4 Valuable Things To Know About CAF II and FCC Rural Broadband

Headquartered in Southern Illinois, Wisper ISP, Inc. provides high-speed reliable internet to residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (Arkansas will be added to their coverage area soon). Wisper is a rising competitor in the Wireless Internet Industry, as they were the second-largest winner in the FCC’s rural broadband auction, the Connect America Fund II (CAF II). With funds totaling $220.3 million, Wisper is expanding its efforts to become the leading Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP).

What is the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II)?

The Connect America Fund II, or CAF II, is the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “program to expand access to voice and broadband services for areas where they are unavailable.” The FCC states the funding will “subsidize the cost of building new network infrastructure or performing network upgrades.” Recipients of CAF II funding must follow requirements for speed, latency, usage allowance, and pricing to ensure service is of a predetermined quality standard and affordability. The requirement specifics, according to the FCC’s CAF II FAQs page, are as follows:

  • Speed: Service providers must offer broadband at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.
  • Latency: Service providers’ network latency cannot be higher than 100 milliseconds round trip. Latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel back and forth through a network.
  • Usage Allowance: Service providers must offer at least one plan with a minimum usage allowance of at least 150 gigabytes (GB) per month or a monthly usage allowance that reflects the average usage of a majority of fixed broadband customers as announced by the Wireline Competition Bureau annually, whichever is higher. Alternatively, service providers have the option of offering a usage allowance that is at or above the usage level for 80 percent of their broadband subscribers if it is at least 100 GB.
  • Pricing: Service providers must offer service at rates reasonably comparable to rates in urban areas.
    In addition to these predetermined standards, recipients are required to provide internet to their allotted areas within a six-year timeframe, while receiving funding over a span of ten years.

Are you included in the CAF II build-out?

The CAF II Map shows the build-out areas. Please contact Wisper’s Public Relations and Advocacy Specialist, Alison Tupiri, if you have questions on how to read the map.

Wisper’s plan is to build out to more than the areas required by CAF II; however, the team cannot promise at this point in time that they will be able to service your exact location.

How can you stay informed?

Wisper received its first round of CAF II funding at the end of February 2020. Subscribe to Wisper’s CAF II Newsletter, The Connection, to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

Are you in a CAF II build-out area? Help us, help you.

Do you have access to fiber? Or do you have access to a tall structure, such as a grain silo, grain elevator, water tower, etc.? Wisper would like to work with YOU and bring reliable, high-speed internet to your area. Provide your name, address, phone number, email address, and a description of your resource(s) to Alison Tupiri.