High Cost

In November 2011, the FCC released the USF/ICC Transformation Order & FNPRM (FCC 11-161), reforming the High Cost Program by phasing out existing mechanisms, eliminating identical support, and introducing the Connect America Fund, including an explicit Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) Recovery mechanism.

Existing High Cost Program support was frozen at December 2011 levels and additional changes were made to existing programs. More information about Frozen Support can be found on the Connect America Fund Frozen Support page.

The Connect America Fund transitions the focus of universal service from supporting voice networks to supporting and expanding broadband availability. There are several components to the Connect America Fund including two phases in the Connect America Fund component, two phases in the Mobility Fund component, and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) Recovery support.

The size of the Connect America Fund, including legacy High Cost Program support, is frozen at $4.5 billion.