Reminder: Mobile ETCs Must Begin Using a Portion of their Legacy High-Cost Support For 5G

Please be reminded that competitive eligible telecommunications carriers receiving legacy high-cost support for mobile wireless service (“Legacy CETCs”) must begin using a percentage of their support toward 5G service. Specifically, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) requires Legacy CETCs to use at least one-third of their legacy support received in 2021, at least two-thirds of their legacy support received in 2022, all of their legacy support received in 2023, and any subsequent year, on 5G services. A Legacy CETC may opt to use less than one-third of its legacy support in 2021 for 5G so long as it makes up for the shortfall by proportionally increasing the use of its legacy support for 5G (above the two-thirds requirement) in 2022. If a Legacy CETC chooses this option, it must file a notification within 30 days after the Paperwork Reduction Act approval is published in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

Although the Commission has not specifically identified what qualifies as 5G spending, it is reasonable to proceed on the basis that any spending furthering the ability to meet the 5G public interest obligations would satisfy this requirement.The public interest obligations require deployment of 5G-NR service with median speeds of at least 35.3 Mbps, minimum cell edge speeds of at least 7/1 Mbps, and round-trip latency of 100 milliseconds or less.

We will update you once we learn the notification deadline for using less than one-third of legacy support in 2021. If you have any questions or would like to discuss please contact us.

Greg Whiteaker: greg@hermanwhiteaker.com
Robin Tuttle: rtuttle@hermanwhiteaker.com
Clare Andonov: candonov@hermanwhiteaker.com
Hilary Rosenthal: hrosenthal@hermanwhiteaker.com