ADTRAN, a leading provider of next-generation open networking and subscriber experience solutions, announced its fully-managed, cloud-based performance test solution, purpose-built to streamline data collection and reporting for network operators that utilize the Connect America Fund (CAF) program.
Recipients of these Federal broadband subsidies will be required to submit testing results as part of their annual compliance in the first quarter of 2020. Carriers that do not comply with the FCC speed and latency requirements will be subject to a reduction in support, commensurate with their level of noncompliance. In addition, providers will be subject to audit of all testing data.
To help ensure that the funds allocated are used for broadband service delivery in rural areas, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted Performance Monitoring and Measurement requirements to ensure greater accountability for recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) high-cost universal service support, including price cap carriers, rate-of-return carriers, rural broadband experiment (RBE) support recipients, Alaska Plan carriers, and CAF Phase II auction winners.
This new service is an expansion of the ADTRAN CAF performance testing solution announced earlier this year. Since February, more than 30 CAF recipients have chosen ADTRAN’s network performance testing solution to comply with FCC reporting requirements.
“We developed this one-stop, fully-managed subscription service to give our customers peace-of-mind by offering a turnkey option that off-loads the entire testing process, so they can focus on what they do best—providing a superior subscriber experience,” ADTRAN Services Portfolio Manager Derek Foster said. “We know there is still some uncertainty with the FCC, which causes concern for our customers and that’s why we developed a simple and affordable compliance service.”
The FCC framework for CAF Performance Monitoring and Measurement includes measurements to be conducted over a minimum of two consecutive weeks during peak hours for at least 50 randomly selected customer locations within the census blocks of each state for which the provider is receiving model-based support.
Alternatively, service providers may deploy at least 50 white boxes to customers within the CAF Phase II-funded areas within each state and certify that 95 percent or more of the measurements taken quarterly during peak periods for a period of two weeks were at or below 100 milliseconds. The service provider is responsible for the hardware and administrative costs of this testing.
The ADTRAN managed testing solution takes care of each aspect of FCC compliance from initiating the test to collecting data to report creation and submission to the FCC in the format needed. It removes the administration burden related to CAF test compliance and utilizes the ADTRAN Speed Test Server Network as a cloud-based, managed service. The solution includes the SmartRG Device Manager Software to serve as the test controller and the SmartRG Gateways as the test clients and is available across the entire SmartRG portfolio of gateways.
By leveraging ADTRAN’s solution, carriers are able to deploy a purpose-built, open and flexible solution that leverages existing hardware, removes testing of unmanaged LAN segments, reduces privacy concerns for end customers and eliminates the unsightly white boxes used during the testing period. The solution delivers the added benefit that, once deployed, provides ongoing value by delivering network performance metrics and measurements that can help the operator better understand network performance over time.