On November 18, 2011, the FCC released the USF/ICC Transformation Order & FNPRM (FCC 11-161), reforming the high-cost component of universal service by phasing out existing mechanisms, eliminating identical support, and introducing the Connect America Fund, including an explicit Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) recovery mechanism. The size of the Connect America Fund, including legacy high-cost support, is frozen at $4.5 billion.
The FCC has adopted comprehensive reforms to modernize the High Cost Program and accelerate the build-out of robust broadband networks across the country. In November 2011, the FCC released the USF/ICC Transformation Order. The Order outlines how existing High Cost Program support will be phased out and the Connect America Fund, including a new ICC recovery mechanism, will be phased in. The Connect America Fund is focused on supporting and expanding fixed location and mobile broadband availability.