On Friday, the FCC issued an Order giving the rural ILEC industry some certainty regarding the application of the regression analysis for next year. The Order keeps in place the FCC’s regression coefficients being used for 2012 and 2013 through 2014.
In addition, the Order continues through 2014 the summing of the cap-ex and op-ex caps that was initiated by the 6th Order on Reconsideration. The FCC will use the greater of a carrier’s number of loops for 2012 or 2013 to calculate its final summed cap for 2014.
For those carriers seeing reduced support due to the regression analysis, the FCC will delay the phase-in of support reductions for one year, rather than making them fully effective in 2014. The Order states, “In 2014, support will continue to be reduced by fifty percent of the difference between the support calculated using the study area’s reported cost per loop and the support as limited by the benchmarks in effect for 2014.”
The Order also provides relief for Alaska ILECs. It waives the application of the regression analysis to rate-of-return carriers serving Alaska through 2014 due to significant study-area boundary discrepancies that the FCC wants to correct. Consistent with this waiver, the Order also dismisses without prejudice a waiver petition filed by Alaska-based Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA) because the Alaska-wide waiver MTA waiver petition moot.