Last week, the FCC announced that ten price cap carriers accepted state-wide offers totaling $1.5 billion in annual support under the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) program.  The CAF II recipients must extend broadband that meets the FCC’s 10 Mbps downstream/ 1 Mbps upstream speed metric to “unserved” rural areas identified by the FCC.  CenturyLink accepted over $500 million in support; AT&T and Verizon accepted $427 million and $48 million respectively.  Verizon declined almost $100 million in annual support.  Price cap carriers accepting CAF II state-wide offers must complete 40% of their rural broadband buildouts by the end of 2017, 60% by the end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020.  Approximately $175 million in annual support that the price cap carriers declined will be made available under reverse auction procedures to support broadband service to locations in the declined state-wide offers and in certain other rural areas.