About USAC Home

Who We Are

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the administrator of universal service.

Mission

USAC works to protect the integrity of universal service through informing and educating program audiences, collecting and distributing contributions, and promoting program compliance.

Overview

USAC was created in 1997 as a not-for-profit subsidiary of the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA).

USAC has three divisions that administer the four universal service support programs: High Cost and Low Income, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries divisions. The Finance Division is responsible for the finances of the corporation including billing, collection, and disbursement of all funds for the four programs. The Information Systems Division is responsible for providing overall operating support to the corporation. The Internal Audit Division is responsible for conducting audits of USAC, the support programs, and program beneficiaries. The External Relations Division is responsible for communication with stakeholders including Congress, the FCC, the media, and program participants. The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice and support to the corporation. The Human Resources and USAC Operations Division is responsible for managing employee- and facilities-related business.

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.

USAC works to ensure that the process for program participants is streamlined and easy to use. Each quarter, USAC reports data to the FCC on the collection, disbursement, and cost of administering universal service support, available in USAC's FCC Filings.

Contributors

The contributor group includes telecommunications carriers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) companies providing service internationally and between states that make universal service contributions.

Service Providers

The service provider group includes telecommunications providers, Internet access providers, and providers of internal connections or other eligible services that participate in a universal service program.

Universal Service Programs

To implement the 1996 Telecom Act, the FCC established four programs:

  • The High Cost Program provides support to eligible telecommunications companies that in turn offer rates and service comparable to those available in urban areas.
  • The Lifeline Program provides support to telecommunications companies that in turn offer discounts to eligible consumers.
  • The Rural Health Care Program provides support to eligible rural health care providers that qualify for reduced rates.
  • The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program provides discounts to eligible schools and libraries that qualify for reduced rates.