For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, August 29, 2018 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on the results of the Federal Communication Commission’s first-ever reverse auction to award fixed broadband support:
“This Connect America Fund auction is a major win for consumers and for all of us that want all Americans to have access to broadband Internet access and that believe federal funds should be used efficiently to achieve that purpose. The winning bidders for this auction will deliver to consumers in high-cost areas higher-performance broadband service using far less universal service support than the price cap carriers that received model-based support are now doing in the areas they elected to serve. This auction, while certainly requiring fine-tuning, establishes the paradigm for awarding by auction model-based support in price cap territories when the non-auction approach is expected to sunset in a few of years.
“Since 2011, ACA has supported using auctions to award universal service in unserved areas in price cap carrier territories, and it participated extensively in commenting on FCC proposals for how the auction should be structured and administered.
“ACA was heartened to see that of the 220 bidders that qualified for the auction, many were ACA small cable operator or rural telephone company members. Of the 103 winning bidders, about 20% were ACA members. Moreover, the auction resulted in winning bidders agreeing to deploy much higher performance broadband networks in unserved areas than price cap carriers are doing using model-based support – and these winning bidders are accessing far less in universal service support. That demonstrates the real value of the auctions in price-cap territories for consumers and all Americans that are assessed a fee each month to pay into the universal service fund.
“ACA has long recommended using auctions to award high-cost universal service support in price carrier territories as a way to get better service for consumers and more bang for our universal service dollars. The results the FCC announced this week for the first-ever reverse auction to bring fixed broadband service to unserved areas in price cap carrier territories demonstrate the value of that approach. ACA congratulates the FCC and the many ACA members that were winning bidders.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org/