USAC administers the four universal service support programs under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The four programs – High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries – help provide access to affordable telecommunications services to consumers, libraries, rural health care facilities, and schools.
USAC was created in 1997 as a not-for-profit subsidiary of the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA). It is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors that includes a broad representation of both industry and non-industry interests including representatives for consumers, health care providers, schools and libraries, service providers, and state regulatory commissions.
USAC is headed by a chief executive officer who is nominated by the USAC Board of Directors and appointed by the Chairman of the FCC. The Board submits the name of its nominee, along with relevant professional and biographical information, to the Chairman of the FCC. Subject to the Chairman's approval, the nominee is appointed as USAC's chief executive officer.
USAC has three divisions that administer the four universal service support programs: the High Cost and Low Income Division (HCLI), the Rural Health Care Division (RHC), and the Schools and Libraries Division (SL). In addition, USAC has a Finance Division that is responsible for the finances of the corporation including the billing, collection, and disbursement of all funds for the four programs; an Information Systems Division that is responsible for providing overall operating support to the corporation; an Internal Audit Division that is responsible for conducting audits of USAC, the support programs, and program beneficiaries; an External Relations Division that is responsible for communication with stakeholders including Congress, the FCC, the media, and program participants; an Office of the General Counsel, which is responsible for providing legal advice and support to the corporation; and a Human Resources and USAC Operations Division, responsible for managing employee- and facilities-related activities.
Committees of the USAC Board of Directors govern the functions of each division. Each committee of the USAC Board oversees the budgets of its respective division and reports to the USAC Board.