Memos, Resources

CAF II Auction

July 7, 2017



On March 2, 2017, the FCC released an order taking another step towards implementing the CAF II Auction. The FCC finalized the performance tier weightings, latency weightings, and how to calculate a bid score based on them. In the order the FCC clearly stated they want the auction process to be simple in order to increase interest and competition.


Nationwide, more than 315,000 price cap census blocks will be auctioned off in the CAF II auction. These are areas the price cap carriers were not allowed to claim in their “right of first refusal” as well as areas rejected by the price cap carriers.

Performance Tiers

CAF II Performance Tiers

The FCC has designed a system allowing bids at different speeds to compete against one another. The “minimum performance tier” will require 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream and offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month. The “baseline performance tier” is 25Mbps/3Mbps and 150 GB per month of usage allowance. For the “above baseline tier,” the FCC will accept bids committing to offer 100 Mbps/20 Mbps. The “gigabit performance tier” will be at least 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream. For each of these four performance tiers, bidders will select one of the two latency performance levels: low latency or high latency. For each of these latency tiers bidders must meet a minimum latency standard of 95 percent or more of all peak period measurements of network round tip latency at or below 100 milliseconds.

2 Terabyte Usage

Instead of requiring bidders in the above-baseline and gigabit performance tiers to offer unlimited data allowance, they FCC will require bidders in those two tiers to offer a monthly usage allowance of at least 2 terabytes (TB) per month.

Download the full CAF II Auction here.