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.
USAC works to protect the integrity of universal service through informing and educating program audiences, collecting and distributing contributions, and promoting program compliance.
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 Stakeholder Engagement 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.
The contributor group includes telecommunications carriers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) companies providing service internationally and between states that make universal service contributions.
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.
To implement the 1996 Telecom Act, the FCC established four programs: