and 
accordingly they find it reasonable for Alaska carriers to commit to 
offer service at these speeds where feasible. But the Commission 
recognizes that not all carriers in Alaska will be able to offer 
service meeting these speeds due to the unique limitations they face in 
access to backhaul. While the Commission has noted that their minimum 
requirements for such carriers is likely to evolve over the next decade 
and that our policies should take into account evolving standards in 
the future, they have also recognized that it is difficult to plan 
network deployment not knowing the performance obligations that might 
apply by the end of the 10-year term.
    13. Given that the Commission also adopts a 10-year support term 
for rate-of-return carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan, 
they conclude that the same principles described above apply here, 
subject to modifications that account for the unique circumstances and 
challenges faced by each Alaskan carrier. Accordingly, the Commission 
authorizes the Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans 
submitted by carriers that maximize the number of locations that 
receive broadband at speeds of at least 10/1 Mbps and that also 
identify a set number of locations that will receive broadband at 
speeds at a minimum 25/3 Mbps as a result of the carrier's deployment, 
to the extent feasible based on each carrier's individual 
circumstances. Consistent with the Commission's goal of ensuring access 
to reasonably comparable broadband service to as many unserved 
consumers as possible, the Commission expects that Alaska Plan 
recipients will prioritize their deployment of broadband at speeds of 
10/1 Mbps before upgrading speeds for locations that are already served 
with 10/1 Mbps, to the extent feasible.
    14. At the same time, the Commission recognizes that due to 
limitations in access to middle mile infrastructure and the variable 
terrain, Alaskan carriers may not be able to serve all of their 
locations at the current minimum speeds for Connect America Fund 
recipients of 10/1 Mbps speeds with the support they are provided 
through the Alaska Plan. Accordingly, the Commission authorizes the 
Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans that propose 
to offer Internet service at relaxed speeds to a set number of 
locations to the extent carriers face such limitations. The Commission 
concludes it will serve the public interest to balance our goal of 
deploying reasonably comparable voice and broadband services with our 
goals of maintaining existing voice service and of ensuring that 
universal service support is used efficiently and remains within the 
budgeted amount for each carrier. This approach is also consistent with 
the approach the Commission has taken for other Connect America funding 
mechanisms. For example, for rate-of-return carriers that elect to 
receive A-CAM support, the Commission requires that such carriers offer 
Internet access at speeds of at least 4/1 Mbps to locations that are 
not fully funded, to the extent they are unable to do better. And as 
discussed below, for areas that lack terrestrial backhaul, the 
Commission has permitted ETCs serving such areas to certify that they 
are providing speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps 
upstream.
    15. Finally, as the Commission discusses in more detail below, they 
acknowledge that in some limited cases Alaska Plan recipients may face 
circumstances such that at the beginning of their support terms they 
can only commit to maintaining Internet service at then-existing speeds 
below 10/1 Mbps. In such circumstances, carriers will be required to 
explain why they are unable to commit to upgrade their existing 
services or deploy service to new locations and the status of these 
limitations will be revisited throughout the support term.
    16. Latency. The Commission adopts a roundtrip provider network 
latency requirement of 100 milliseconds or less for participants in the 
Alaska Plan. This is consistent with the latency standard the 
Commission adopted for price cap carriers accepting Phase II model-
based support, rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support, and for 
purposes of identifying competitive overlap in rate-of-return served 
areas. Based on the record before us, the Commission does not see any 
reason to apply a different standard to Alaska Plan participants.
    17. Accordingly, Alaska Plan carriers will be required to certify 
that 95 percent or more of all peak period measurements of network 
round-trip latency are at or below 100 milliseconds. Consistent with 
the standards the Wireline Competition Bureau adopted for price cap 
carriers serving non-contiguous areas, Alaska Plan participants should 
conduct their latency network testing from the customer location to a 
point at which traffic is consolidated for transport to an Internet 
exchange point in the continental United States. The measurements 
should be conducted over a minimum of two consecutive weeks during peak 
hours for at least 50 randomly selected customer locations within the 
census blocks for which the provider is receiving frozen support using 
existing network management systems, ping tests, or other commonly 
available network measurement tools.
    18. Data Usage. Participants in the Alaska Plan will be required to 
provide a usage allowance that evolves over time to remain reasonably 
comparable to usage by subscribers in urban areas, similar to the 
approach adopted for price cap carriers and other rate-of-return 
carriers.
    19. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, 76 FR 73830, November 29, 
2011, the Commission adopted the requirement that to the extent an 
eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) imposes a usage limit on its 
Connect America-supported broadband offering, that usage limit must be 
reasonably comparable to usage limits for comparable broadband 
offerings in urban areas. Today, rate-of-return carriers must offer a 
minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or a usage allowance that 
reflects the average usage of a majority of consumers, using Measuring 
Broadband America data or a similar data source, whichever is higher.
    20. The Commission sees nothing in the record that suggests that 
participants in the Alaska Plan should not be held to the same 
standards. Accordingly, such carriers will be required to certify that 
they offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or a usage 
allowance that reflects the average usage of a majority of consumers, 
using Measuring Broadband America data or a similar data source, 
whichever is higher. As is the case for other ETCs subject to broadband 
performance obligations, the Wireline Competition Bureau will announce 
annually the relevant minimum usage allowance.
    21. Satellite Backhaul Exception. Consistent with the USF/ICC 
Transformation Order, the Commission will exempt from the speed, 
latency, and data usage standards they adopt above those areas where 
the carriers rely exclusively on the use of performance-limiting 
satellite backhaul to deliver service because they lack the ability to 
obtain terrestrial backhaul or satellite backhaul service providing 
middle mile service with technical characteristics comparable to at 
least microwave backhaul. This exception will be implemented via an 
annual certification by such carriers. The Commission has recognized 
that satellite backhaul ``may limit the performance of broadband 
networks as compared to terrestrial backhaul'' and noted that the 
Regulatory

[[Page 69699]]

Commission of Alaska had reported ``for many areas of Alaska, satellite 
links may be the only viable option to deploy broadband.'' Some Alaska 
Plan recipients have proposed to offer Internet access service speeds 
of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream to some or all 
locations within the areas served by exclusively satellite middle mile 
facilities. As noted below, the Wireline Competition Bureau is 
authorized to approve performance plans where a carrier does not even 
commit to offer speeds of at minimum 1 Mbps/256 kbps to locations that 
are served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul, but 
where it does commit to upgrade or newly deploy service at higher 
minimum speeds to areas served by terrestrial or microwave backhaul. 
The data usage allowance and latency standards will not apply to those 
locations that are served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite 
backhaul.
    22. Under our existing rules, to the extent that new terrestrial 
backhaul facilities are constructed, or existing facilities improve 
sufficiently to meet the public interest obligations, ETCs are 
generally required to satisfy the public interest obligations in full 
within 12 months of the new backhaul facilities becoming commercially 
available. The Commission similarly expects Alaska Plan recipients to 
meet latency and data usage requirements for these locations within 12 
months. But given that other limiting factors, such as cost or 
transport limits, in addition to the lack of access to infrastructure, 
may make it challenging for Alaska carriers to offer a minimum of 10/1 
Mbps speeds once they gain access to new backhaul, the Commission does 
not require carriers participating in the Alaska Plan to meet the 10/1 
Mbps speed minimum within the usual 12-month timeframe. The Commission 
instead directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to consider adopting 
revised minimum speeds for these carriers when it reassesses their 
performance plans half way through the 10-year term. The Commission 
concludes that adjusting speed obligations at that time will alleviate 
the administrative burden of re-examining performance plans every time 
backhaul becomes commercially available. The Commission directs the 
Bureau to work with carriers that seek to participate in the Alaska 
Plan to include objective metrics for determining when backhaul is 
available at a price point that would enable the carrier to offer 10/1 
Mbps service. The Commission also anticipates that they will consider 
any additional backhaul that becomes available in determining next 
steps after the 10-year support term.
    23. Reasonably Comparable Rates. Participants in the Alaska Plan 
will be subject to the same obligations as all other recipients of 
high-cost universal service support to provide voice and broadband 
service at rates that are reasonably comparable to those offered in 
urban areas.
    24. For voice service, ETCs are required to make an annual 
certification that the rates for their voice service are in compliance 
with the reasonable comparability benchmark. For broadband, an ETC has 
two options for demonstrating that its rates comply with this statutory 
requirement: certifying compliance with reasonable comparability 
benchmarks or certifying that it offers the same or lower rates in 
rural areas as it does in urban areas.
    25. Consistent with our other Connect America programs, the 
Commission adopts this approach for the Alaska Plan. However, due to 
the unique challenges in deploying voice and broadband-capable networks 
in Alaska, those carriers that elect to receive Alaska Plan support 
will be subject to an Alaska-specific reasonable comparability 
benchmark to be established by the Wireline Competition Bureau. The 
Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to establish a 
benchmark using data from its urban rate survey or other sources, as 
appropriate.
    26. The Commission concludes that the public interest obligations 
the Commission adopts strike the appropriate balance of ensuring that 
as many Alaska consumers as feasible receive reasonably comparable 
voice and broadband service while also allowing Alaska Plan 
participants, who are most familiar with the limitations in access to 
infrastructure and the climate and geographies they serve, the 
flexibility to provide service in a way that is logical, maximizes the 
reach of their network, and is reasonable considering the unique 
circumstances of each individual carrier's service territory. For price 
cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas, the Commission determined 
that due to the circumstances and challenges faced by such carriers 
that were unique to the areas they serve, a ``one-size-fits-all'' 
approach would leave some of those carriers potentially unable to 
fulfill their deployment obligations. Accordingly, the Commission 
concluded that ``tailoring specific service obligations to the 
individual circumstances'' of each of these carriers ``will best ensure 
that Connect America funding is put to the best possible use.'' The 
Commission concludes that the same principles apply here where the 
potential recipients within the state of Alaska face their own unique 
challenges and circumstances due to the variable terrain and their 
varying levels of access to infrastructure.
    27. Intermediate Milestones. Consistent with the framework proposed 
by ATA members, participants in the Alaska Plan will commit to upgrade 
or deploy new voice and broadband service to a specified number of 
locations by the end of the fifth year of their support term and 
complete their deployment to the required number of locations as 
specified in their approved performance plan by the end of the 10th 
year of their support term. This is similar to the approach adopted for 
rate-of-return carriers that remain on legacy support mechanisms.
    28. Based on the shortened construction season for Alaska and the 
limited availability of personnel to construct networks, the Commission 
concludes that ATA's proposal to have one service milestone at the mid-
point of the term and one service milestone at the end of the support 
term is reasonable. This will give carriers the flexibility to build 
out their networks based on the unique conditions and challenges they 
face and give the Commission an objective measure halfway through the 
term to monitor the carrier's progress. This data will also be useful 
for the Bureau to consider when reassessing Alaska Plan recipients' 
individual deployment obligations halfway through the term of support. 
The Commission finds that because they give participants the 
flexibility to propose in their performance plans the number of 
locations that they commit to offering specified speeds by the five- 
and 10-year milestones, they will be able to set achievable milestones 
for themselves based on their individual circumstances. The Commission 
also notes that while carriers are required to meet these service 
milestones at a minimum, they anticipate that some carriers will 
complete their deployment in a shorter timeframe. Carriers will still 
be required to report their progress on an annual basis, as described 
below.
    29. Consistent with the framework proposed by ATA, the Commission 
adopts a support term of 10 years for carriers that are authorized to 
receive support through the Alaska Plan. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return 
Reform Order, 81 FR 24282, April 25, 2016, the Commission adopted a 10-
year term for carriers that elected to receive A-CAM support. The 
Commission concludes that a 10-year support term for the

[[Page 69700]]

Alaska carriers that elect to participate in this plan is in the public 
interest. The Commission acknowledges ATA's position that 10 years of 
frozen support ``will create stability which will assure continued 
service in remote Alaska and allow deployment to underserved and 
unserved areas.''
    30. Before the 10-year support term has ended, the Commission 
expects that the Commission will conduct a rulemaking to decide how 
support will be determined after the end of the 10-year support term 
for Alaska Plan participants. As the Commission noted in the 2016 Rate-
of-Return Reform Order, they expect that prior to the end of the 10-
year term, the Commission will have adjusted its minimum broadband 
performance standards for all ETCs, and other changes may well be 
necessary then to reflect marketplace realities at that time.
    31. Like rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support, Alaska 
Plan recipients will be permitted to use their Alaska Plan support for 
both operating expenses and capital expenses for new deployment, 
upgrades, and maintenance of voice and broadband-capable networks. Like 
recipients of model-based support, they may use that support anywhere 
in their network to upgrade their ability to offer improved service; 
they are not limited to using the support only for last mile facilities 
that traditionally have been supported through the HCLS and ICLS 
support mechanisms. They no longer will be required to submit line 
counts; support will be provided for the entire network. An Alaska Plan 
recipient will be deemed to be offering service if it is willing and 
able to provide qualifying service to a requesting customer within 10 
business days.
    32. Alaska Plan participants--like all other ETCs--remain subject 
to limitations on the appropriate use of universal service support. The 
Commission recently released a public notice in which it reminded ETCs 
of their obligation to use high-cost support only for its intended 
purpose of maintaining and extending communications services to rural, 
high-cost areas. The public notice listed a number of expenses ETCs are 
not permitted to recover through high-cost support. These restrictions 
apply to recipients of frozen support, not just to those who receive 
support based on traditional cost-of-service rate-of-return principles. 
In addition, to the extent the Commission revises its expectations for 
appropriate expenditures in the future, carriers participating in the 
Alaska Plan will of course be subject to those new rules.
    33. Focusing Deployment on Unserved Areas. Like our other Connect 
America programs, the Commission will not dictate the specific 
locations Alaska Plan participants must serve, but Alaska Plan 
recipients will generally not be permitted to use Alaska Plan support 
to upgrade or deploy new broadband service to locations that are 
located in census blocks that are served by a qualifying unsubsidized 
competitor. To determine which census blocks are competitively served, 
the Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to conduct a 
challenge process similar to the challenge process they adopted for 
rate-of-return carriers receiving Connect America Fund Broadband Loop 
Support (CAF BLS) support. The Commission will allow them, however, to 
count towards their deployment obligation unserved locations in 
partially served census blocks in specific circumstances, as explained 
more fully below.
    34. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission adopted 
reforms to eliminate inefficiencies and instances in which ``universal 
service support provides more support than necessary to achieve our 
goals,'' by eliminating certain support in areas that are served by a 
qualifying unsubsidized competitor. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform 
Order, the Commission adopted a rule to eliminate CAF BLS in 
competitive areas, finding that ``[p]roviding support to a rate-of-
return carrier to compete against an unsubsidized provider distorts the 
marketplace, is not necessary to advance the principles in section 
254(b), and is not the best use of our finite resources.'' 
Specifically, under the new rule, a census block is deemed to be served 
by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor if the competitor holds itself 
out to the public as offering ``qualifying voice and broadband 
service'' to at least 85 percent of the residential locations in a 
given census block. The Commission established a robust challenge 
process to determine which census blocks are competitively served.
    35. The Commission adopt the same general approach for determining 
the presence of a qualifying unsubsidized competitor for the Alaska 
Plan that they adopted for purposes of determining competitive overlap 
for CAF BLS. Specifically, a census block will be deemed to be served 
by an unsubsidized competitor if that competitor offers a qualifying 
voice and broadband service to at least 85 percent of the residential 
locations within a given census block. To qualify, the unsubsidized 
competitor must be a facilities-based provider of residential fixed 
voice service with the ability to port numbers in the relevant census 
block, and must offer a broadband service at speeds of at least 10/1 
Mbps, at a latency of 100 milliseconds or less, with a usage allowance 
of at least 150 GB at reasonably comparable rates, utilizing the 
Alaska-specific benchmark. For purposes of implementing this 
requirement, the Commission notes that there are certain areas where 
GCI currently is receiving support for its wireline competitive ETC, 
but has committed to relinquishing that support as part of the overall 
Alaska Plan. In implementing this requirement, therefore, the 
Commission will treat GCI as an unsubsidized competitor in those study 
areas where it has committed to relinquish its support, to the extent 
it meets all of the requisite requirements. Like with our other Connect 
America programs, the Commission finds that it would be an inefficient 
use of Alaska Plan support to permit recipients to use that support to 
upgrade or deploy new voice and broadband services where unsubsidized 
competitors already offer services that meet our standards.
    36. Accordingly, the Commission adopts a challenge process for 
identifying which census blocks that are in Alaska rate-of-return 
carriers' service areas are served by qualifying unsubsidized 
competitors and delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau 
to take any necessary steps to conduct the challenge process. The 
challenge process shall be conducted using the same general format and 
rules adopted by the Commission for the challenge process for CAF-BLS 
recipients. In summary, the Wireline Competition Bureau will publish a 
public notice with a link to the preliminary list of unsubsidized 
competitors serving the relevant census blocks according to the most 
recent publicly available Form 477 data. There will then be a comment 
period in which unsubsidized competitors, which carry the burden of 
persuasion, must certify that they offer qualifying voice and broadband 
services to 85 percent of locations in the relevant census blocks, 
accompanied by supporting evidence. The Wireline Competition Bureau 
will then accept submissions from the incumbent or other interested 
parties seeking to contest the showing made by the competitor. After 
the conclusion of the comment cycle, the Wireline Competition Bureau 
will make a final determination of which census blocks are 
competitively served, weighing all of the evidence in the record.
    37. Once the challenge process results have been announced, Alaska 
Plan participants may petition the Wireline

[[Page 69701]]

Competition Bureau if they believe adjustments to their approved 
performance plans are warranted. That is, to the extent an Alaska Plan 
recipient committed to upgrade or deploy new service to locations that 
are located in census blocks that are determined to be served as a 
result of the challenge process, they may need to identify other 
locations that they can serve in eligible census blocks in order to 
offer service to the requisite number of locations that they have 
committed to serve at the specified minimum speeds. In those 
circumstances, the Commission concludes it would serve the public 
interest to allow Alaska Plan participants to deploy service to 
unserved locations in partially served census blocks. In particular, if 
a carrier seeks to adjust its deployment obligations in its approved 
performance plan because certain census blocks are deemed competitively 
served at the conclusion of the challenge process, the Bureau has 
delegated authority to work with such carriers to determine whether 
there are unserved locations in partially served blocks that could 
count towards their deployment obligations. To the extent they are 
unable to identify additional locations, the Wireline Competition 
Bureau has delegated authority to modify the obligations in their 
performance plans consistent with the approach the Commission adopts 
today.
    38. In addition, the Commission directs the Wireline Competition 
Bureau to reassess the competitive landscape prior to the beginning of 
the Alaska Plan recipients' fifth year of support. This will provide 
refreshed competitive coverage data to consider when the Wireline 
Competition Bureau reassesses whether any adjustments in the Alaska 
Plan recipients' performance plans should be made for the second half 
of the 10-year term.
    39. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers will have a one-time 
opportunity to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan. Those carriers 
that choose not to participate have the option of electing to receive 
A-CAM support by the applicable deadline or remaining on the reformed 
legacy support mechanisms.
    40. Consistent with the Commission's other programs that provide a 
fixed support amount for a set term, they will require rate-of-return 
carriers choosing to participate in the Alaska Plan to do so on a 
state-level basis rather than at the study area level. The Commission 
has required price cap carriers and rate-of-return carriers electing 
model-based support to do so at the state-level to prevent carriers 
from cherry-picking the study areas that would receive more money from 
the relevant model and to allow carriers to make business decisions 
about managing different operating companies on a more consolidated 
basis. Given Alaska's large size and variable terrain, the Commission 
recognizes that there may be major differences in the geographic 
conditions and infrastructure availability for a carrier's various 
study areas. However, carriers will have the flexibility to take these 
factors into account when they specify how many locations they will be 
able to serve and at what broadband speeds in their performance plans 
at the state-level. Given that this extra flexibility is already 
provided to carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan, the 
Commission is not convinced that carriers serving Alaska should be 
given even more flexibility than other rate-of-return carriers by 
having the ability to choose different funding mechanisms for each of 
their study areas.
    41. The Commission notes that 18 Alaska rate-of-return carriers 
have already submitted 17 proposed performance plans to the Wireline 
Competition Bureau. Given that this Order is consistent with ATA's 
proposal, subject to minor modifications, the Commission presumptively 
considers these plan commitments to constitute an election to 
participate in the plan. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers that have 
already submitted proposed performance plans that choose to update 
their proposed performance commitments or not participate in the plan 
in light of this Order should file such updates or provide such notice 
no later than 30 days from the effective date of this Order. Carriers 
that have already submitted proposed performance plans should submit 
any such updated performance plans or provide such notice in WC Docket 
No. 16-271. Also in light of this Order, the Commission directs the 
Wireline Competition Bureau to further review the proposed performance 
commitments on file (or any timely update). While review of their 
performance plan is pending, carriers will remain on the revised legacy 
support mechanisms.
    42. If the Wireline Competition Bureau concludes that a proposed 
performance plan meets the applicable requirements and will serve the 
public interest, it will release a public notice approving the 
performance plan. The public notice will authorize the carrier to begin 
receiving support and directing USAC to obligate and disburse Alaska 
Plan support once certain conditions are met. Support will be 
conditioned on an officer of the company submitting a letter in WC 
Docket No. 16-271 certifying that the carrier will comply with the 
public interest obligations adopted in this Order and the deployment 
obligations set forth in the adopted performance plan within five days 
of the release of the public notice or such longer period of time, not 
to exceed fifteen days, as the Bureau's public notice specifies.
    43. Because carriers that are authorized to begin receiving Alaska 
Plan support will be receiving a frozen support amount for a specified 
term, like carriers that elected A-CAM support, they must refile their 
special access tariffs removing the costs of consumer broadband-only 
loops from the Special Access category, consistent with the 2016 Rate-
of-Return Reform Order. The costs that would be included in the revenue 
requirement for the Common Line category will be removed from rate-of-
return regulation. The carriers are permitted--but not required--to 
assess a wholesale consumer broadband-only loop charge that does not 
exceed $42 per line per month. Alternatively, they may detariff such a 
charge. Alaska Plan recipients must also exit the National Exchange 
Carrier Association (NECA) common line pool, and they have the option 
of continuing to use NECA to tariff their end-user charges. Once USAC 
confirms that these steps have been taken, support under the Alaska 
Plan may be disbursed.
    44. If all 19 Alaskan rate-of-return carriers were to participate 
in the Alaska Plan, this would result in approximately $55.7 million 
being disbursed annually. This represents an increase over their 
current support levels, in the aggregate. As described below, to the 
extent that Alaska Plan recipients' adjusted 2011 frozen support 
exceeds their 2015 support levels, the excess will be funded using 
funds that are saved through the phasing down of the competitive ETC 
support that is currently used to provide service in non-Remote Alaska.
    45. Because carriers participating in the Alaska Plan will be 
receiving a set amount of support over a defined support term in 
exchange for defined performance obligations over that term, their 
support will not be subject to the budget controls that the Commission 
has adopted for HCLS and CAF BLS. This is consistent with our approach 
for rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support. For the purpose of 
determining the budget amount available for rate-of-return carriers not 
electing A-CAM support or participating in the Alaska plan, USAC shall 
treat Alaska Plan

[[Page 69702]]

support in the same manner as A-CAM support.
    46. Consistent with the action taken when price cap carriers' 
support was frozen at 2011 levels and the recent decision with respect 
to rate-of-return carriers that elect A-CAM support, the Commission 
also directs NECA to rebase the cap on HCLS once Alaska Plan support is 
authorized for electing rate-of-return carriers that formerly received 
HCLS. In the first annual HCLS filing following the initial 
disbursement of Alaska Plan support, NECA shall calculate the amount of 
HCLS that those carriers would have received in absence of their 
election, subtract that amount from the HCLS cap, and then recalculate 
HCLS for the remaining carriers using the rebased amount.
    47. ATA proposes that participants be subject to the recordkeeping 
and compliance requirements set forth in section 54.320(d) of the 
Commission's rules. The Commission builds on that proposal and require 
participants in the Alaska Plan to comply with our existing high-cost 
reporting and oversight mechanisms, unless otherwise modified as 
described below.
    48. Annual Reporting Requirements. Pursuant to section 54.313 of 
the Commission's rules, Alaska Plan participants must continue to file 
their FCC Form 481 on July 1 each year. Further, consistent with the 
relief granted to other rate-of-return carriers in the 2016 Rate-of-
Return Reform Order, the Commission eliminates the requirement that 
Alaska Plan participants file annual updates to their five-year service 
quality improvement plans once they receive Paperwork Reduction Act 
approval for the geocoded location reporting requirement the Commission 
adopts below.
    49. The Commission adds a reporting requirement to the Form 481 for 
Alaska Plan recipients to help the Commission monitor the availability 
of infrastructure for these carriers. For Alaska Plan recipients that 
have identified in their adopted performance plans that they rely 
exclusively on performance-limiting satellite backhaul for certain 
number of locations, the Commission will require that they certify 
whether any terrestrial backhaul, or any new generation satellite 
backhaul service providing middle mile service with technical 
characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul, became 
commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were 
previously served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite 
backhaul If a recipient certifies that such new backhaul has become 
available, it must provide a description of the backhaul technology, 
the date on which that backhaul was made commercially available to the 
carrier and the number of locations that are newly served by such new 
backhaul. Within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming 
commercially available, funding recipients must certify that they are 
offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time 
applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage 
capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban 
areas at reasonably comparable rates (using the Alaska-specific 
reasonable comparability benchmark). Given that the Commission will be 
adopting tailored deployment obligations for Alaska Plan providers, 
they exempt them for the requirement that ETCs certify they are 
offering Internet service at speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 
256 kbps upstream to areas served exclusively by performance-limiting 
satellite backhaul.
    50. The Wireline Competition Bureau will be able to consider this 
data at the mid-point in the 10-year term when it reviews carriers' 
minimum speed commitments in light of the current marketplace. This 
data will also be useful for the Commission in determining what steps 
to take after the 10-year support term for Alaska Plan participants. 
The Commission concludes that the benefits to the public interest of 
this oversight will outweigh any potential burdens on Alaska Plan 
participants, particularly given that they expect Alaska Plan carriers 
will be monitoring available backhaul to ensure they are maximizing 
their Alaska Plan support in deploying voice and broadband services.
    51. Additionally, consistent with the requirements that apply to 
all ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations, the 
Commission will require each Alaska Plan recipient to certify on an 
annual basis that it is commercially offering voice and broadband 
services that meet the public interest obligations they have adopted in 
this Order at the speeds committed to in its own performance plan, to 
the locations they reported as required below. This requirement will 
ensure that the Commission is able to monitor that Alaska Plan 
recipients are continuing to use their Alaska Plan support for its 
intended use throughout their support term, and they are continuing to 
offer service meeting the relevant minimum requirements.
    52. For Alaska Plan recipients that propose to maintain their 
existing networks throughout the 10-year support term without newly 
deploying or upgrading service to locations within their service areas, 
the Commission requires that such carriers retain documentation on how 
much of their Alaska Plan support was spent on capital expenses and 
operating expenses and be prepared to produce such documentation upon 
request. Given that these recipients will not be able to demonstrate 
that they are meeting new service milestones, the Commission concludes 
that it is reasonable to require them to be prepared to produce 
documentation to demonstrate how they are using Alaska Plan support. 
The Commission expects that this requirement will not impose an undue 
burden on these recipients because they track their capital and 
operating expenditures in the regular course of business.
    53. Finally, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska will submit the 
annual section 54.314 intended use certification on behalf of Alaska 
Plan participants, like all ETCs subject to the jurisdiction of a state 
commission.
    54. Location Reporting Requirements. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return 
Reform Order, the Commission adopted geocoded location reporting 
requirements that they now extend to Alaska Plan participants. 
Specifically, starting on March 1, 2018, and on a recurring basis 
thereafter, the Commission will require all Alaska Plan participants to 
submit to USAC the geocoded locations for which they have newly 
deployed or upgraded broadband meeting the minimum speeds in their 
approved performance plans and their associated speeds. The geocoded 
location information should reflect those locations that are broadband-
enabled where the company is prepared to offer voice and broadband 
service meeting the speeds committed to in the deployment plan and the 
relevant public interest obligations, within 10 business days.
    55. Alaska Plan participants will be required to submit geocoded 
location information for their newly offered and upgraded broadband 
locations starting March 1, 2018 and then by March 1 following each 
support year. However, like other ETCs subject to this reporting 
obligation, the Commission expects that Alaska Plan participants will 
report the information on a rolling basis. A best practice would be to 
submit the information no later than 30 days after service is initially 
offered to locations in satisfaction of their deployment obligations.
    56. Like other high-cost recipients that are required to meet 
service milestones for broadband public interest

[[Page 69703]]

obligations, Alaska Plan participants will also be required to file 
certifications with their location submission to ensure their 
compliance with their public interest obligations. Each participant 
must certify that it has met its five-year service milestone by March 1 
following its fifth year of support and certify that it has met its 10-
year service milestone by March 1 following its 10th year of support. 
Participants that fail to file their geolocation data and associated 
deployment certifications on time will be subject to the penalties 
described in section 54.316(c) of our rules.
    57. The Commission also adopts a reporting requirement for newly 
deployed backhaul. The Commission will require Alaska Plan participants 
to submit fiber network maps or microwave network maps in a format 
specified by the Bureaus covering eligible areas and to update such 
maps if they have deployed middle-mile facilities in the prior calendar 
year that are or will be used to support their service in eligible 
areas.
    58. Reassessment. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition 
Bureau to reassess the deployment obligations in the approved 
performance plans before the end of the fifth year of support. The 
Commission therefore requires that participating carriers update their 
end-of-term commitments no later than the end of the fourth year of 
support, and they delegate to the Wireline Competition Bureau the 
authority to review and approve modifications that serve the public 
interest. This will be an opportunity to assess whether local 
conditions have changed, and any adjustments to the performance plan 
might be appropriate. A number of Alaska rate-of-return carriers have 
represented that they cannot offer broadband services at 10/1 Mbps 
speeds at the present time due to limitations in access to middle mile 
infrastructure. To the extent such conditions have improved, the 
Commission delegates authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to 
adopt modifications to approved performance plans to ensure that Alaska 
Plan support is being maximized to offer reasonably comparable services 
to the carrier's service area.
    59. The Commission acknowledges that certain Alaska rate-of-return 
carriers may only be able to commit at this point to maintaining 
existing Internet access at speeds below 10/1 Mbps due to limitations 
in their access to infrastructure. To the extent that a carrier faces 
such limitations, it should specify in its performance plan the number 
of locations where it commits to maintain its existing voice and 
Internet access service and provide a justification for why it cannot 
commit to upgrading Internet access to faster speeds within in its 
service area. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition to 
monitor these carriers more closely to determine when it is feasible to 
implement specific deployment obligations. The Commission expects that 
to the extent such limiting conditions have changed, the Wireline 
Competition Bureau will revise the carrier's deployment obligations to 
require that they upgrade their existing service or deploy service to 
new locations. The Commission concludes that reviewing such carrier's 
performance plans on a biennial basis rather than at the mid-point of 
the term will serve the public interest. The Wireline Competition 
Bureau will be able to monitor that such carriers are effectively 
utilizing their Alaska Plan support instead of only maintaining the 
status quo throughout the support term, rather than at a point when 
they have already received half of their support.
    60. Monitoring. To ensure that Connect America support is used as 
effectively as possible, the Commission must be able to measure and 
monitor the service commitments in each Alaska Plan recipient's 
performance plan. The Commission expects to monitor the progress of all 
rate-of-return carriers in meeting their respective deployment 
obligations, including those participating in the Alaska Plan, and are 
willing to make future adjustments where warranted. In addition to the 
reassessment, the Commission delegates to the Wireline Competition 
Bureau the authority to approve changes to the deployment obligations 
in the adopted performance plans during the support term if such 
changes are due to circumstances that did not exist at the time the 
performance plans were adopted and are consistent with the public 
interest and the requirements adopted in this Order.
    61. Reductions in support. The Commission has generally adopted a 
five-year and 10-year service milestone for the Alaska Plan that will 
be more specifically defined based on each participant's approved 
performance plan. Based on the record before the Commission, they find 
no reason to relax our compliance standards for Alaska Plan 
participants, and indeed, they note that ATA proposes that participants 
in the plan be subject to the existing rule. Thus, Alaska Plan 
participants that fail to meet these milestones will be subject to the 
same potential reductions in support as any other carrier subject to 
defined obligations. If, by the end of the 10-year term an Alaska Plan 
participant is unable to meet its final service milestone, it will be 
required to repay 1.89 times the average amount of support per location 
received over the 10-year term for the relevant number of locations 
that the carrier has failed to deploy to, plus 10 percent of its total 
Alaska Plan support received over the 10-year term.
    62. Audits. Like all ETCs, Alaska carriers will be subject to 
ongoing oversight to ensure program integrity and to deter and detect 
waste, fraud and abuse. All ETCs that receive high-cost support are 
subject to compliance audits and other investigations to ensure 
compliance with program rules and orders. Our decision today to provide 
frozen support based on past support amounts does not limit the 
Commission's ability to recover funds or take other steps in the event 
of waste, fraud or abuse.

III. Alaska Plan for Mobile Carriers

    63. In this section, the Commission adopts that part of ATA's 
integrated plan that addresses high-cost support for competitive ETCs 
providing mobile service in remote areas of Alaska, subject to the 
minor modifications described herein. The Commission has previously 
recognized that competitive ETCs in Alaska's remote regions face 
conditions unique to the state, and much of Alaska's remote areas 
remain unserved or underserved by mobile carriers. The Alaska Plan 
includes a consensus plan among the mobile providers in remote areas of 
Alaska that provides predictable, stable support to those providers, 
frozen at 2014 levels for a term of 10 years. As in the Alaska Plan for 
rate-of-return carriers, the Commission will provide a one-time 
opportunity for Alaskan competitive ETCs to elect to participate in the 
Alaska Plan for mobile carriers. Eligible competitive ETCs who elect 
not to participate in the Alaska Plan will have their support phased 
out over a period of three years, as proposed by ATA.
    64. The Commission requires that participating competitive ETCs 
submit individual performance plans with deployment commitments at the 
end of year five and year 10 meeting the requirements adopted in this 
Order, discussed below. The Commission delegates to the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau authority to approve proposed performance 
plans if they are consistent with the public interest and comply with 
the requirements the Commission adopts in this Order. The Commission 
will require progress reports of the Alaska Plan participants 
throughout the 10-year

[[Page 69704]]

term, and they will establish specific measures to help ensure 
verifiability and compliance. In addition, the Commission delegates 
authority to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to approve minor 
revisions in each carrier's commitments throughout the plan term when 
in the public interest and to effectuate plan implementation and 
administration as detailed below. The Commission also requires that 
each carrier revisit its 10-year deployment commitments no later than 
the end of year four, as described in detail below.
    65. The Commission adopts the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers, 
subject to certain conditions and modifications herein, for the 
provision of high cost support to competitive ETCs offering mobile 
service to consumers in remote Alaska. In the course of eliminating the 
identical support rule, the Commission observed that carriers in remote 
Alaska had unique concerns and recognized that Mobility Funds needed to 
be flexible enough to accommodate special conditions in places like 
Alaska, to account for ``its remoteness, lack of roads, challenges and 
costs associated with transporting fuel, lack of scalability per 
community, satellite and backhaul availability, extreme weather 
conditions, challenging topography, and short construction season.'' 
These challenges can drive up costs while the low population bases in 
these areas strain revenue. The Commission expressed particular concern 
that ``[o]ver 50 communities in Alaska have no access to mobile voice 
service today, and many remote Alaskan communities have access to only 
2G services.'' The Commission finds that, given these unique concerns, 
the Alaska Plan, as modified, is a reasonable approach to promote the 
provision of mobile voice and broadband service in Alaska. The plan 
will freeze at current levels the funds that are currently going to 
mobile providers in remote Alaska in return for specified network 
deployment commitments. The plan will also create a separate fund that 
will reallocate a majority of the annual funding currently dedicated to 
mobile providers in non-remote areas of Alaska and create a reverse 
auction to expand service in unserved areas of remote Alaska. The 
Commission finds that the plan they adopt will enable competitive ETCs 
offering service in remote Alaska to continue operating their current 
services and to extend and upgrade their existing networks.
    66. ATA represents that as of December 31, 2014, the competitive 
ETCs serving remote Alaska served a population of 143,991 in the areas 
eligible for frozen support, with only 13,452 of that population 
receiving 4G LTE service and 66,025 receiving only 2G/voice service. 
The remaining 64,514 of the population received only 3G service as of 
that date. If all eight of the competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska 
that have submitted proposed performance plans participate in the 
Alaska Plan, by the end of the 10-year term the population receiving 4G 
LTE service in eligible areas will increase from 9 percent as of 
December 2014 to 85 percent, or 122,119. Alaskans receiving only 2G/
voice will decrease from 46 to 7 percent of the population, or 10,202, 
while those receiving 3G service only will drop from 45 to 8 percent or 
11,669. Moreover, additional support of up to approximately $22 million 
will be redirected to a reverse auction in which competitive ETCs may 
bid to receive annual support for 10 years to extend service to areas 
that do not have any commercial mobile radio service.
    67. In adopting the Alaska Plan, the Commission declines to instead 
adopt ACS's proposed alternative plan involving the creation of a State 
or non-profit provider of middle mile. As an initial matter, the ACS 
proposal would require changes to several different universal service 
mechanisms outside the scope of this proceeding, such as the rural 
health care and E-Rate mechanisms. The Commission also finds that the 
alternative plan would involve significant implementation and 
operational issues regarding the proposed middle mile provider that, at 
a minimum, would lead to substantial delay and may well not be 
practical. In addition, the Commission takes into account that the 
Alaska Plan was developed and presented as a part of an integrated plan 
for competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska and their affiliated rate-
of-return carriers, and that it represents a consensus approach 
supported by all mobile carriers providing subsidized service in remote 
Alaska, whereas the ACS alternative appears to have the support of only 
ACS itself, which does not provide any mobile service in Alaska. 
Further, while the ACS plan seeks to address the critical need in 
remote Alaska for new terrestrial middle-mile deployment, it does not 
provide any specific plan for the high cost support of retail mobile 
voice and broadband services to consumers--which is the ultimate goal 
of this proceeding. The Commission also notes that service providers 
are entitled to use support to construct the facilities required for 
them to meet their deployment obligations, including using support for 
improved backhaul and middle mile. Accordingly, the Commission rejects 
ACS's proposed alternative plan. For the reasons discussed below, the 
Commission declines to adopt the conditions proposed by ACS, but do 
provide that the phase down of competitive ETC support of mobile 
carriers who were not signatories of the Alaska Plan will begin no 
earlier than 12 months after release of this Order.
    68. Each qualifying mobile carrier that elects to participate in 
the Alaska Plan will receive annually an amount of support equal to 
their competitive ETC support frozen at December 2014 levels, and 
participating carriers shall no longer be required to file line counts. 
This support will be frozen at these levels for 10 years and replaces 
the identical support phase down schedule for participating competitive 
ETCs. Our decision to freeze support at December 31, 2014 levels for 
mobile carriers participating in the Alaska Plan is consistent with our 
determination that certain areas require ongoing support in order for 
mobile service to continue to be offered and our goal to ensure 
universal availability of voice and broadband to homes in rural, 
insular, and high-cost areas. If the eight eligible competitive ETCs 
participate in the Alaska Plan, this would result in approximately $74 
million being dispersed annually for each of the 10 years that the plan 
is in effect.
    69. The Commission adopts certain public interest obligations for 
the mobile services that are supported by the Alaska Plan.
    70. Provision of Service. At a minimum, the Commission finds that 
mobile carriers in remote Alaska must provide a stand-alone voice 
service and, at a minimum, offer to maintain the level of data service 
they were providing as of the respective dates their individual plans 
are adopted by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and to improve 
service consistent with their approved performance plans.
    71. Reasonably Comparable Rates. Section 254(b)(3) provides the 
universal service principle that consumers in all regions in the 
nation, including ``rural, insular, and high cost areas,'' should have 
access to advanced communications that are reasonably comparable to 
those services and rates available in urban areas. The Commission 
requires participating carriers to certify their compliance with this 
obligation in their annual compliance filings described below, and to 
demonstrate compliance at the end of the five-year milestone and 10-
year milestone, also described below. Further, consistent with the 
conclusions

[[Page 69705]]

in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, the Commission provides that a carrier 
may demonstrate compliance by showing that its required stand-alone 
voice plan, and one service plan that offers broadband data services, 
if it offers such plans, are (1) substantially similar to a service 
plan offered by at least one mobile wireless service provider in the 
cellular market area (CMA) for Anchorage, Alaska, and (2) offered for 
the same or a lower rate than the matching plan in the CMA for 
Anchorage. Because of the unique conditions in remote Alaska, however, 
and the variety of circumstances and costs of the affected carriers, 
the Commission authorizes the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to 
employ alternative benchmarks appropriate for specific competitive ETCs 
under the Alaska Plan in assessing carrier offerings.
    72. The Commission reject ACS's request that they require 
recipients to ensure reasonably comparable rates in their middle mile 
offerings. While recipients of the plan are free to invest in middle 
mile to bolster their last-mile mobile offerings, this support is not 
directly for improving middle-mile offerings to other carriers. As 
noted above, our overarching goal is to preserve and enhance the 
provision of broadband service to consumers.
    73. The Commission adopts a support term of 10 years for recipients 
of the Alaska Plan. Given the conditions faced by carriers specifically 
in remote Alaska, including the vast distance, the extreme weather, and 
the very short construction seasons, the Commission concludes that a 
10-year term of support will serve the public interest. The provision 
of predictable support over this timeframe will enable providers to 
undertake long-term plans to invest in and upgrade their mobile network 
services, while the requirement to file updated proposed deployment 
obligations during the 10-year term, as discussed below, will ensure 
that participating competitive ETCs are using their support in a manner 
that furthers universal service goals.
    74. Alaska Plan recipients will be permitted to use their Alaska 
Plan support for both operating expenses and capital expenses for new 
deployment, upgrades, and maintenance of mobile voice and broadband-
capable networks, including middle-mile improvements needed to those 
ends. As long as an Alaska Plan participant is offering service in an 
eligible area, as defined below, and consistent with the public 
interest obligations delineated in this Order, service in that area 
will be eligible for support.
    75. The Commission reject ACS's request that the Commission 
condition support under the plan by requiring recipients ``to spend at 
least 70% of their support to deploy and operate terrestrial middle-
mile facilities on routes where such facilities do not exist with 
sufficient capacity to meet demand based on speed and usage benchmarks 
the Commission has adopted across its universal service mechanisms.'' 
The Commission is not persuaded that requiring that each recipient 
dedicate 70% of its support to this specific task would best serve the 
interest of Alaskan consumers. For instance, the Quintillion Subsea 
Cable System could provide high speed broadband access to mobile 
providers along the west coast of Alaska, such as for ASTAC and OTZ 
Wireless, without those carriers having to spend 70% of their support 
to invest in separate middle-mile buildout. The Commission finds that 
allowing recipients to invest in middle-mile facilities as needed based 
on their respective situations would allow these carriers to better 
target the support that they receive in accordance with their 
circumstances to meet their deployment obligations.
    76. Moreover, the Commission determine that it is not in the public 
interest to regulate carriers that choose to build middle-mile 
facilities using support from the plan under dominant carrier 
regulations. ACS requests that ``[c]arriers constructing and operating 
middle mile facilities where there is no unaffiliated competitive 
terrestrial service provider . . . be regulated as dominant 
telecommunications carriers on those routes.'' It is not clear what ACS 
intends to be the consequences of such a condition, or that such a 
condition is either necessary or in the public interest. The Commission 
notes that GCI has already indicated that its provision of middle-mile 
service on the TERRA network is a Title II service provided subject to 
the common carriage requirements of sections 201 and 202 of the Act.
    77. Finally, the Commission declines to adopt ACS's proposed 
condition to deny transfer of support received by a competitive ETC 
participating in the Alaska Plan in all instances of transfer of 
customers or other affiliation or acquisition of one participating 
carrier by another. The Commission instead delegates to the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau to determine in the context of a particular 
proposed transaction involving a competitive ETC that is an Alaska Plan 
participant the extent to which a transfer of a proportionate amount of 
the transferring carrier's Alaska Plan support, along with what 
specific performance obligations, would serve the public interest.
    78. Performance Plans. The Commission appreciates the particular 
challenges that providing mobile service in Alaska presents to wireless 
carriers, and at this time they choose to adopt general, rather than 
specific, deployment parameters. The Commission adopts ATA's proposal 
that remote competitive ETCs that choose to participate in the Alaska 
Plan must submit a performance plan consistent with the requirements 
found in this Order. Each competitive ETC that would like to 
participate in the Alaska Plan must identify in its performance plan: 
(1) the types of middle mile used on that carrier's network; (2) the 
level of technology (2G, 3G, 4G LTE, etc.) that carrier provides 
service at for each type of middle mile used; (3) the delineated 
eligible populations served, as described below, at each technology 
level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years 
five and 10 of the support term; and (4) the minimum download and 
upload speeds at each technology level by each type of middle mile as 
they stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term. 
Accordingly, each performance plan must specify the population covered 
by the five-year and 10-year milestones the Commission adopts below, 
broken down for each type of middle mile, and within each type of 
middle mile, for each level of data service offered. The proposed 
performance plans must reflect any improvements to service, through 
improved middle mile, improved technology, or both. The Commission 
expects participants in the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers to offer 
service meeting the deployment standard described below. Alaska Plan 
participants must offer service meeting the milestones they commit to 
in their adopted service plans. The Commission delegates to the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to require additional 
information, including during the Bureau's review of the proposed 
performance plans, from individual participants that it deems necessary 
to establish clear standards for determining whether or not they meet 
their five- and 10-year commitments, which may include geographic 
location of delineated-eligible populations, as well as specific 
requirements for demonstrating that they have met their commitments 
regarding broadband speeds. This approach allows Alaska Plan 
participants the ability to deploy service and technology achievable 
and tailored

[[Page 69706]]

to the challenges faced by the carriers. The Commission also requires, 
however, that participating carriers update their end-of-term 
commitments no later than the end of year four, and they delegate 
authority to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to review these 
updates in light of any new developments, including newly available 
infrastructure, and require revised commitments if it serves the public 
interest.
    79. Deployment Standard. The Commission expects that Alaska Plan 
participants will work to extend 4G LTE service to populations who are 
currently served by 2G or 3G. However, the Commission recognizes that 
there are unique limitations to extending 4G LTE--and in certain 
locations 3G--in remote Alaska due to infrastructure and the cost of 
upgraded middle mile. Participants may also be permitted in particular 
circumstances to maintain lower levels of technology to a subset of 
locations due to such limitations as difficult terrain or lack of 
access to either terrestrial middle mile infrastructure or satellite 
backhaul providing middle-mile service with technical characteristics 
comparable to at least microwave backhaul. The Commission therefore 
authorizes the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to approve plans in 
particular circumstances that may propose not to provide 4G LTE 
service, but only to maintain service at 2G or 3G or to upgrade to 
service from 2G to 3G. The Commission has determined that it will serve 
the public interest to balance our goal of deploying reasonably 
comparable voice and broadband service with our goal of ensuring that 
universal service support is used efficiently and remains within the 
amounts budgeted to each participating competitive ETC. This approach 
is also consistent with our stated goal of ensuring that funding is 
``focused on preserving service that otherwise would not exist and 
expanding access to 4G LTE in those areas that the market otherwise 
would not serve,'' while accounting for the special challenges faced by 
mobile carriers in remote Alaska.
    80. Coverage. The Commission provides that frozen support provided 
to mobile carriers pursuant to the Alaska Plan may only be used to 
provide mobile voice and broadband service in those census blocks in 
remote Alaska where, as of December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the 
population was covered by the 4G LTE service of providers that are 
either unsubsidized or not eligible for frozen support in Alaska and 
accordingly subject to a phase down of all current support. Thus, 
mobile carriers receiving frozen support may only satisfy their 
performance commitments through service coverage in the eligible areas.
    81. The Commission finds that the ATA plan's refocus of competitive 
ETC support in Alaska to the remote areas is reasonable and in the 
public interest. First, the vast majority of the population of non-
remote Alaska is already receiving 4G LTE from a nationwide CMRS 
provider. Further, while a very small number of people within non-
remote Alaska are covered by only subsidized 4G LTE service from a 
nationwide CMRS provider--AT&T--the Commission is persuaded that AT&T 
does not need the support that it receives for this small area to 
continue providing service, given the success of both Verizon and AT&T 
in providing unsubsidized 4G LTE throughout the majority of non-remote 
Alaska and the willingness of GCI to forgo future support for its 4G 
LTE service in that area as well. The Commission notes also that AT&T 
makes no claim to needing support for this small area and that its own 
proposed standard of ineligibility would terminate support throughout 
non-remote Alaska. In addition, while non-remote Alaska is already 
extensively covered by LTE, numerous small communities in remote Alaska 
lack adequate or even the most basic mobile service. Under the plan the 
Commission adopted, funds will be allocated to help improve service and 
extend deployment to these remote areas, which they find will better 
serve the goals of universal service than further investment in the 
significant level of service already enjoyed by consumers living in 
non-remote Alaska.
    82. For this purpose, the Commission will treat a carrier's service 
in remote areas of Alaska as equivalent to service provided in non-
remote areas (and accordingly subject to a three-year phase down in 
support) if in connection with this service, the carrier did not 
previously claim the ``covered locations'' exception to the interim cap 
on competitive ETC support that the Commission established in 2008. In 
so doing, the Commission is guided by their approach to high cost 
support in remote Alaska in the 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 
which provided remote Alaskan carriers with a two-year delay in the 
phase down of legacy support applicable to carriers elsewhere, but only 
if the Alaskan carriers had previously claimed the covered locations 
exception. As a result, a carrier serving remote areas that had been 
eligible for the covered locations exception (which would have included 
any competitive ETC in remote Alaska) but that chose not to claim it 
was treated the same as providers in non-remote areas, for whom the 
Commission found ``no evidence . . . that any accommodation is 
necessary to preserve service or protect consumers. . . .'' Consistent 
with the eligibility for the remote Alaska delayed phase down 
established in the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission 
restricts competitive ETC eligibility for frozen support in remote 
Alaska to those competitive ETCs that both serve remote Alaska and 
claimed the covered locations exception, and the Commission provides 
that support going to carriers in remote Alaska who did not claim the 
covered locations exception will, like support in non-remote areas, be 
phased out and reallocated.
    83. The Commission further provides that, in remote Alaska, 
eligible areas will include only those census blocks where, as of 
December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the population was covered by the 
4G LTE service of providers that are either currently unsubsidized 
under the high cost mechanism or subject to a phase down of all current 
mobile support in the relevant census block. The Commission finds that 
excluding blocks where there is 4G LTE service being provided that is 
either unsubsidized or subject to a phase down of support will further 
our goal of targeting universal service support to areas that will not 
be served by the market without such support. The Commission also finds 
the proposed 85% coverage threshold reasonable for remote Alaska. As 
GCI notes, the use of an 85% threshold is analogous to the threshold 
used to determine competitive census blocks for rate-of-return carriers 
in the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order. Further, because census blocks 
in Alaska are quite large, it would not be surprising that a part of 
the census block would need further support even when another part of 
the block does not.
    84. The Commission declines to adopt AT&T's proposal that all areas 
covered by 4G LTE service, including remote areas receiving only 
subsidized 4G LTE service, should be ineligible for support absent a 
case-by-case waiver. The Commission finds, on the current record, 
including the unique costs and challenges of service in remote Alaska, 
the specific cost evidence submitted in the Brattle Group study, the 
limited extent of 4G LTE deployment in remote Alaska, and the consensus 
support for the ATA plan, that the approach the Commission adopts will 
better advance universal service in that region. In sum, the Commission 
concludes that it is in the public interest to allow competitive

[[Page 69707]]

ETCs participating in the Alaska Plan to use support provided by the 
Alaska Plan to provide service in remote census blocks where, as of 
December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the population received 4G LTE 
service from providers that are either unsubsidized or not eligible for 
frozen support in Alaska and accordingly subject to a phase down of all 
current support.
    85. Duplicative funding. As a general policy, since the reforms of 
the Commission's high cost support mechanisms adopted in 2011, the 
Commission has sought to eliminate the provision of high-cost support 
to more than one competitive ETC in the same area. The Alaska Plan as 
proposed by ATA makes no provisions, however, for addressing the 
potential for high-cost funds to support overlapping networks in remote 
Alaska at any time over the plan's 10-year term. The Commission is 
particularly concerned that it does not address the potential that 
high-cost funds could be used to support more than one 4G LTE 
deployment in the same area. The analysis of overlap submitted by the 
ATA signatories and independent staff analysis of the parties' Form 477 
submissions indicates that there is no current overlap of 4G LTE 
service provided by the eligible carriers. The same data suggest, 
however, that there is a potential for such overlap as eligible 
carriers upgrade their networks to 4G LTE to meet their performance 
commitments. At this time, however, the Commission cannot know with 
certainty whether such overlap will occur and, if so, in which 
locations and to what extent.
    86. Today, the Commission concludes that support provided to 
overlapped areas in the future should be redistributed to eliminate any 
instances of duplicate support for 4G LTE service in the manner to be 
determined once 4G LTE overlap is reevaluated during the fifth year of 
the plan. As discussed below and in the concurrently adopted FNPRM, the 
Commission therefore adopts a process for revisiting whether and to 
what extent there is duplicative funding for 4G LTE service during the 
first part of the 10-year term, and seek comment on mechanisms for 
eliminating any such duplicative funding, and for determining how to 
redistribute any such funds.
    87. The Commission will maintain the support levels they adopt 
today for the first five years of the term to spur 4G LTE deployment in 
remote Alaska, consistent with the carriers' performance commitments, 
in order to further our goal of promoting mobile broadband deployment 
in areas where such deployment has seriously lagged behind the rest of 
the Nation. To address the potential for duplicative support over time, 
however, the Commission will evaluate whether there is any overlap in 
subsidized 4G LTE coverage areas in the fifth year, with the 
expectation of eliminating any such duplicative support during the 
second half of the Plan's 10-year term. To do so, the Commission will 
assess 4G LTE deployment and any overlap in subsidized areas as of 
December 31, 2020, as reflected in the March 2021 Form 477 filing. 
Thereafter, based on that assessment as well as additional information 
in the record in response to the concurrently adopted FNPRM and in the 
resulting Order, the Commission will implement a process, at the 
beginning of the sixth year, to eliminate duplicative support to areas 
where there is more than one provider offering subsidized 4G LTE 
service. The Commission finds that this approach strikes the 
appropriate balance in promoting the deployment of 4G LTE services in 
remote Alaska, where such service has lagged significantly, while 
providing a mechanism to eliminate any duplicative support that may 
arise, consistent with our principles of fiscal responsibility and 
maximizing the impact of limited universal service funds.
    88. Timeline. The Commission will require competitive ETCs 
participating in the Alaska Plan to meet one interim milestone by the 
end of their fifth year of their support term and complete their 
deployment to the required population in their eligible service areas 
by the end of the tenth year of their support term.
    89. The Alaska Plan is limited to support of remote areas of 
Alaska, given the unique challenges faced by providers in those areas. 
A competitive ETC will be eligible for frozen support pursuant to the 
Alaska Plan if it serves remote areas in Alaska, and it certified that 
it served covered locations anywhere in remote areas in Alaska in its 
September 30, 2011 filing of line counts with the USAC. Competitive 
ETCs eligible for frozen support under the Alaska Plan will have a one-
time opportunity to elect to participate in the Plan.
    90. The Commission notes that eight Alaskan mobile carriers have 
submitted proposed performance plans to the Wireless Telecommunications 
Bureau. Given that this Order is consistent with ATA's proposal, 
subject to minor modifications, the Commission presumptively considers 
these plan commitments to constitute an election to participate in the 
plan. Alaskan carriers that choose to update their proposed performance 
commitments or not participate in the plan in light of this Order 
should file such updates or provide such notice no later than 30 days 
from the effective date of this Order. Competitive ETCs should submit 
any such updated performance plans or provide such notice in WC Docket 
No. 16-271. Also in light of this Order, the Commission directs the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to further review the proposed 
performance plans on file (or any timely filed update). While review of 
their performance plan is pending, carriers will remain on the revised 
legacy support mechanism. If the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau 
concludes that a proposed performance plan meets the applicable 
requirements the Commission adopts in this Order and will serve the 
public interest, it will release a public notice approving the relevant 
performance plan. The public notice will authorize the carrier to begin 
receiving support and direct USAC to obligate and disburse Alaska Plan 
support once the conditions are met. Support will be conditioned on an 
officer of the company submitting a letter in WC Docket No. 16-271 
certifying that the carrier will comply with the public interest 
obligations adopted in this Order and the deployment obligations set 
forth in the adopted performance plan within five days of the release 
of the Bureau's public notice or such longer period of time, not to 
exceed fifteen days, as the Bureau's public notice specifies.
    91. Competitive ETCs that are eligible but choose not to 
participate in the Alaska Plan, will have their current support phased 
down over a three-year period, as proposed in the Alaska Plan, 
beginning January 1, 2017. Competitive ETCs who are participants in the 
proposed Alaska Plan and who receive support in non-remote areas of 
Alaska will have such support phased down over the same period. Because 
the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers as an Alaska-
specific comprehensive substitute mechanism for mobile high-cost 
support, they further provide that there will be no support provided 
under Mobility Fund Phase II or Tribal Mobility Fund Phase II for 
mobile service within Alaska.
    92. The Commission provides a 12-month period from the release date 
of the Report and Order before the commencement of the three-year phase 
down of competitive ETC support insofar as it applies to carriers that 
are not signatories to the Alaska Plan, i.e., AT&T/Dobson. 
Specifically, the phase down will commence on the beginning of the 
month that immediately follows the expiration of the 12-month period.

[[Page 69708]]

The Commission finds this accommodation to be reasonable, as such a 
carrier may require additional transition time to reduce any 
disruptions.
    93. ATA proposes that, like the rate-of-return participants, 
competitive ETC participants be subject to the reporting requirements 
set forth in 54.313 and the recordkeeping and compliance requirements 
set forth in section 54.320(d) of the Commission's rules. The 
Commission adopts and build on that proposal, as described below.
    94. Annual Reporting Requirements. Pursuant to section 54.313 of 
the Commission's rules, competitive ETCs that participate in the Alaska 
Plan must continue to file FCC Form 481 on July 1 each year. Alaska 
Plan participants, like all ETCs subject to the jurisdiction of a 
State, are also required to have Alaska submit the section 54.314 
intended use certification on their behalf. Alaska Plan participants 
will no longer be required to file line counts as required by section 
54.307.
    95. As with the reporting requirements of Alaskan rate-of-return 
carriers, the Commission also establishes certain additional reporting 
requirements for carriers receiving support under the Alaska Plan. 
First, the Commission adds a reporting requirement to the Form 481 for 
competitive ETCs that participate in the Alaska Plan to help the 
Commission monitor the availability of infrastructure for these 
carriers. For Alaska Plan recipients that have identified in their 
adopted performance plans that they rely exclusively on performance-
limiting satellite backhaul for a certain portion of the population in 
their service area, the Commission will require that they certify 
whether any terrestrial backhaul, or any new-generation satellite 
backhaul service providing middle-mile service with technical 
characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul, became 
commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were 
previously served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite 
backhaul. If a recipient certifies that such new backhaul has become 
available, it must provide a description of the backhaul technology, 
the date on which that backhaul was made commercially available to the 
carrier, and the number of the population served by the new backhaul 
option. Further, the Commission requires those Alaska Plan providers 
that have not already committed to providing 4G LTE at 10/1 Mbps speeds 
to the population served by the newly available backhaul by the end of 
the plan term to submit revised performance commitments factoring in 
the availability of the new backhaul option no later than the due date 
of the Form 481 in which they have certified that such backhaul became 
commercially available. The Commission has not been persuaded to adopt 
ACS's first three proposed conditions and accordingly also decline to 
adopt reporting conditions related to these conditions. The Commission 
does find it appropriate, however, to impose a requirement that all 
competitive ETCs receiving support under the plan must retain 
documentation on how much of their Alaska Plan support was spent on 
capital expenses and operating expenses and be prepared to produce such 
documentation upon request, which will assist the Commission in 
enforcing the terms of the plan and ensuring funds are spent 
efficiently and in the public interest. The Commission expects that 
this requirement will not impose an undue burden on these recipients 
because they track their capital and operating expenditures in the 
regular course of business. Moreover, while the Commission rejects 
ACS's particular proposal that competitive ETCs should state by 
December 31, 2017 where they intend to deploy broadband and what 
middle-mile facilities they will build or lease, the Commission will 
require Alaska Plan participants to submit fiber network maps or 
microwave network maps in a format specified by the Bureaus covering 
eligible areas and to update such maps if they have deployed middle-
mile facilities in the prior calendar year that are or will be used to 
support their service in eligible areas. The Commission finds it will 
be more helpful to our ongoing assessment of the performance 
commitments of the recipients to have information on middle mile 
actually deployed rather than information regarding planned middle-mile 
deployment.
    96. Milestone Reporting Requirements. The Commission further 
determines that like other high-cost recipients that are required to 
meet milestones, each Alaska Plan participant will also be required to 
file certifications that it has met its milestones, including minimum 
download and upload speeds as stated in the approved performance plans. 
Each participant must certify that it has met its five-year milestone 
by the second month following its fifth year of support and certify 
that it has met its 10-year milestone by the second month following its 
tenth year of support. The Commission will rely on participating 
carriers' Form 477 submissions in determining whether each carrier's 
five-year and 10-year milestones have been met. Additionally, the 
Commission requires minimum upload and download speed certifications 
from carriers receiving more than $5 million annually in high cost 
funding to be supported by data from drive tests showing mobile 
transmissions to and from the network meeting or exceeding the speeds 
delineated in the approved performance plans. Based on the unique 
circumstances of remote Alaska, the Commission will not require drive-
testing data from participating carriers receiving less than this 
amount. As with Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, the Commission concludes 
that the required drive tests may be conducted by means other than in 
automobiles on roads, recognizing the unique terrain and lack of road 
networks in remote Alaska. Providers may demonstrate coverage of an 
area with a statistically significant number of tests in the vicinity 
of residences being covered. Equipment used to conduct the testing may 
be transported by off-road vehicles, such as snow-mobiles or other 
vehicles appropriate to local conditions.
    97. Reductions in support. The Commission has generally adopted a 
five-year and 10-year build-out milestone for the Alaska Plan that will 
be more specifically defined based on each participant's approved 
performance plan. Once a carrier's performance plan is approved by the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the carrier is required to meet the 
performance benchmarks of the plan. Alaska Plan participants that fail 
to meet these milestones will be subject to the same potential 
reductions in support as any other carrier subject to defined 
obligations. If, by the end of the 10-year term an Alaska Plan 
participant is unable to meet its final build-out milestone, it will be 
required to repay 1.89 times the average amount of support per location 
received over the 10-year term for the relevant number of locations 
that the carrier has failed to deploy to, plus 10 percent of its total 
Alaska Plan support received over the 10-year term.
    98. Audits. Like all ETCs, Alaska mobile carriers will be subject 
to ongoing oversight to ensure program integrity and to deter and 
detect waste, fraud and abuse. All ETCs that receive high-cost support 
are subject to compliance audits and other investigations to ensure 
compliance with program rules and orders. Our decision today to provide 
frozen support based on past support amounts does not limit the 
Commission's ability to recover funds or take other steps in the event 
of waste, fraud or abuse.

[[Page 69709]]

    99. The Commission adopts ATA's proposal to reallocate that support 
subject to the phase down under the Alaska Plan to support the 
provision of mobile service in currently unserved Alaskan remote areas, 
less an amount that they reallocate to Alaska rate-of-return carriers 
to adjust their support levels, and the Commission provides that the 
new funding for unserved areas will be distributed through a reverse 
auction process. The Commission finds that allocating this additional 
support to fund the deployment of service to currently unserved areas 
will further the goal of ensuring ``universal availability of modern 
networks capable of providing mobile voice and broadband service where 
Americans live, work, and travel.'' As support to non-remote 
competitive ETCs phases down, up to approximately $22 million of 
support annually will be available to support mobile service in 
currently unserved remote areas, with such support to be awarded 
through a reverse auction. Any competitive ETC, including competitive 
ETCs that do not otherwise receive support for mobile service in remote 
Alaska, may bid in the auction to receive annual support through the 
remainder of the Plan term to extend service to areas that do not have 
commercial mobile radio service as of December 31, 2014. The Commission 
provides that, for the purposes of this support, ``unserved'' areas are 
those census blocks where less than 15% of the population within the 
census block was within any mobile carrier's coverage area. The 
Commission further provides that the reverse auction will be subject to 
the competitive bidding rules codified at Part 1 Subpart AA of the 
Commission's rules and delegate to the Wireless Telecommunications 
Bureau authority to otherwise determine the applicable procedures and 
performance requirements to implement the reverse auction as 
established today.

IV. Procedural Matters

    100. This document contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, 
and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new 
information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In 
addition, the Commission notes that pursuant to the Small Business 
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(4), they previously sought specific comment on how the 
Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The Commission 
describes impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes 
most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) in Appendix B, infra.
    101. The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order to 
Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
    102. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 
as amended, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses (IRFA) was 
incorporated in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted in 
November 2011 (USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM, 76 FR 78384, December 16, 
2011) and the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted in April 
2014 (April 2014 Connect America FNPRM, 79 FR 39196, July 9, 2016). The 
Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the USF/
ICC Transformation FNPRM and April 2014 Connect America FNPRM, 
including comment on the IRFAs. The Commission did not receive any 
relevant comments in response to these IRFAs. This Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.
    103. In the Report and Order, the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan 
for rate-of-return carriers and competitive eligible telecommunications 
carriers serving Alaska to support the deployment of voice and 
broadband-capable wireline and mobile networks in Alaska.
    104. The Commission provides Alaskan rate-of-return carriers with 
the option to obtain a fixed level of funding for a defined term in 
exchange for committing to deployment obligations that are tailored to 
each Alaska rate-of-return carrier's unique circumstances. 
Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time opportunity for 
Alaskan rate-of-return carriers to elect to receive support in an 
amount equal to adjusted 2011 levels for a 10-year term. The Commission 
directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to review proposed performance 
commitments. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers can elect to participate 
in the Alaska Plan, or can choose to receive support from the 
Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) or remain on the 
reformed legacy mechanisms. Like all other Connect America programs, 
the Commission will monitor Alaska Plan participants' progress in 
meeting their deployment obligations throughout the 10-year term.
    105. The Commission additionally provides competitive ETCs serving 
remote areas of Alaska the option to obtain a fixed level of funding 
for a defined term in exchange for committing to performance 
obligations that are tailored to each competitive ETC's unique 
circumstances. Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time 
opportunity for competitive ETCs serving remote areas of Alaska to 
elect to receive support frozen, for a majority of the carriers, at the 
levels the carriers received as of December 2014, and for one carrier 
at its March 2015 level. The Commission requires mobile carriers that 
wish to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan to submit performance 
plans indicating the population in their service area to which they 
will offer mobile service, the type of technology for last mile and 
middle mile, and minimum upload and download speeds meeting the public 
interest obligations the Commission adopt in this Order at five-year 
and ten-year service milestones. The Commission delegates to the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to approve such plans if 
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau determines they are consistent 
with the public interest and comply with the requirements adopted in 
this Order. Competitive ETCs serving remote areas of Alaska that are 
not signatories to Alaska Plan and competitive ETCs that serve non-
remote areas of Alaska will have their support phased down over a 
three-year period. Competitive ETC support insofar as it applies to 
carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan will be subject to 
a 12 month period from the release date of the Report and Order before 
the commencement of the three-year phase down. Alaskan providers will 
not be eligible for any additional support for mobile services under 
our proposed Mobility Fund Phase II and Tribal Mobility Fund Phase II 
programs. Like all other high-cost programs, the Commission will 
monitor Alaska Plan participants' progress in meeting their deployment 
obligations throughout the 10-year term.
    106. There were no comments raised that specifically addressed the 
proposed rules and policies presented in the USF/ICC Transformation 
FNRPM IRFA or April 2014 Connect America FNPRM IRFA. Nonetheless, the 
Commission considered the potential impact of the rules proposed in the 
IRFA on small entities and reduced the compliance burden for all small 
entities in order to

[[Page 69710]]

reduce the economic impact of the rules enacted herein on such 
entities.
    107. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which amended 
the RFA, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by 
the Chief Counsel of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to 
provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule(s) 
as a result of those comments.
    108. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the 
proposed rule(s) in this proceeding.
    109. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small-business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A small-business concern'' is one which: (1) Is independently 
owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and 
(3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA).
    110. Total Small Entities. Our proposed action, if implemented, 
may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized 
at present. The Commission therefore describes here, at the outset, 
three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards. First, 
nationwide, there are a total of approximately 28.2 million small 
businesses, according to the SBA, which represents 99.7% of all 
businesses in the United States. In addition, a ``small organization'' 
is generally ``any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently 
owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.'' Nationwide, as 
of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations. 
Finally, the term ``small governmental jurisdiction'' is defined 
generally as ``governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, 
school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than 
fifty thousand.'' Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 
90,056 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. The 
Commission estimates that, of this total, as many as 89,327 entities 
may qualify as ``small governmental jurisdictions.'' Thus, the 
Commission estimates that most governmental jurisdictions are small.
    111. In the Report and Order, for rate-of-return carriers, the 
Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to review proposed 
performance plans from Alaskan rate-of-return carriers interested in 
participating in the Alaska Plan that specify the number of locations 
they commit to serve and the minimum speeds. The Wireline Competition 
Bureau will release a public notice approving the plan.
    112. Alaska Plan rate-of-return participants will be given a 10-
year term of support and will be required to offer voice and broadband 
service meeting certain latency, data usage, and reasonably comparable 
rate obligations. In their performance plans, Alaska Plan rate-of-
return recipients will commit to offer such service to a certain number 
of locations in their service areas at specified minimum speeds by the 
end of the fifth year of their support term and by the end of the 10th 
year of their support term, or in the alternative maintain existing 
voice and broadband service meeting the relevant public interest 
obligations to a specified number of locations. Alaska Plan rate-of-
return recipients that fail to meet their service milestones will be 
subject to certain non-compliance measures, including support 
reductions and reporting. No later than the end of the fourth year of 
support, Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients must update their end-
of-term commitments, which will be reviewed by the Wireline Competition 
Bureau, taking into account such factors as improved access to middle 
mile infrastructure and updated competitive coverage. The Wireline 
Competition Bureau will reassess the approved performance plans of 
carriers that commit to maintain existing service more frequently.
    113. Carriers electing to participate will be required to submit a 
letter from an officer of the company certifying that they will comply 
with the required public interest obligations and performance 
obligations set forth in their approved performance plan. To monitor 
Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients' use of support to ensure it is 
used for its intended purpose, the Commission has imposed several 
reporting requirements. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients must file 
annual FCC Form 481s and must also certify and report certain data 
regarding the availability of backhaul and certify compliance with the 
relevant public interest obligations and their adopted performance 
plan. They must also submit fiber network maps and microwave network 
maps.
    114. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients are also required to 
submit certain geocoded location data for the locations where they 
deploy new service. The Commission expects such information will be 
submitted on a rolling basis, but must be submitted by no later than 
March 1, 2018 and then March 1 following each support year. Alaska Plan 
rate-of-return recipients must also certify that they have met their 
five-year and 10-year service milestones. Finally, Alaska Plan 
recipients are required to comply with all other existing high-cost 
reporting and oversight mechanisms, unless otherwise modified by the 
Order.
    115. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients will only be able to 
count toward new deployment obligations locations in areas that are 
unserved by qualifying unsubsidized competitors. The Commission will 
rely on Form 477 data to preliminarily identify areas that are served 
by competitors. A challenge process will be held where competitors, 
which carry the burden of persuasion, must certify that they offer 
qualifying voice and broadband services to 85 percent of the locations 
in the relevant census blocks, accompanied by evidence. The incumbent 
and other interested parties will then be able to contest the showing 
made by the competitor. The Wireline Competition Bureau will make a 
final determination of which census blocks are competitively served, 
weighing all of the evidence in the record.
    116. Each competitive ETC that participates in the Alaska Plan must 
identify in its performance plan: (1) the types of middle mile used on 
that carrier's network; (2) the level of technology (2G, 3G, 4G LTE, 
etc.) that carrier provides service at for each type of middle mile 
used; (3) the delineated eligible populations served at each technology 
level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years 
five and 10 of the support term; and 4) the minimum download and upload 
speeds at each technology level by each type of middle mile as they 
stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term. 
Accordingly, each performance plan must specify the level of data 
service by each type of middle mile on a per person basis that will be 
offered by the five-year and 10-year milestones the Commission adopted. 
The proposed performance plans must reflect any improvements to 
service, through improved middle mile, improved technology, or both. 
Alaska Plan participants must offer service meeting the milestones they 
commit to in their adopted service plans. The Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau may require additional information, including 
during the Bureau's review of the proposed performance plans, from 
individual participants that it deems necessary to establish clear 
standards

[[Page 69711]]

for determining whether or not they meet their five- and 10-year 
commitments, which may include geographic location of delineated-
eligible populations, as well as specific requirements for 
demonstrating that competitive ETCs have met their commitments 
regarding broadband speeds. Competitive ETC participants are also 
required to update their end-of-term commitments no later than the end 
of year four, and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will review 
these updates in light of any new developments, including newly 
available infrastructure, and require revised commitments if it serves 
the public interest.
    117. Carriers electing to participate will be required to submit a 
letter from an officer of the company certifying that they will comply 
with the required public interest obligations and performance 
obligations set forth in their approved performance plan. Competitive 
ETCs participating in the Alaska Plan will be given a 10-year term of 
support and will be required to offer mobile service consistent with 
the public interest obligations set forth in this Order. Alaska Plan 
participants that fail to meet their service milestones will be subject 
to certain non-compliance measures, including support reductions and 
reporting. To monitor Alaska Plan recipients' use of support to ensure 
it is used for its intended purpose, the Commission has imposed several 
reporting requirements. Alaska Plan recipients must file annual FCC 
Form 481s and must also certify and report certain data regarding the 
availability of backhaul and certify compliance with the relevant 
public interest obligations and their adopted performance plans. Alaska 
Plan recipients must also submit fiber network maps and microwave 
network maps. Alaska Plan recipients must certify that they have met 
their five-year and ten-year service milestones, including any 
obligations pursuant to revised approved performance plans, and that 
they have met the requisite public interest obligations contained in 
this Order. Additionally, for mobile carriers receiving more than $5 
million annually in support, these certifications must be accompanied 
by data received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage 
for mobile service covering the population for which support was 
received and showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's 
network meeting or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload 
speeds delineated in the approved performance plans. The Commission 
expects such information will be submitted no later than March 1, 2022, 
and March 1, 2027.
    118. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, 
which may include (among others) the following four alternatives: (1) 
The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; 
(3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an 
exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small 
entities. The Commission has considered all of these factors subsequent 
to receiving substantive comments from the public and potentially 
affected entities. The Commission has considered the economic impact on 
small entities, as identified in comments filed in response to the USF/
ICC Transformation NPRM and FNRPM and their IRFAs, in reaching its 
final conclusions and taking action in this proceeding.
    119. The Commission is providing small Alaskan rate-of-return 
carriers with the certainty they need to invest in voice and broadband-
capable networks by offering 10 years of adjusted 2011 frozen support. 
Recognizing the unique conditions and challenges they face, the 
Commission is giving them the flexibility to submit performance plans 
where they set the number of locations that will be upgraded in their 
service area and the minimum speeds they commit to serve. If the 
Wireline Competition Bureau approves the plan, they have the 
opportunity to elect to receive Alaska Plan support or instead they can 
elect model-based support or choose to remain on the reformed legacy 
support mechanisms. The Commission also adopted two service 
milestones--one halfway through the support term and the other at the 
end of the support term--to give more flexibility to Alaska Plan 
recipients to account for the fact that they have a shortened 
construction season and face other challenges in building 
infrastructure that are unique to Alaska.
    120. The Commission also takes steps to prohibit Alaska Plan rate-
of-return recipients from using Alaska Plan support to upgrade or 
deploy new broadband in areas that are served by a qualifying 
unsubsidized competitor. However, the Commission removes from 
eligibility only those census blocks where an unsubsidized competitor 
offers service to at least 85 percent of their locations.
    121. The Commission notes that the reporting requirements they 
adopt for Alaskan rate-of-return carriers are tailored to ensuring that 
Alaska Plan support is used for its intended purpose and so that the 
Commission can monitor the progress of recipients in meeting their 
service milestones. The Commission finds that the importance of 
monitoring the use of the public's funds outweighs the burden of filing 
the required information on Alaska Plan recipients, particularly 
because much of the information that the Commission requires they 
report is information they expect they will already be collecting to 
ensure they comply with the terms and conditions of Alaska Plan support 
and they will be able to submit their location data on a rolling basis 
to help minimize the burden of uploading a large number of locations at 
once.
    122. The Commission is additionally providing small competitive 
ETCs serving remote Alaska with the certainty they need to invest in 
mobile service to remote areas by offering 10 years of adjusted 
December 2014 frozen support. Recognizing the unique conditions and 
challenges they face, the Commission is giving them the flexibility to 
submit performance plans where they set the number of the population 
that will be upgraded in their service area, the middle mile technology 
they commit to use, and minimum speeds at which they commit to offer 
service. If the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau approves the plan, 
they have the opportunity to elect to receive Alaska Plan support or 
have their support phase down over a three year term. The Commission 
also adopted two service milestones--one halfway through the support 
term and the other at the end of the support term--to give more 
flexibility to Alaska Plan recipients to account for the fact that they 
have a shortened construction season and face other challenges in 
building infrastructure that are unique to Alaska.
    123. The Commission removes from eligibility for support those 
census blocks where there is 4G LTE service being provided that is 
either unsubsidized or subject to a phase down of support.
    124. The Commission notes that the reporting requirements they 
adopt for competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska are tailored to 
ensuring that Alaska Plan support is used for its intended purpose and 
so that the Commission can monitor the progress of recipients in 
meeting their service milestones. The Commission finds that the 
importance of monitoring the use of the public's

[[Page 69712]]

funds outweighs the burden of filing the required information on Alaska 
Plan recipients, particularly because much of the information that the 
Commission requires they report is information the Commission expects 
they will already be collecting to ensure they comply with the terms 
and conditions of Alaska Plan support.
    125. People with Disabilities. To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

V. Ordering Clauses

    126. Accordingly, It is ordered, pursuant to the authority 
contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 5, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 
254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, 
as amended, and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 
256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 1302 that this Report and Order IS ADOPTED.
    127. It is further ordered that Part 54 and Part 69, of the 
Commission's rules, 47 CFR parts 54 and 69, ARE AMENDED as set forth 
below.
    128. It is further ordered that the rules adopted herein WILL 
BECOME EFFECTIVE November 7, 2016, except for Sec. Sec.  
54.313(f)(1)(i), 54.313(f)(3), 54.313(l), 54.316(a)(1), 54.316(a)(5) 
and(6), 54.316(b)(6), 54.320(d), and 54.321, which contain new or 
modified information collection requirements that require approval by 
the OMB. The Commission will publisha document in the Federal Register 
announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 54

    Communications common carriers, Health facilities, Infants and 
children, Internet, Libraries, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Schools, Telecommunications, Telephone.

47 CFR Part 69

    Communications common carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Telephone.

Federal Communications Commission.
Gloria J. Miles,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 54 and 69 as follows:

PART 54--UNIVERSAL SERVICE

0
1. The authority citation for part 54 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 155, 201, 205, 214, 219, 220, 
254, 303(r), 403, and 1302 unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Section 54.306 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  54.306  Alaska Plan for Rate-of-Return Carriers Serving Alaska.

    (a) Election of support. For purposes of subparts A, B, C, D, H, I, 
J, K and M of this part, rate-of-return carriers (as that term is 
defined in Sec.  54.5) serving Alaska have a one-time option to elect 
to participate in the Alaska Plan on a state-wide basis. Carriers 
exercising this option shall receive the lesser of;
    (1) Support as described in paragraph (c) of this section or
    (2) $3,000 annually for each line for which the carrier is 
receiving support as of the effective date of this rule.
    (b) Performance plans. In order to receive support pursuant to this 
section, a rate-of-return carrier must be subject to a performance plan 
approved by the Wireline Competition Bureau. The performance plan must 
indicate specific deployment obligations and performance requirements 
sufficient to demonstrate that support is being used in the public 
interest and in accordance with the requirements adopted by the 
Commission for the Alaska Plan. Performance plans must commit to offer 
specified minimum speeds to a set number of locations by the end of the 
fifth year of support and by the end of the tenth year of support, or 
in the alternative commit to maintaining voice and Internet service at 
a specified minimum speeds for the 10-year term. The Bureau may 
reassess performance plans at the end of the fifth year of support. If 
the specific deployment obligations and performance requirements in the 
approved performance plan are not achieved, the carrier shall be 
subject to Sec.  54.320(c) and (d).
    (c) Support amounts and support term. For a period of 10 years 
beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireline 
Competition Bureau, each Alaska Plan participant shall receive monthly 
Alaska Plan support in an amount equal to:
    (1) One-twelfth (1/12) of the amount of Interstate Common Line 
Support disbursed to that carrier for 2011, less any reduction made to 
that carrier's support in 2012 pursuant to the corporate operations 
expense limit in effect in 2012, and without regard to prior period 
adjustments related to years other than 2011 and as determined by USAC 
on January 31, 2012; plus
    (2) One-twelfth (1/12) of the total expense adjustment (high cost 
loop support) disbursed to that carrier for 2011, without regard to 
prior period adjustments related to years other than 2011 and as 
determined by USAC on January 31, 2012.
    (d) Transfers. Notwithstanding any provisions of Sec.  54.305 or 
other sections in this part, to the extent an Alaska Plan participant 
(as defined in Sec.  54.306 or Sec.  54.317) transfers some or all of 
its customers in Alaska to another eligible telecommunications carrier, 
it may also transfer a proportionate amount of its Alaska Plan support 
and any associated performance obligations as determined by the 
Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau if 
the acquiring eligible telecommunications carrier certifies it will 
meet the associated obligations agreed to in the approved performance 
plan.

0
3. Section 54.308 is amended by adding paragraphs (c) and (d) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  54.308  Broadband public interest obligations for recipients of 
high-cost support.

* * * * *
    (c) Alaskan rate-of-return carriers receiving support from the 
Alaska Plan pursuant to Sec.  54.306 are exempt from paragraph (a) of 
this section and are instead required to offer voice and broadband 
service with latency suitable for real-time applications, including 
Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably 
comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas, at rates that are 
reasonably comparable to rates for comparable offerings in urban areas, 
subject to any limitations in access to backhaul as described in Sec.  
54.313(g). Alaska Plan recipients' specific broadband deployment and 
speed obligations shall be governed by the terms of their approved 
performance plans as described in Sec.  54.306(b). Alaska Plan 
recipients must also comply with paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) Mobile carriers that are receiving support from the Alaska Plan 
pursuant to Sec.  54.317(e) shall certify in their annual compliance 
filings that their rates are reasonably comparable to rates for 
comparable offerings in urban areas. The mobile carrier must also 
demonstrate compliance at the end of the five-year milestone and 10-
year milestone and may do this by showing that its required stand-alone 
voice plan, and one service plan that offers

[[Page 69713]]

broadband data services, if it offers such plans, are:
    (1) Substantially similar to a service plan offered by at least one 
mobile wireless service provider in the cellular market area (CMA) for 
Anchorage, Alaska, and
    (2) Offered for the same or a lower rate than the matching plan in 
the CMA for Anchorage.

0
4. Section 54.313 is amended by revising paragraph (f)(1)(i), adding 
paragraph (f)(3), revising paragraph (g), and adding paragraph (l) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  54.313  Annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) A certification that it is taking reasonable steps to provide 
upon reasonable request broadband service at actual speeds of at least 
10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, with latency suitable for real-time 
applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage 
capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban 
areas as determined in an annual survey, and that requests for such 
service are met within a reasonable amount of time; or if the rate-of-
return carrier is receiving Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  
54.306, a certification that it is offering broadband service with 
latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over 
Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to 
comparable offerings in urban areas, and at speeds committed to in its 
approved performance plan to the locations it has reported pursuant to 
Sec.  54.316(a), subject to any limitations due to the availability of 
backhaul as specified in paragraph (g) of this section.
* * * * *
    (3) For rate-of-return carriers participating in the Alaska Plan, 
funding recipients must certify as to whether any terrestrial backhaul 
or other satellite backhaul became commercially available in the 
previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively 
by performance-limiting satellite backhaul. To the extent that such new 
terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed, or other satellite 
backhaul become commercially available, or existing facilities improve 
sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity 
requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the 
Alaska Plan, the funding recipient must provide a description of the 
backhaul technology, the date at which that backhaul was made 
commercially available to the carrier, and the number of locations that 
are newly served by the new terrestrial backhaul or other satellite 
backhaul. Within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming 
commercially available, funding recipients must certify that they are 
offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time 
applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage 
capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban 
areas. Funding recipients' minimum speed deployment obligations will be 
reassessed as specified by the Commission.
* * * * *
    (g) Areas with no terrestrial backhaul. Carriers without access to 
terrestrial backhaul that are compelled to rely exclusively on 
satellite backhaul in their study area must certify annually that no 
terrestrial backhaul options exist. Any such funding recipients must 
certify they offer broadband service at actual speeds of at least 1 
Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream within the supported area served 
by satellite middle-mile facilities. To the extent that new terrestrial 
backhaul facilities are constructed, or existing facilities improve 
sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity 
requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the 
Connect America Fund, within twelve months of the new backhaul 
facilities becoming commercially available, funding recipients must 
provide the certifications required in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this 
section in full. Carriers subject to this paragraph must comply with 
all other requirements set forth in the remaining paragraphs of this 
section. These obligations may be modified for carriers participating 
in the Alaska Plan.
* * * * *
    (l) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph 
(a) of this section, any competitive eligible telecommunications 
carrier participating in the Alaska Plan must provide the following:
    (1) Funding recipients that have identified in their approved 
performance plans that they rely exclusively on satellite backhaul for 
a certain portion of the population in their service area must certify 
as to whether any terrestrial backhaul or other satellite backhaul 
became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas 
that were previously served exclusively by satellite backhaul. To the 
extent that new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed or 
other satellite backhaul become commercially available, the funding 
recipient must:
    (i) Provide a description of the backhaul technology;
    (ii) Provide the date on which that backhaul was made commercially 
available to the carrier;
    (iii) Provide the number of the population within their service 
area that are served by the newly available backhaul option; and
    (iv) To the extent the funding recipient has not already committed 
to providing 4G LTE at 10/1 Mbps to the population served by the newly 
available backhaul by the end of the plan term, submit a revised 
performance commitment factoring in the availability of the new 
backhaul option no later than the due date of the Form 481 in which 
they have certified that such backhaul became commercially available.
    (2) [Reserved]

0
5. Section 54.316 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) and adding 
paragraphs (a)(5) and (6) and (b)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  54.316   Broadband deployment reporting and certification 
requirements for high-cost recipients.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Recipients of high-cost support with defined broadband 
deployment obligations pursuant to Sec.  54.308(a), 54.308(c), or Sec.  
54.310(c) shall provide to the Administrator on a recurring basis 
information regarding the locations to which the eligible 
telecommunications carrier is offering broadband service in 
satisfaction of its public interest obligations, as defined in either 
Sec.  54.308 or Sec.  54.309.
* * * * *
    (5) Recipients subject to the requirements of Sec.  54.308(c) shall 
report the number of newly deployed and upgraded locations and 
locational information, including geocodes, where they are offering 
service providing speeds they committed to in their adopted performance 
plans pursuant to Sec.  54.306(b).
    (6) Recipients subject to the requirements of Sec.  54.308(c) or 
Sec.  54.317(e) shall submit fiber network maps or microwave network 
maps covering eligible areas. At the end of any calendar year for which 
middle-mile facilities were deployed, these recipients shall also 
submit updated maps showing middle-mile facilities that are or will be 
used to support their services in eligible areas.
    (b) * * *

[[Page 69714]]

    (6) A rate-of-return carrier authorized to receive Alaska Plan 
support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 shall provide:
    (i) No later than March 1, 2022 a certification that it fulfilled 
the deployment obligations and is offering service meeting the 
requisite public interest obligations as specified in Sec.  54.308(c) 
to the required number of locations as of December 31, 2021.
    (ii) No later than March 1, 2027 a certification that it fulfilled 
the deployment obligations and is offering service meeting the 
requisite public interest obligations as specified in Sec.  54.308(c) 
to the required number of locations as of December 31, 2026.
* * * * *

0
6. Section 54.317 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  54.317   Alaska Plan for competitive eligible telecommunications 
carriers serving remote Alaska.

    (a) Election of support. Subject to the requirements of this 
section, certain competitive eligible telecommunications carriers 
serving remote areas in Alaska, as defined in Sec.  54.307(e)(3)(i), 
shall have a one-time option to elect to participate in the Alaska 
Plan. Carriers exercising this option with approved performance plans 
shall have their support frozen for a period of ten years beginning on 
or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding Sec.  54.307.
    (b) Carriers eligible for support. A competitive eligible 
telecommunications carrier shall be eligible for frozen support 
pursuant to the Alaska Plan if that carrier serves remote areas in 
Alaska as defined by Sec.  54.307(e)(3)(i) and if that carrier 
certified that it served covered locations in Alaska in its September 
30, 2011, filing of line counts with the Administrator and submitted a 
performance plan by August 23, 2016.
    (c) Interim support for remote areas in Alaska. From January 1, 
2012, until December 31, 2016, competitive eligible telecommunications 
carriers subject to the delayed phase down for remote areas in Alaska 
pursuant to Sec.  54.307(e)(3) shall receive support as calculated in 
Sec.  54.307(e)(3)(v).
    (d) Support amounts and support term. For a period of 10 years 
beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding Sec.  54.307, each Alaska 
Plan participant shall receive monthly Alaska Plan support in an amount 
equal to the annualized monthly support amount it received for December 
2014. Alaska Plan participants shall no longer be required to file line 
counts.
    (e) Use of frozen support. Frozen support allocated through the 
Alaska Plan may only be used to provide mobile voice and mobile 
broadband service in those census blocks in remote areas of Alaska, as 
defined in Sec.  54.307(e)(3)(i), that did not, as of December 31, 
2014, receive 4G LTE service directly from providers that were either 
unsubsidized or ineligible to claim the delayed phase down under Sec.  
54.307(e)(3) and covering, in the aggregate, at least 85 percent of the 
population of the block. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted 
to limit the use of frozen support to build or upgrade middle-mile 
infrastructure outside such remote areas of Alaska if such middle mile 
infrastructure is necessary to the provision of mobile voice and mobile 
broadband service in such remote areas. Alaska Plan participants may 
use frozen support to provide mobile voice and mobile broadband service 
in remote areas of Alaska served by competitive eligible 
telecommunications carrier partners of ineligible carriers if those 
areas are served using the competitive eligible telecommunications 
carrier's infrastructure.
    (f) Performance plans. In order to receive support pursuant to this 
section, a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier must be 
subject to a performance plan approved by the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau. The performance plan must indicate specific 
deployment obligations and performance requirements sufficient to 
demonstrate that support is being used in the public interest and in 
accordance with paragraph (e) of this section and the requirements 
adopted by the Commission for the Alaska Plan. For each level of 
wireless service offered (2G/Voice, 3G, and 4G LTE) and each type of 
middle mile used in connection with that level of service, the 
performance plan must specify minimum speeds that will be offered to a 
specified population by the end of the fifth year of support and by the 
end of the tenth year of support. Alaska Plan participants shall, no 
later than the end of the fourth year of the ten-year term, review and 
modify their end-of-term commitments in light of any new developments, 
including newly available infrastructure. The Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau may require the filing of revised commitments 
at other times if justified by developments that occur after the 
approval of the initial performance commitments. If the specific 
performance obligations are not achieved in the time period identified 
in the approved performance plans the carrier shall be subject to Sec.  
54.320(c) and (d).
    (g) Phase down of non-participating competitive eligible 
telecommunications carrier high-cost support. Notwithstanding Sec.  
54.307, and except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, 
support distributed in Alaska on or after January 1, 2017 to 
competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that serve areas in 
Alaska other than remote areas of Alaska, that are ineligible for 
frozen support under paragraphs (b) or (e) of this section, or that do 
not elect to receive support under this section, shall be governed by 
this paragraph. Such support shall be subject to phase down in three 
years as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, except that 
carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan will instead be 
subject to a three-year phase down commencing on September 1, 2017, and 
competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that are signatories 
to the Alaska Plan but did not submit a performance plan by August 23, 
2016 shall not receive support in remote areas beginning January 1, 
2017.
    (1) From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, each such 
competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive two-
thirds of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 
2014 for the relevant study area.
    (2) From January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, each such 
competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive one-third 
of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 2014 
for the relevant study area.
    (3) Beginning January 1, 2019, no such competitive eligible 
telecommunications carrier shall receive universal service support for 
the relevant study area pursuant to this section or Sec.  54.307.
    (h) Support for unserved remote areas of Alaska. Beginning January 
1, 2017, support that, but for paragraph (g) of this section, would be 
allocated to carriers subject to paragraph (g) of this section shall be 
allocated for a reverse auction, with performance obligations 
established at the time of such auction, for deployment of mobile 
service to remote areas of Alaska, as defined in Sec.  54.307(e)(3)(i), 
that are without commercial mobile radio service as of December 31, 
2014.

0
7. Section 54.320 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(1) through (3) 
to read as follows:

[[Page 69715]]

Sec.  54.320  Compliance and recordkeeping for the high-cost program.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) Interim build-out milestones. Upon notification that an 
eligible telecommunications carrier has defaulted on an interim build-
out milestone after it has begun receiving high-cost support, the 
Wireline Competition Bureau--or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in 
the case of mobile carrier participants--will issue a letter evidencing 
the default. For purposes of determining whether a default has 
occurred, a carrier must be offering service meeting the requisite 
performance obligations. The issuance of this letter shall initiate 
reporting obligations and withholding of a percentage of the eligible 
telecommunication carrier's total monthly high-cost support, if 
applicable, starting the month following the issuance of the letter:
    (i) Tier 1. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a 
compliance gap of at least five percent but less than 15 percent of the 
number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is 
required to have built out to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-
carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, 
middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance 
plan, by the interim milestone, the Wireline Competition Bureau or 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will issue a letter to that effect. 
Starting three months after the issuance of this letter, the eligible 
telecommunications carrier will be required to file a report every 
three months identifying the geocoded locations to which the eligible 
telecommunications carrier has newly deployed facilities capable of 
delivering broadband meeting the requisite requirements with Connect 
America support in the previous quarter, or, in the case of Alaska Plan 
mobile-carrier participants, the populations to which the competitive 
eligible telecommunications carrier has extended or upgraded service 
meeting their approved performance plan and obligations. Eligible 
telecommunications carriers that do not file these quarterly reports on 
time will be subject to support reductions as specified in Sec.  
54.313(j). The eligible telecommunications carrier must continue to 
file quarterly reports until the eligible telecommunications carrier 
reports that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than five 
percent of the required number of locations (or population, if 
applicable) for that interim milestone and the Wireline Competition 
Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issues a letter to that 
effect.
    (ii) Tier 2. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a 
compliance gap of at least 15 percent but less than 25 percent of the 
number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is 
required to have built out to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-
carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, 
middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance 
plan, by the interim milestone, USAC will withhold 15 percent of the 
eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that state 
and the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file 
quarterly reports. Once the eligible telecommunications carrier has 
reported that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 15 percent 
of the required number of locations (or population, if applicable) for 
that interim milestone for that state, the Wireline Competition Bureau 
or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a letter to that 
effect, USAC will stop withholding support, and the eligible 
telecommunications carrier will receive all of the support that had 
been withheld. The eligible telecommunications carrier will then move 
to Tier 1 status.
    (iii) Tier 3. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a 
compliance gap of at least 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the 
number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is 
required to have built out to by the interim milestone, or, in the case 
of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, population covered by the 
specified technology, middle mile, and speed of service in the 
carrier's approved performance plan, USAC will withhold 25 percent of 
the eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that 
state and the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to 
file quarterly reports. Once the eligible telecommunications carrier 
has reported that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 25 
percent of the required number of locations (or population, if 
applicable) for that interim milestone for that state, the Wireline 
Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a 
letter to that effect, the eligible telecommunications carrier will 
move to Tier 2 status.
    (iv) Tier 4. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a 
compliance gap of 50 percent or more of the number of locations that 
the eligible telecommunications carrier is required to have built out 
to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, 
population covered by the specified technology, middle mile, and speed 
of service in the carrier's approved performance plan, by the interim 
milestone:
    (A) USAC will withhold 50 percent of the eligible 
telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that state, and the 
eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file quarterly 
reports. As with the other tiers, as the eligible telecommunications 
carrier reports that it has lessened the extent of its non-compliance, 
and the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications 
Bureau issues a letter to that effect, it will move down the tiers 
until it reaches Tier 1 (or no longer is out of compliance with the 
relevant interim milestone).
    (B) If after having 50 percent of its support withheld for six 
months the eligible telecommunications carrier has not reported that it 
is eligible for Tier 3 status (or one of the other lower tiers), USAC 
will withhold 100 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's 
monthly support and will commence a recovery action for a percentage of 
support that is equal to the eligible telecommunications carrier's 
compliance gap plus 10 percent of the ETC's support that has been 
disbursed to that date.
    (v) If at any point during the support term, the eligible 
telecommunications carrier reports that it is eligible for Tier 1 
status, it will have its support fully restored, USAC will repay any 
funds that were recovered or withheld, and it will move to Tier 1 
status.
    (2) Final milestone. Upon notification that the eligible 
telecommunications carrier has not met a final milestone, the eligible 
telecommunications carrier will have twelve months from the date of the 
final milestone deadline to come into full compliance with this 
milestone. If the eligible telecommunications carrier does not report 
that it has come into full compliance with this milestone within twelve 
months, the Wireline Competition Bureau--or Wireless Telecommunications 
Bureau in the case of mobile carrier participants--will issue a letter 
to this effect. In the case of Alaska Plan mobile carrier participants, 
USAC will then recover the percentage of support that is equal to 1.89 
times the average amount of support per location received by that 
carrier over the 10-year term for the relevant percentage of 
population. For other recipients of high-cost support, USAC will then 
recover the percentage of support that is equal to 1.89 times the

[[Page 69716]]

average amount of support per location received in the state for that 
carrier over the term of support for the relevant number of locations 
plus 10 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's total 
relevant high-cost support over the support term for that state.
    (3) Compliance reviews. If subsequent to the eligible 
telecommunications carrier's support term, USAC determines in the 
course of a compliance review that the eligible telecommunications 
carrier does not have sufficient evidence to demonstrate that it is 
offering service to all of the locations required by the final 
milestone or, in the case of Alaska Plan participants, did not provide 
service consistent with the carrier's approved performance plan, USAC 
shall recover a percentage of support from the eligible 
telecommunications carrier as specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this 
section.

0
8. Section 54.321 is added to subpart D to read as follows:


Sec.  54.321  Reporting and certification requirements for Alaska Plan 
participants.

    Any competitive eligible telecommunications carrier authorized to 
receive Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.317 shall provide:
    (a) No later than 60 days after the end of each participating 
carrier's first five-year term of support, a certification that it has 
met the obligations contained in the performance plan approved by the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, including any obligations pursuant 
to a revised approved performance plan and that it has met the 
requisite public interest obligations contained in the Alaska Plan 
Order. For Alaska Plan participants receiving more than $5 million 
annually in support, this certification shall be accompanied by data 
received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage for mobile 
service covering the population for which support was received and 
showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's network meeting 
or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload speeds delineated 
in the approved performance plan.
    (b) No later than 60 days after the end of each participating 
carrier's second five-year term of support, a certification that it has 
met the obligations contained in the performance plan approved by the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, including any obligations pursuant 
to a revised approved performance plan, and that it has met the 
requisite public interest obligations contained in the Alaska Plan 
Order. For Alaska Plan participants receiving more than $5 million 
annually in support, this certification shall be accompanied by data 
received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage for mobile 
service covering the population for which support was received and 
showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's network meeting 
or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload speeds delineated 
in the approved performance plan.

PART 69--ACCESS CHARGES

0
9. The authority citation for part 69 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 201, 202, 203, 205, 218, 220, 254, 
403.

0
10. Section 69.104 is amended by revising paragraph (s) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  69.104  End user common line for non-price cap incumbent local 
exchange carriers.

* * * * *
    (s) End User Common Line Charges for incumbent local exchange 
carriers not subject to price cap regulation that elect model-based 
support pursuant to Sec.  54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support 
pursuant to Sec.  54.306 of this chapter are limited as follows:
    (1) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that 
elects model-based support pursuant to Sec.  54.311 of this chapter or 
Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 of this chapter may assess 
for each residential or single-line business local exchange service 
subscriber line is the rate in effect on the last day of the month 
preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan 
support, as applicable, is first provided.
    (2) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that 
elects model-based support pursuant to Sec.  54.311 of this chapter or 
Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 of this chapter may assess 
for each multi-line business local exchange service subscriber line is 
the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month for 
which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is 
first provided.

0
11. Section 69.115 is amended by revising paragraph (f) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  69.115  Special access surcharges.

* * * * *
    (f) The maximum special access surcharge a non-price cap local 
exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to Sec.  
54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 
of this chapter may assess is the rate in effect on the last day of the 
month preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan 
support, as applicable, is first provided.

0
12. Section 69.130 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  69.130  Line port costs in excess of basic analog service.

* * * * *
    (b) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that 
elects model-based support pursuant to Sec.  54.311 of this chapter or 
Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 of this chapter may assess 
is the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month 
for which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is 
first provided.

0
13. Section 69.132 is amended by revising paragraphs (c) and (d) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  69.132  End user Consumer Broadband-Only Loop charge for non-
price cap incumbent local exchange carriers.

* * * * *
    (c) For carriers not electing model-based support pursuant to Sec.  
54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 
of this chapter, the single-line rate or charge shall be computed by 
dividing one-twelfth of the projected annual revenue requirement for 
the Consumer Broadband-Only Loop category (net of the projected annual 
Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support attributable to consumer 
broadband-only loops) by the projected average number of consumer 
broadband-only service lines in use during such annual period.
    (d) The maximum monthly per line charge for each Consumer 
Broadband-Only Loop provided by a non-price cap local exchange carrier 
that elects model-based support pursuant to Sec.  54.311 of this 
chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to Sec.  54.306 of this chapter 
shall be $42.

[FR Doc. 2016-23918 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6712-01-P