CAF Broadband Performance Testing

Posted by Ryan Guthrie on Nov 14, 2018 1:41:13 PM
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A few months ago the FCC released order DA 18-710 specifying the network performance testing and reporting required for ISPs who receive support from the Connect America Fund (CAF). The order is nearly 40 pages, but in this post we will summarize the requirements and provide some options for how ISPs can comply.

Who Must Comply?

Recipients of CAF high-cost universal service support, including:

  • CAF Phase II Auction Winners
  • Price Cap Carriers
  • Rate-of-Return Carriers
  • Rural Broadband Experiment (RBE) Recipients
  • Alaska Plan Carriers

There are also industry 'rumblings' that eventually all ISPs will need to submit performance measurement reports to the FCC.


When Is The First Report Due?

The first performance data report and certification will be due July 1, 2020 and live testing must begin by July 1, 2019. That might sound far off, but it will be here before you know it. Subsequent reports are due July 1 each year for all 4 quarters of the prior year.


What Do You Have To Test?

  • Download and upload speed measured hourly, and latency tests every minute.
  • Tests to be run daily between 6 pm and midnight
  • Testing must be initiated from inside a subscriber's home from modem or device connected to the modem/router
  • Tests need to terminate to one of the 16 FCC designated IXP cities
  • Sample size requirements for the number of subscriber homes to be measured, on each speed tier, in each state


How To Comply?

ISPs can choose from 3 options for performance testing:

  1. Use a provider developed testing system (ex. ATS’ Stamper Box Mini Solution)
  2. Use existing network management tools and systems (ex. TR-143 standard)
  3. Using measure broadband America testing system (Typically more costly)


ATS Stamper Box Solution

ATS is in a unique position to help ISPs with the reporting requirements. Our 20+ years of network testing experience and presence of download points across the country in our national stamper network enables carriers to quickly implement a proven solution to ensure compliance. Stamper Boxes have been used by carriers across the globe to create a testing environment for network speed performance testing.  These mini-computers with custom software provide a simple turnkey solution for CAF providers. Click Here for more information about our CAF performance solution.

The order is extensive and there are plenty more details around it. If you have any questions about the order and how you can comply with it, please Contact Us.

Topics: Regulatory, FCC, stamper box, connect america fund