FCC Issues Waiver Allowing CETCs Flexibility For Use Of Legacy High-Cost Support

The Wireline Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has waived, on its own motion, the geographic restriction on competitive eligible telecommunications carriers’ (“ETCs”) use of legacy high-cost universal service support until June 30, 2020.  The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) rules require all legacy high-cost support to be used in a particular service area, but the temporary waiver of these rules provides competitive ETCs the ability to use support in any of the designated service areas of affiliated ETCs.  This waiver provides carriers with flexibility to dedicate legacy high-cost support to hard-hit service areas of affiliated ETCs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau will reassess whether additional time is needed after June 30, 2020.  To learn more about the Commission’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Keep America Connected webpage.  If you have any questions, please contact Robin Tuttle (rtuttle@hermanwhiteaker.com) or Dee Herman (dee@hermanwhiteaker.com).