The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued Notices of Apparent Liability to 13 telecoms for allegedly defaulting on their Connect America Fund Phase II auction bids. All 13 were winning bidders in Auction 903, but withdrew their applications for support before receiving their award.
By apparently defaulting, the telecoms hindered the disbursement of funds that could have otherwise gone to other carriers, and used to increase broadband access to unserved or underserved areas, said the bureau in its decisions.
The FCC conducted Auction 903 between July and August 2018 to allocate CAF-II subsidies. The auction was slated to award up to $198 million in annual support, a total of $1.98 billion over ten years. Slightly more than 100 winning bidders won a total of $1.488 billion.
The auction was to allocate ongoing high-cost universal service support to service providers that committed to offering voice and broadband services in unserved areas. In each case, the proposed penalty doesn’t exceed five percent of the company’s winning bids.
The companies have 30 days to either pay the fine, or tell the agency why the penalty should be reduced or rescinded. The companies’ and their proposed fines are:
- Total Highspeed – $30,000
- Pine Cellular Phones – $16,750
- Workable Programs & Systems- $16,200
- Townes Wireless – $9,504
- Crocker Communications – $6,000
- Hanson Communications – $6,000
- MGW Networks – $6,000
- NE Colorado Cellular – $4,383
- Fidelity Communications Company – $3,641
- LTD Broadband – $3,563
- Farmers Mutual Telephone Company – $3,000
- Johnson Telephone Company – $3,000
- SyncWave – $1,242
October 16, 2019