On April 29, representatives from WTA met with the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau to discuss the budget control mechanism (BCM) and the need for more certainty regarding the future of support for recipients of CAF-BLS.
Regarding the BCM, “WTA noted that the BCM is presently scheduled to go back into effect as of July 1 of this year, and that it is expected to reduce the CAF-BLS/HCLS support of recipients by approximately 12-to-15 percent…WTA seeks immediate relief in the form of the extension of the current waiver of the BCM for at least the approaching July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023 tariff year. It asks for an early ruling in order to simplify the scheduled June 2022 annual access tariff filings, as well as to facilitate other essential planning activities by affected RLECs.”
In regard to CAF-BLS providers, WTA requested that the FCC review “the evolving service level commitments and budget for CAF-BLS/HCLS recipients” as it considers ACAM. Also, bringing certainly to the future of CAF-BLS will aid both the FCC and other federal agencies disbursing broadband grants in ensuring all Americans are connected to the high-speed broadband.
WTA also met with Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s office to discuss this same topic.