CAF has been a long and deliberate process. For the last 20 years, the U.S. has endeavored to ensure its residents are connected to essential telecommunications. We saw the roots of the investment take place in The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which states that "advanced services" should be accessible to all Americans.
The goals of Universal Service, as mandated by the 1996 Act, were to:
- Promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers
- Increase nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services
- Advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas
- Increase access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools, libraries and rural health care facilities
- Provide equitable and nondiscriminatory contributions from all providers of telecommunications services to the fund supporting universal service programs
Connect America Fund Phase II commitments represent the largest single federal effort to expand broadband infrastructure in history. Targeted areas were identified by using data gathered through
Connected Nation’s State Broadband Initiative in states where it has had active State Broadband Initiatives. Over the next six years, companies such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Consolidated Communications, Cincinnati Bell, FairPoint, Frontier, and Windstream will be required to build out fixed voice and broadband networks offering speeds of 10 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload to designated locations in these identified areas, using approximately $1.5 billion in annual subsidies. Of the total subsidies offered, carriers only declined a total of $175 million annually.
Now with new initiatives well underway, Walker is excited and looking forward to partnering with carriers to help build the networks that will provide advanced services to the underserved communities the CAF Programs target. With nearly 50 years of experience in building and expanding US Telecommunication networks, Walker and Associates will be a fundamental core partner assisting carriers as they implement the CAF goals and meet commitment requirements imposed by the FCC. Our experienced extended logistics services team and CAMP Program will be fundamental in ensuring service rollouts timetables are met. Our EFI&T team is ready to fit; test and burn in cabinets and configurations, and our installation teams are prepared to field these solutions during all phases of CAF deployment. We are ReadyNow CAF.