Connect America Fund Performance Testing


How To Comply with the FCC’s Broadband Network Performance Testing Requirements for CAF ISPs

FCC Order Summary

In July 2018, the FCC released order DA 18-710 specifying the network performance testing and reporting required for ISPs who receive support from the Connect America Fund (CAF).  Providers must submit testing results as part of their annual compliance certification and those who do not comply or meet the performance targets will be subject to a reduction in support.

WHO?

Recipients of CAF high-cost universal service support, including:

 

  • CAF Phase II Auction Winners
  • Price Cap Carriers
  • Rate-of-Return Carriers
  • Rural Broadband Experiment (RBE) Recipients
  • Alaska Plan Carriers

WHAT?

Extensive speed and latency tests at a specified number of subscriber locations

 

  • Download and Upload Speed Tests Hourly, Latency Every Minute
  • Testing from Hardware Inside Customer’s Homes to and FCC IXP
  • Requirements for Number of Homes on Each Speed Tier in Each State

WHEN?

The first performance measures data and certification will be due July 1, 2020

 

  • Live Testing Must Begin by July 1, 2019
  • Data Must be Sampled for 1 Week per Quarter
  • Subsequent Reports due July 1 each Year for all 4 Quarters of the Prior Year

HOW?  ATS CAN HELP

CAF supported ISPs can choose from 3 options for performance testing:

  1. Use a Provider Developed Testing System (ex. ATS’ Stamper Box Mini Solution)
  2. Use Existing Network Management Tools and Systems (ex. TR-143 Standard)
  3. Using Measure Broadband America Testing System (Typically More Costly)

 

ATS’ Stamper Box solution is used by carriers across the globe to perform measurement testing.  Our National Stamper Test Network already has a presence in each of the FCC designated IXP locations.

Stamper Box Mini

A mini-computer with ATS’ proprietary Stamper software built to meet all your testing needs with speeds up to 1 Gbps.  Connects securely to the Stamper cloud to take orders and report results. 

Test Scheduling

A cloud driven highly customizable schedule built by ATS’ statisticians to manage testing across the entire national stamper test network. 

National Test Network

ATS’ national stamper test network has been deployed since 2013 and has test servers at each of the FCC’s designated IXP locations.

Reporting Dashboard

Access results online via the Stamper dashboard and download reports to submit to the FCC.  ATS regularly submits regulatory related filing to the FCC with a 100% acceptance rate.

Which Option Is Best For You?

Option 1 – Stamper Box Mini

ATS’ Stamper Boxes have been used by carriers across the globe to create a testing environment for network speed performance testing.  These mini-computers with custom software provide a simple turnkey solution for CAF providers.  Your customers simply plug it into the wall and connect it to their modem/router with a standard internet connection – leave the rest to us!

Benefits

 

  • Easy to Install – Simply Plug It In and It Works
  • Proven Solution – Stamper Boxes Have Generated >1 Million Performance Tests
  • CPE Vendor Agnostic – Stamper Boxes Work With Any Modem/Router
  • Intelligent – Network Congestion Monitored Before Each Test to Ensure Accurate Results
  • Real Time Dashboard – See Upcoming Tests and Analyze Results Through A Secure Web Dashboard

Option 2 – Existing Network Tools

Do you already have network tools that can connect to CPE and run speed/latency test?  This is commonly done using the TR-143 protocol via an Access Control Server (ACS).  If you have this capability but don’t have the time to manage the testing process, ATS can help.  Using the same scheduling methodology and reporting employed by our Stamper Box hardware, we can manage your CAF performance testing with only software.

Benefits

 

  • Software Based – No Hardware to Install at Subscriber Homes
  • Proven Solution – Uses the Stamper Scheduling Methodology and Reporting Dashboard
  • Cost Savings – No Hardware to Purchase
  • Intelligent – Network Congestion Monitored Before Each Test to Ensure Accurate Results
  • Real Time Dashboard – See Upcoming Tests and Analyze Results Through A Secure Web Dashboard

Carriers That Do Not Comply Will Be Subject to Reduction in Support

 

The Order is Complicated – But the Solution is Simple