Mediacom, Windstream, as well as Hargray Communications (which is owned by Cable One), were among the operators who filed for reimbursement of expenses they expect to incur when they replace network equipment from Huawei or ZTE, according to an announcement from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The replacement is necessary to comply with the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. The chances of all of the applicants receiving full reimbursement are minimal, as the FCC says it received $5.6 billion in acceptable requests for relief from a reimbursement pool of $1.9 billion (see "FCC details terms of $1.9B Supply Chain Reimbursement Program").
The deadline for filings closed January 28, 2022. The FCC says it received 181 applications, of which 162 were initially found eligible and acceptable for filing. The 162 applications came from 77 organizations. The FCC will now review each application before determining which to approve. The review period, which was originally set at 90 days, will be extended by 45 days because of the flood of applications. Because the value of the applications exceeds that of the funding pool, the FCC will follow a congressionally mandated prioritization scheme, which the FCC described as follows:
“first, to approved applications that have 2,000,000 or fewer customers..., [then] to approved applicants that are accredited public or private non-commercial educational institutions providing their own facilities-based educational broadband services...[and] health care providers and libraries providing advanced communications service, [then] to any remaining approved applicants determined to be eligible for reimbursement under the [Reimbursement] Program.”
Mediacom requested approximately $86.2 million (just over $10 million for core layer, just over $40 million for distribution layer, and just over $36 million for services), while Windstream applied for approximately $118.3 million ($3.16 million for access layer, approximately $102.9 million for core layer, just over $11.8 million for services, and $430,000 for software). Hargray seeks approximately $42.8 million (almost $18.6 million for access, $720,000 for core layer, almost $730,000 for core layer, and almost $22.8 million in services). Requested reimbursements from all eligible applicants can be found on a Search Portal. The list of eligible applicants can be found on the FCC website.