My sense is that if you finish before Year 6 and USAC verifies that, you don't 
have to carry the LOC to term.  We can seek clarity in our Comments, or perhaps 
we stay silent so as not to create a strawman for others to oppose.

Stephen E. Coran
Lerman Senter PLLC |2001 L Street, NW, Suite 400 | Washington, DC 20036
202-416-6744 (o) | 202-669-3288 (m) | sco...@lermansenter.com  |@stevecoran – 
twitter

-----Original Message-----
From: members-boun...@wispa.org <members-boun...@wispa.org> On Behalf Of Jeff 
Broadwick - Lists
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2019 12:01 PM
To: memb...@wispa.org
Cc: policycommit...@wispa.org; wireless@wispa.org
Subject: Re: [WISPA Members] [PolicyCommittee] [WISPA] Draft Itemsfor August 1 
FCC Meeting

Agree 100%

Jeff Broadwick
CTIconnect
312-205-2519 Office
574-220-7826 Cell
jbroadw...@cticonnect.com

> On Jul 22, 2019, at 11:50 AM, G. Nicholas <gnicho...@nwnc.net> wrote:
> 
> Steve and policy committee,
> 
> There is one item in the NPRM that is a change from the CAF2 letter of 
> credit rules and should be lobbied hard against as this adds increased 
> costs for our small WISPS.
> 
> In item #84  "We also propose that the letter of credit remain in 
> place until USAC and the Commission verify that a Rural Digital 
> Opportunity Fund winning bidder has met its minimum coverage and 
> service requirements at the end of the six-year milestone."
> 
> As noted under item 82 "A CAF Phase II auction support recipient must 
> only maintain an open letter of credit until the recipient has 
> certified it has met the final service milestone and the certification has 
> been verified.155"
> 
> 
> Given that WISP technology allows faster build out then fiber, many Wisps may 
> be able to meet their build-out completions in the first year.   Requiring 
> them to carry a letter of credit for 6 years could add 30% to a 
> winning bidders cost (at 5%/yr for the LOC)  these are funds that 
> reduce the actual amount available to be spent on true broadband build out.
> 
> 
> Hopefully we can make one last push to the FCC on why that is a bad 
> idea before the August meeting.
> 
> 
> Garth
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Coran, Steve
> Sent: 7/22/2019 7:55:27 AM
> To: kj...@ethoplex.com;policycommit...@wispa.org;ebow...@aristotle.net
> Cc: memb...@wispa.org;wireless@wispa.org
> Subject: Re: [WISPA Members] [PolicyCommittee] [WISPA] Draft Itemsfor    
> August 1 FCC Meeting
> 
>> Some good ideas here, which need to be measured against the FCC’s
> objectives.  In countless meetings with the FCC on CAF II rules and, 
> more recently, speed/latency testing, it is ever-apparent that the FCC 
> wants as much of this process to be a “check the box” exercise so they 
> do not have to rely on their own resources and lack of expertise to 
> decide eligibility and compliance.  For example, when we approached 
> the FCC about expanding the list of banks eligible to issue letters of 
> credit, the concern was not expanding the list but an ability of the 
> FCC to look at some independent list which would make the judgment for 
> them.  So we went from less than 100 banks on the S&P list to more 
> than 3,600 banks on the Weiss list.  Requiring audited financials 
> provides a measure of independent verification from the FCC.  I don’t 
> even know if the FCC looks at the audited financials – and I don’t 
> think anyone has been disqualified based on the content of the 
> financials – they just want to know that someone independent and with 
> expertise has conducted an audit (and recall that WISPA was 
> influential in removing this requirement from the front end of the 
> auction so that only winners have to spend the money for the audit).  
> When it comes to assessing financial wherewithal, the FCC would have 
> no ability to look at tax returns and decide who is financially viable 
> and who is not.  Same with speed/latency testing – the FCC wants to 
> look at a list and determine the testing route, not rely on every CAF 
> recipient to provide traffic routing maps.  While we can quibble with 
> the standards the FCC adopted, I think having standards is a better solution 
> than having the FCC make independent – and by definition arbitrary – 
> judgements for each applicant.
>> 
>> Also, each CAF recipient is required to make annual certifications 
>> that it
> has enough money for the next year to meet its obligations.  So, taken 
> together, the FCC prescribes gating criteria on the front end that 
> enables them to determine eligibility without doing any 
> application-by-application analysis and drawing lines in gray areas, 
> and follows that up with annual certifications and threat of USAC 
> audits.  I do not see that structure changing over time.
>> 
>> I do think it is worth asking the FCC to allow an RDOF applicant to 
>> post a
> performance bond as an alternative to obtaining a letter of credit.  
> WISPA pushed for this before, and the FCC rejected it.  The FCC is 
> considering a performance bond in the Uniendo a Puerto Rico and 
> Connect USVI Fund programs, so we will see if there is movement there.  
> We can also ask the FCC to reduce the value of the letter of credit 
> over time (the carrying costs can exceed 5% per month), but it would 
> be great if we had a history of CAF buildout compliance on which to 
> rely.  We may not have that at the outset of RDOF.  I also like the 
> idea about approved underwriting from other governmental agencies.
>> 
>> As for a member survey, that might be more appropriate once the rules 
>> are
> established.  The FCC has included a proposal that would make 
> CAF-supported broadband adoption a criterion – meaning that RDOF 
> recipients would give back support if subscribership in supported 
> areas did not meet certain benchmarks up to 70%.  Industry 
> stakeholders will strongly oppose this – how can you dictate adoption? 
> – and I’m optimistic the FCC will not move forward with this proposal, 
> which would have a significant deterrent effect on RDOF auction 
> participation.  On the positive side, the FCC is considering reducing 
> some of the gating criteria for established broadband providers and existing 
> CAF winners.
>> 
>> Stephen E. Coran
>> Lerman Senter PLLC<http://www.lermansenter.com/> |2001 L Street, NW, 
>> Suite
> 400 | Washington, DC 20036
>> 202-416-6744 (o) | 202-669-3288 (m) |
> sco...@lermansenter.com<mailto:sco...@lermansenter.com>  |@stevecoran 
> – twitter
>> 
>> From: policycommittee-boun...@wispa.org 
>> <policycommittee-boun...@wispa.org>
> On Behalf Of Keefe John via PolicyCommittee
>> Sent: Friday, July 12, 2019 7:38 PM
>> To: L. Elizabeth Bowles <ebow...@aristotle.net>
>> Cc: Ken Hohhof via Members <memb...@wispa.org>; WISPA General List
> <wireless@wispa.org>; policycommit...@wispa.org
>> Subject: Re: [PolicyCommittee] [WISPA Members] [WISPA] Draft Items 
>> for
> August 1 FCC Meeting
>> 
>> Agreed on the bond issue.
>> 
>> If we fail to see movement on the Letter of Credit we could approach 
>> the
> SBA about offering a solution.  They already have an export Letter of 
> Credit program.  Could something be modified or created for broadband 
> purposes?
>> 
>> A coalition of WISPs who'd like to participate in this funding 
>> program is
> essential.  Can WISPA send out a survey so we can get accurate numbers 
> on how many WISPs would participate in this funding program?  It might 
> be powerful to say "We have 500 members interested in participating in 
> FCC funding programs, however, only 20 were able to participate in CAF 
> II due to X, Y, and Z."
>> 
>> It is worth at least making it known in our filings that requiring 
>> audited
> financials makes these programs inaccessible to many of our members.  
> What's their rationale in requiring audited financials instead of tax 
> returns and transcripts.  Tax returns are good enough for lending from 
> other agencies, such as the SBA. How does the FCC determine what 
> constitutes a financially sound company anyways?  Are there guidelines or is 
> it arbitrary?
>> 
>> How about an exemption to the audited financials for companies who've
> recently gone through the underwriting process to obtain financing via 
> another government agency like the USDA or SBA.  Surely these are 
> creditworthy companies in the eyes of the Federal government.
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> Keefe John
>> CEO
>> Ethoplex
>> Direct: 262.345.5200
>> --------------------
>> Ethoplex Business Internet
>> http://www.ethoplex.com/
>> Signal Residential Internet
>> http://www.signalisp.com/
>> 
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/keefejohn/
>> 
>> 
>> On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 9:45 AM L. Elizabeth Bowles
> <ebow...@aristotle.net<mailto:ebow...@aristotle.net>> wrote:
>> From my perspective, taking another run at eliminating the letter of 
>> credit
> requirement should be a priority. It is a huge barrier to smaller 
> companies seeking this funding, and the policy the FCC is trying to 
> accomplish can be met with a bond.
>> 
>> I agree we need a coalition of small WISPs to advocate for this, but 
>> we
> also should leverage the experience of the WISPs who have already 
> received CAF funding - that first-hand perspective will be helpful in 
> showing that the LOC is burdensome in reality, not just hypothetically.
>> 
>> As for the audited financials, I don’t think any energy should be 
>> spent
> on trying to eliminate that requirement because we are likely to fail. 
> USDA also requires audited financials for many of its grants and 
> loans, and worse, they require the last two years. It is hella 
> expensive, but I don’t think we will win this argument, and any energy 
> spent would be better spent elsewhere.
>> 
>> Best,
>> Elizabeth
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>> On Jul 12, 2019, at 9:23 AM, Claude Aiken
> <cai...@wispa.org<mailto:cai...@wispa.org>> wrote:
>> We pushed for reducing these burdens (audited financials and LoC) 
>> last
> time. Before WISPA's advocacy, LoC must have been procured from a Top 
> 100 bank, and audited financials had to be submitted before bidding 
> began. We were able to get both of those changed to allow more 
> financial entities to provide thr LoC (FCC said no on the performance 
> bond), and get audited financials submitted only by winners.
>> We will try again this time, and will likely get a coalition of 
>> smaller
> providers associations together to try to push this.
>> For my edification, are you suggesting we de-prioritize spectrum 
>> advocacy
> in favor of this?
>> Claude Aiken
>> President & CEO
>> WISPA
>> 
>> ________________________________
>> From: wireless-boun...@wispa.org<mailto:wireless-boun...@wispa.org>
> <wireless-boun...@wispa.org<mailto:wireless-boun...@wispa.org>> on 
> behalf of Keefe John via Wireless 
> <wireless@wispa.org<mailto:wireless@wispa.org>>
>> Sent: Friday, July 12, 2019 9:03:18 AM
>> To: Mark Radabaugh; WISPA General List;
> policycommit...@wispa.org<mailto:policycommit...@wispa.org>
>> Cc: Ken Hohhof via Members
>> Subject: Re: [WISPA] Draft Items for August 1 FCC Meeting
>> 
>> More funding is always welcome!
>> 
>> What can be done to ensure access to this funding by all WISPs?  The 
>> CAF II
> rules were so onerous that only a tiny percentage of WISPA members 
> were able to participate.  This needs to change.  WISPA's #1 priority 
> should be crafting rules that allow ALL WISPs to have a chance to participate.
>> 
>> The two biggest barriers to entry are:
>> 
>> Letter of Credit - These are very difficult to obtain, especially for 
>> the
> majority of our members.  Can we propose a bond as an alternative?
>> 
>> Audited Financial Statements - Audited financial statements cost 
>> $10,000 -
> $50,000 per year or more.  This is a huge hurdle for the majority of WISPs.  
> Can we propose CPA-prepared financial statements and/or IRS tax return 
> transcripts for small entities?
>> 
>> Keefe John
>> CEO
>> Ethoplex
>> Direct: 262.345.5200
>> --------------------
>> Ethoplex Business Internet
>> http://www.ethoplex.com/
>> Signal Residential Internet
>> http://www.signalisp.com/
>> 
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/keefejohn/
>> 
>> 
>> On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 7:52 AM Mark Radabaugh via Wireless
> <wireless@wispa.org<mailto:wireless@wispa.org>> wrote:
>> There are two upcoming items on the FCC’s August 1st meeting on items
> that will effect all WISP’s.    Please review the documents below.
>> 
>> Short summary:
>> 
>> 477 Order - will revamp the 477 data collection process and information.   
> Personally this is a good thing.
>> 
>> RDOF - This is the next $20,400,000,000 (20.4 Billion Dollars) that 
>> will be
> spend to overbuild your network if you are not currently providing 
> 25/3 service & phone.
>> 
>> WISPA has time to meet with the commissioners and discuss up to the 25th.   
> A lot of effort has already gone into making sure that both of these are fair 
> and open to all providers, not just the Telco’s.   There is no way to stop 
> the feds from spending this money - it’s coming regardless of what we do.   
> Both political parties, the administration, and the FCC all want to 
> spend money on rural broadband.
>> 
>> YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR PART to either position yourself to receive this
> funding, or prevent your competitors from getting it and overbuilding you.
>> 
>> Mark
>> 
>> Mark Radabaugh
>> WISPA Policy Committee Chair
>> 419-261-5996
>> 
>> 
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> 
>> From: "Coran, Steve via PolicyCommittee" 
> <policycommit...@wispa.org<mailto:policycommit...@wispa.org>>
>> Subject: [PolicyCommittee] Draft Items for August 1 FCC Meeting
>> Date: July 11, 2019 at 5:48:29 PM EDT
>> To: "'policycommit...@wispa.org<mailto:policycommit...@wispa.org>'" 
> <policycommit...@wispa.org<mailto:policycommit...@wispa.org>>
>> Reply-To: "Coran, Steve" 
> <sco...@lermansenter.com<mailto:sco...@lermansenter.com>>,
> <policycommit...@wispa.org<mailto:policycommit...@wispa.org>>
>> 
>> Just released, below are links to draft items of interest for the 
>> FCC’s
> August 1 open meeting.  We have the opportunity to meet with the 
> Commissioners until the afternoon of July 25.  Would appreciate the 
> Committee’s input on these soon.  Just released, and I have not had a 
> chance to review these yet.
>> 
>> DRAFT Form 477 Order + FNPRM: 
>> https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-
> 358433A1.pdf
>> DRAFT RDOF NPRM: 
>> https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-358432A1.pdf
>> 
>> Stephen E. Coran
>> Lerman Senter PLLC<http://www.lermansenter.com/> |2001 L Street, NW, 
>> Suite
> 400 | Washington, DC 20036
>> 202-416-6744 (o) | 202-669-3288 (m) |
> sco...@lermansenter.com<mailto:sco...@lermansenter.com>  |@stevecoran 
> – twitter
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wireless mailing list
>> Wireless@wispa.org<mailto:Wireless@wispa.org>
>> http://lists.wispa.org/mailman/listinfo/wireless
>> _______________________________________________
>> Members mailing list
>> memb...@wispa.org<mailto:memb...@wispa.org>
>> http://lists.wispa.org/mailman/listinfo/members
>> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Members mailing list
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> http://lists.wispa.org/mailman/listinfo/members

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