About USAC

Latest News rss-feed

USAC's Latest News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the universal service programs as they were made throughout the years.

3/30/20152014 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2014 Annual Report  highlights the many ways USAC continued on the journey towards helping connect Americans to each other and the world through broadband and Internet access. By keeping a sharp focus on the needs of program participants and through collaboration with stakeholders, USAC implemented program and policy changes in efficient and streamlined ways.

3/30/2015Today’s Online FCC Form 471 Filing Tip


Each day, USAC will provide a tip on how to navigate through the online FCC Form 471 for FY2015. Check this Latest News post daily for a new tip and to access previous tips.

The tips will be labeled by the area of the form to which they apply: General Guidance, Basic Information, Discount Calculation, Funding Requests, Certifications & Signature, or Certifying Your Form.

Today’s Tip

  • Discount Calculation – You can ask your state's department of education for your "State LEA ID" and "State School ID." If your state does not issue you these numbers or you cannot locate them, you do not need to provide entries in these fields.

Previous Tips:

General Guidance

  • You can tell where you are in the form by the large chevrons (arrows) at the top of each page. There is one chevron per section: Basic Information (formerly Block 1), Discount Calculation (formerly Block 4), Funding Requests (formerly Block 5), and Certifications & Signature (formerly Block 6). The chevron that is blue indicates the section you are currently working on. Posted 01/23
  • Wait at least 28 days after your FCC Form 470 was posted to the USAC website before you choose a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and push the “Submit” button to submit your FCC Form 471. Posted 01/30
  • It’s important to use a supported browser when filing your form. Internet Explorer versions 9 and 10 and the most recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are the browsers currently supported for the online FCC Form 471. Posted 02/04 
  • Clear your browser’s cache/cookies/history before starting a form. To clear your cache/cookies/history, go to the “Tools” menu if you are using Internet Explorer or Chrome, the “History” menu for Firefox, or the “Develop” menu for Safari. You can search “clear cache” in your browser’s “Help” menu or on the Internet to get more specific instructions for the browser you are using. Posted 02/05 
  • If you want to save your work at any point in time, click the floppy disk icon in the upper right hand corner of any screen in the online form. The floppy disk icon is just to the left of the print icon and the "Log Out" button. Posted 02/06 
  • The discount calculated for a school district is used by all individual schools in that district. Individual schools that are part of a school district cannot use their own student counts to calculate an individual discount. Posted 02/12 
  • You must file your Category One services and your Category Two services on separate FCC Forms 471. However, all of your Category One services can go on one form — under different FRNs — as can all of your Category Two services (on a separate form). Posted 02/26 
  • Before you start your FCC Form 471, verify that the entity information for the billed entity and all entities receiving service is correct by reviewing their entries in the Search for BEN Information tool. Posted 03/02 
  • To submit a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) correction, if the incorrect data don’t appear on the RAL, print and mark up a copy of the relevant part of the form. You may have to click one or more accordions – the plus signs (“+”) located on the left-hand side of the online form – to print the data you want to correct. Posted 03/16 
  • You will need to use the "Compatibility View" for versions of Internet Explorer higher than version 10. You can access this function from the "Tools" menu. Posted 03/18 
  • Consult the FY2015 Eligible Services List (ESL) for information about changes in eligibility of services and other service-related questions. Appendix B sets forth the services and components no longer eligible for support, and Appendix C is the ESL itself. Posted 03/25 
  • The online FCC Form 471 does not have a print preview function. To print a copy of your form after submission, first go to "Display" and expand all the accordions – i.e,. click all the plus signs (“+”) – and print the result. Then expand all the "Item 21 FRN Line Item Number" information and print that separately. Posted 03/27 

Basic Information 

  • Keep your system-assigned application number and security code in a safe place. You will need them to continue a form that you haven’t yet submitted or to certify a submitted form that you haven’t yet certified. Posted 02/18 
  • You will need an FCC Registration Number to complete this section. If you don't already have one, you can request one on the CORES section of the FCC's website. Posted 03/10
  • You can update your Billed Entity Information, or get a Billed Entity Number if you don't already have one, by using Submit a Question or calling us at (888) 203-8100. Review the Entity Number guidance on the website to make sure you have all the required information at hand. Posted 03/11
  • Consultant Registration Numbers (CRNs) can be issued by the Client Service Bureau. If you are a consultant and need a CRN – or if you are an applicant and need the CRN for your consultant – contact us at 1 (888) 203-8100. Posted 03/13 
  • You can give your FCC Form 471 a nickname (formerly called an “Applicant Form Identifier”) to distinguish it from other forms you have filed. Posted 03/20 
  • If you are not using a consultant, skip the entry fields on the online form that relate to consultants. For the purposes of the E-rate Program, a consultant is any non-employee of the entity applying for funding that assists in filling out the application materials for a fee. “Non-employee” includes contractors or others who are employed by the entity on a contract or short-term basis who do not receive a W-2 application from the entity filling out the application. Posted 03/27 

Discount Calculations

  • To choose multiple attributes when entering an individual school or library, hold down the Control key (Ctrl), click on your selections, and then lift the Control key. Posted 01/26
  • If you are using a school template to enter a school with no students (e.g., a vocational school that is not the home school of any of the students that attend classes there), do not enter a zero in the template; rather, leave the student count blank and then enter a zero in the online form after you import (upload) the template. Posted 01/29
  • If you are using a template, save and close the file before attempting to upload it into the online FCC Form 471. Posted 02/09
  • Use the icons under the "Entity Information and Budget Calculation" worksheet to add (plus sign "+"), edit (pencil icon), or delete (trashcan icon) your entries. Posted 02/10 
  • If you choose “CEP” as an alternative discount mechanism for an individual school, you cannot enter a percentage of direct certification students less than 40 percent for that school. Posted 02/11 
  • A library outlet or branch that is part of a library system must complete the Discount Calculation section by listing all of the outlets/branches in that library system, even if that library pays its own bills and files the form itself as the Billed Entity. Posted 02/23 
  • An individual school that is part of a school district must complete the Discount Calculation section by listing all of the individual schools in that school district, even if that individual school pays its own bills and files the form itself as the Billed Entity. Posted 02/25 
  • Enter your non-instructional facilities (NIFs) under the school district or library system in the Discount Calculation section along with the other schools in the school district or libraries in the library system. The form will not calculate a discount if only NIFs are entered. Posted 03/03 
  •  If you use a template to upload your school or library discount information and you find you have made a mistake, you can always correct your mistake directly in the online form before you submit it. Posted 03/04
  • To enter the school district in which the main branch of the library system is located, use the Search for BEN Information tool to locate the school district’s entity number. Posted 03/05 
  • For each entity in the "Entity Information and Budget Information" section, the field labeled “Post-discount Entity Category 2 Budget” is the pre-discount Category Two budget for that entity multiplied by its E-rate discount percentage. It is for your reference, and reflects the maximum amount the E-rate program would commit toward the total eligible cost of the Category Two services. Posted 03/17 

Funding Requests

  • After you enter information for services and costs, click the blue “Manage Recipients” button to identify the entities that will receive those services. If you don’t see the blue button, click the plus sign (+) located to the far left of the information you entered. Posted 01/19
  • After you identify the recipients for a Category One service, if you see a number in the orange button to the right of the blue “Manage Recipients” button, you must click the "Manage Recipients" button and indicate the number of lines assigned to each entity. Posted 01/20
  • After you identify the recipients for a Category Two service, the orange button to the right of the blue “Manage Recipients” button will also display a dollar amount. Click the blue “Manage Recipients” button to allocate the cost of the service among the entities receiving the service. Posted 01/21
  • When you have correctly allocated the number of lines or the costs in a funding request line item to the entities receiving service, the orange button labeled “xxx Remaining” will turn green. Posted 01/22
  • Do not click the “Upload Completed Template” button if you have not already prepared a file for import (upload). Templates are optional. Instead, simply click “Add Line Item” and enter your data directly into the online form. Posted 01/27
  • Use the narrative field for the FRN not just for a description of your service(s) but also to provide information you think is important for USAC to understand, such as the specific location of shared equipment or the rationale for a cost allocation. Posted 01/28
  • If you are filing for voice services, do not select “Telecommunications Services” in the “Key Information” area. You must choose “Voice Services” in order to enter a request for 800# service, local and long distance phone services, and other voice services. Posted 02/02
  • In a Category One service, if you indicate that your service includes last mile connections, you must supply the number of lines and allocate those lines appropriately to the recipients of service by clicking “Manage Entities.” Posted 02/03
  • If you choose "Telecommunications Services" as your service type, you cannot upload a template that includes one or more line items for voice services. You must create a separate FRN for voice services. Posted 02/13 
  • Don’t cite an FCC Form 470 on a funding request before the Allowable Contract Date (28 days after the date the form was posted to the USAC website) that appears on your Receipt Notification Letter for that form. Posted 02/16 
  • When you allocate costs to individual entities on an FRN line item, you can allocate equally by entity, proportionally by number of students (schools) or square footage (libraries), or you can enter your own allocation for each of the entities sharing the equipment or service. Note that the allocation should reasonably reflect each entity's share. Posted 02/24 
  • If you are purchasing a number of identical pieces of equipment (e.g., 100 model A widgets manufactured by Company B) but installing them in various schools or libraries, you can list the total number and cost of the identical pieces in a single line on your Item 21 and indicate where they will be installed and used by (1) allocating the cost as appropriate for each school or library and (2) providing any necessary details in the FRN narrative. Posted 02/27 
  • If you use a template to upload your Category One or Category Two product and service information and you find you have made a mistake, you can always correct your mistake directly in the online form before you submit it. Posted 03/06 
  • If you see an orange exclamation point ("!") to the right of the Item 21 button on a funding request, this means that your service, cost, and/or recipient allocation information is still incomplete. Click the Item 21 button to access the entry screen and look for the red text that indicates where information is missing. Posted 03/12 
  • If you select "Telecommunications Services" as your service type for a funding request, you cannot enter eligible "Voice Services" in that funding request even if they are from the same service provider. You must create a separate funding request and choose "Voice Services" for the service type. Posted 03/23 
  • Refer to the "Instructions for Completing the Funding Requests Templates" if you are having trouble deciding which choices to select from the dropdown menus in the online form. The "Specific Instructions" sections for each service type contain a list of the possible dropdowns with some helpful information. Posted 03/24 

Certifications & Signature

  • In the “Necessary Resources” certification, be sure to enter the total amount in your budget allocated for resources not eligible for E-rate discounts but that are necessary for you to support and improve education and/or library services, and to make effective use of the eligible services you are requesting (e.g., hardware, professional development, software, maintenance, retrofitting). Posted 02/17
  • Read all of the certifications carefully. You or your successor may be required to demonstrate compliance with them at some point in the future. Posted 03/19 

Certifying Your Form

  • After you file your first paper certification for an FCC Form 470, 471, or 486, USAC will issue you a Personal Identification Number (PIN) by secure mailer that you can use to certify subsequent program forms online. Posted 02/19
  • If you do not have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you are ready to certify your FCC form, you must click the “Certify” button on the FCC Form 471 Apply Online page; enter your application number and security code and click “Log In”; print, sign, and date the certification page that appears; then mail it to USAC at the address provided. Posted 02/20 

3/27/2015FCC Form 481 Now Available; Filing Due July 1, 2015


USAC is pleased to announce that eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) can now log in to E-File and access the FCC Form 481, Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, which is due Wednesday, July 1, 2015 for Program Year 2016. 

The FCC Form 481 is required for all ETCs participating in the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs, with the exception of ETCs who only participante in Phase I Mobility Fund (Section 54.313(k)). 

USAC has posted these resources on the High Cost Program Forms and Lifeline Program Forms pages: 

  • FCC Form 481 Template,
  • OMB-approved filing instructions, and
  • All necessary upload templates.


FCC Form 481 Training and Resources Coming Soon
USAC is planning to present a webinar about the FCC Form 481 in late April. More details and instructions about how to sign up will be announced shortly via email and in the Trainings & Outreach section of our website.  

USAC also plans to release an updated FCC Form 481 user guide for Program Year 2016 around the same time, which will be available on the Forms page of our website.

3/27/2015This Week’s Updates to NLAD Web Pages


For the week of March 23:

  • There were no updates this week.

NLAD-related updates from prior weeks: 

  • The Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution page was updated to include new information and important dates. Refer to the March 5 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about this update.  
  • The Maintenance Schedule page has been updated to revised maintenance days and times for March 2015. Refer to the March 5 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates.   
  • The Field Descriptions and File Validation Rules documents were updated on the NLAD Resources page.   
  • The Maintenance Schedule page was updated with the NLAD v.2.3.13 Release Notes and additional outage dates for February. Refer to the January 28 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates.   
  • The Dispute Resolution page has been updated with helpful information about the TPIV process.
  • The Maintenance Schedule page has been updated to include monthly scheduled maintenance for 2015.  
  • The Duplicate Resolution page was updated to include information about Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution. Refer to the January 15 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates. 
  • Upcoming version of NLAD API Specifications was added to NLAD Resources. Refer to the January 12 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about this update.   
  • The Maintenance Schedule page was updated with the NLAD v.2.3.11 Release Notes. Refer to the January 6  issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates. 
  • The Maintenance Schedule page was updated with the NLAD v.2.3.10 Release Notes. Refer to the December 4 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates.

What is the purpose of this Latest News post?
The purpose of this post is to provide information about website updates related to NLAD. Each Friday, USAC will update this post with any new website additions that were made during the week to the NLAD section of the Lifeline Program portion of the USAC website. This list will date back three months from the most recent post.

Last Updated: March 27

3/27/2015News Brief Issued


The 03/27/2015 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/25/2015FCC Form 690 Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, March 26


The FCC Form 690 will be unavailable Thursday, March 26, from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to access the FCC Form 690 online, and any user already in the system at the time of maintenance will lose all un-saved data. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/24/2015First Quarter 2015 RHC Circuit Issued


The 1Q2015 RHC Circuit has been issued. To subscribe, please visit our subscription center.

3/24/2015Letter Mailings for Group 3 to Begin April 2


The consumer selection period (Round #2) of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process will continue with letter mailings to Group 3 on Thursday, April 2, 2015.  

These letters will be sent to Lifeline Program subscribers identified as having more than one Lifeline Program benefit and will require the subscriber to select a single Lifeline Program provider or maintain the randomly-identified default carrier in their letter, identical to the duplicate subscriber resolution (Track 1) process. 

Please visit our website and review any upcoming NLAD Bulletins for updates regarding the Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution process.

3/24/2015Carriers in Group 3: De-Enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by April 2


Beginning Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in Group 3 of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process. These carriers must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days,1 by Thursday, April 2, 2015. The duplicate resolution process (Round #1) only involves production duplicate subscriber records, where one record passes the third party identity verification (TPIV) check, and the other duplicate fails the TPIV check. 

Subscribers in Group 3 states listed on the report that have been determined as failing the TPIV check will be automatically de-enrolled from NLAD by USAC.2 Carriers do not need to take further action for these subscribers in NLAD. However, carriers must take action to remove these subscribers from their own internal company listings by Thursday, April 2, 2015.3

The states in Group 3 of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process are Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The de-enroll report is the result of Round #1 of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process. In Round #1, production duplicate subscriber records will be run through TPIV. In cases where only one record of the duplicate set passes the TPIV check, the passing record will be moved into NLAD as active subscribers. In cases where one record passes and one or more records fails, the records that fail will be automatically de-enrolled from NLAD by USAC.

More information about Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution is available on our website.

3/24/2015USAC To Offer Extended Customer Support Hours for FCC Form 499-A Filers


Beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2015, USAC will offer extended customer support hours for contributors filing the 2015 FCC Form 499-A. USAC’s Customer Operations Center will remain open until 6:00 PM EDT. The extended hours will remain in effect through April 1, 2015.  
 
How to reach us for support filing your 2015 FCC Form 499-A:

Call us between 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM EDT at (888) 641-8722 (Option 2).

Email us at CustomerSupport@usac.org or Form499@usac.org.  
 

 

3/22/2015NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance on Wednesday, March 25


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance and enhancements on Wednesday, March 25, from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT. 

The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available during this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience. For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

 

3/20/2015My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, March 21


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal may be unavailable Saturday, March 21, from 9:00 AM through 9:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/18/2015NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance on Friday, March 20


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance and enhancements on Friday, March 9, at 10:00 PM through Saturday, March 21 at 6:00 AM EDT. 

The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available during this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience. For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

 

3/16/2015FCC Announces Second Quarter 2015 Contribution Factor Increase to 17.4 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 15-326) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter (April-June) of 2015 will be 0.174 or 17.4 percent.

3/16/2015USAC Names Peter Taylor As Vice President and CIO


USAC is pleased to announce that Peter Taylor will join the team as Vice President and Chief Information Officer effective March 18, 2015. Taylor brings a track record of achievement in both the public and private sectors to the task of delivering on USAC’s goal of providing best in class technology and data solutions to its internal and external stakeholders.

Taylor joins USAC from Henrico County Public Schools, where he served as Director of Technology and CIO. In his two and a half years there, he oversaw all aspects of technology for the 52,000 student public school district, including services delivery, application development, information security, and business intelligence. His specific achievements include the deployment and support of 45,000 laptops as a key part of the world’s first K-12 education 1:1 computer program. Taylor also brings valuable perspective to USAC and its stakeholders through Henrico Schools’ significant participation in E-rate, one of the four the universal service fund programs delivered by USAC supporting schools and libraries access to telecommunications services.

Prior to his role in Henrico County, Taylor held senior technology positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Capital One where he developed expertise in ecommerce tools, business intelligence, and enterprise architecture. Taylor received a BS of Liberal Arts & Sciences in Geography from the University of Florida and a MS in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.

USAC CEO Chris Henderson stated, “Pete brings to USAC a unique combination of technical mastery, strategic thinking, leadership skills, and passion for the universal service mission. He is the right person at the right time as we push to rapidly deploy cutting edge solutions and capabilities to better serve our stakeholders and deliver on the goals of the universal service programs.”

3/12/2015FY2015 Application Filing Window Deadline Extended


New close date for the FY2015 filing window: April 16, 2015, at 11:59:59 PM EDT

In response to a reasonable request from our nation's largest school districts, USAC, in consultation with the FCC, has extended the FY2015 application filing window for three additional weeks. The application filing window will now close on April 16, 2015, instead of the original date of March 26, 2015.

FCC Form 471 applications must be submitted on or before 11:59:59 PM EDT on Thursday, April 16, 2015, to be considered in-window.

For more information, see today's Special Edition News Brief.

3/12/2015Letter Mailings for FL, GA, IL, NY, OH, & PA to Begin March 24


The consumer selection period (Round #2) of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process will continue with letter mailings to Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday March 24, 2015.  

These letters will be sent to Lifeline Program subscribers identified as having more than one Lifeline Program benefit and will require the subscriber to select a single Lifeline Program provider or maintain the randomly-identified default carrier in their letter, identical to the Duplicate Subscriber Resolution (Track 1) process. 

Please visit our website and review any upcoming NLAD Bulletins for updates regarding the Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution process.

3/12/2015Carriers in FL, GA, IL, NY, OH, & PA: De-Enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by March 20


Beginning Friday, March 13, 2015, the Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Carriers in those states must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days,1 by Friday, March 20, 2015. The duplicate resolution process (Round #1) only involves production duplicate subscriber records, where one record passes the TPIV check, and the other duplicate fails the TPIV check. 

Subscribers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania listed on the report that have been determined as failing the third party identity verification (TPIV) check will be automatically de-enrolled in NLAD by USAC.2 Carriers do not need to take further action for these subscribers in NLAD. However, carriers must take action to remove these subscribers from their own internal company listings by Friday, March 20, 2015.3

The de-enroll report is the result of Round #1 of the production duplicate subscriber resolution process. In Round #1, production duplicate subscriber records will be run through TPIV. In cases where only one record of the duplicate set passes the TPIV check, the passing record will be moved into NLAD Production as active subscribers. In cases where one record passes and one or more records fails, the records that fail will be automatically de-enrolled in NLAD by USAC.

More information about Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution is available on our website.

3/10/2015Special Edition News Brief - Guidance for the Online FCC Form 471 Alternative Data Entry Process


The 03/10/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/5/2015Letter Mailings for Michigan and Arizona to Begin on March 9


The consumer selection process will begin with letters mailed to Michigan and Arizona on Monday March 9, 2015.

These letters will be sent to Lifeline Program subscribers identified as having more than one Lifeline Program benefit and will require the subscriber to select a single Lifeline Program provider or maintain the randomly-identified default carrier, identical to the Duplicate Subscriber Resolution (Track 1) process. 
 

3/5/2015Duplicate Subscriber Reports Available Beginning March 10 for FL, GA, IL, NY, OH, and PA


Starting on March 10, carriers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will be able to view their production duplicate subscriber records in NLAD.

To pull the report of Production Duplicate Subscribers:

  1. Log into NLAD and select "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report."
  2. Select "Production - Duplicate Subscriber" as the "Duplicate Type" field.
  3. The records for subscribers identified as receiving multiple Lifeline Program supported services in NLAD will appear as "Production - Duplicate Subscriber" in the "Duplicate Type" field of this report. 

3/5/2015NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance on Monday, March 9


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance and enhancements on Monday, March 9, at 9:00 PM through Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 AM EDT. 

The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available during this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience. For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

 

3/5/2015Pre-Conference Events at ATA 2015 in Los Angeles, CA - Register Today!


Join USAC at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Annual Meeting to learn more about the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program.

Register for a pre-conference event, connect with USAC at the conference for help with program participation, or attend our USAC/FCC panel discussion.

More information is available in the HCF Program Trainings & Outreach section.

3/4/2015March 2015 HC Reporter Issued


The March 2015 HC Reporter is now available. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

3/3/2015Webinar on March 17: Good Filing Practices the FCC Form 499-A


Join USAC to learn about good filing practices for the FCC Form 499-A to avoid common errors in filling out the form. After the discussion of agenda items, the FCC Form 499 staff will answer questions from the audience.

Register Here: Good Filing Practices for the FCC Form 499-A
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
2:00 to 3:30 PM EDT (90 minutes)

Webinar Topics
This webinar will discuss the following topics related to filing FCC Forms 499 and universal service fund contributions:

  • What's new for the 2015 FCC Form 499-A
  • Requirement to file FCC Form 499-A online
  • Good filing practices
  • How to avoid common errors
  • Questions and answers


How to Register For and Join the Webinar
Click here to register for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email that includes a unique link to join the webinar. To join the webinar on your mobile device, download the free GoToMeeting App for iPhone or App for Android in advance for quick access.


To participate, you'll need:

  • To meet the minimum system requirements,
  • A Windows or Mac computer, or an iOS or Android device,
  • An Internet connection, and
  • Computer speakers (headset recommended) and microphone (optional). Participants may use a telephone as an alternative to the computer's speakers.

Need Help?
If you have difficulty connecting to the webinar on March 17, contact USAC Outreach

3/2/2015All Companies Must File 2015 FCC Form 499-A by April 1, 2015


FCC rules require all providers of telecommunications, including universal service fund de minimis exempt companies, to file a Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-A) and report revenue data for the period of January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

Late Filing Fees
Even if you are a de minimis exempt company, filing FCC Form 499-A after the due date or failing to file will result in late filing fees imposed by the universal service fund as well as each of the funds named below.

The universal service fund late filing fees are the greater of $100 per month or an amount computed using the U.S. prime rate (in effect on the date the applicable form is due) plus 3.5 percent of the filer's monthly obligation (FCC 07-150). Each of the funds named below can impose their own late filing fees based on their own billing practices as well.

Important Billing Information
The 12-month 2014 revenue data that will be reported on the 2015 FCC Form 499-A will be used to calculate the filing entity's contribution amount for the following funds:

 Fund Data Used in Calculation
Federal Universal Service Fund (USF)True up of the previously filed quarterly FCC Form 499-Q submissions (from November 1, 2013; February 1, 2014; May 1, 2014; and August 1, 2014)
Local Number Portability (LNP) FundContributions for July 2015 - June 2016
North American Numbering Plan (NANP) FundContributions for July 2015 - June 2016
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) FundContributions for July 2015 - June 2016

Please review Table 2 of the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet Instructions for a summary of which telecommunications providers are required to contribute to the various support mechanisms. Note that some entities filing the FCC Form 499-A will not be required to contribute to each of the support and cost recovery mechanisms.

How to File
On December 23, 2014, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 14-1886) and further clarified on January 7, 2015, with an Erratum (DOC 331395) that "Beginning with the April 2015 FCC Form 499-A and the May 2015 FCC Form 499-Q, contributors are required to file the FCC Forms electronically" through USAC's E-File online portal.

How to File Forms Electronically Using E-File

  1. Go to E-File.
  2. Select the "Log in" button.
  3. Log in using your user ID (this email address) and your password. If you forgot your password, click the "Forgot Password" button to reset your password instantly. All you need is your user ID (this email address). Then, you will receive an email containing a temporary password.
  4. Once you are logged in to the E-File system, click "Create New Form" in the top of the left-hand menu.
  5. On the "Form 499-Create New Form" page:
    1. Select "FCC Form 499-A for April 2015" as your filing.
    2. Type in your Filer ID.
    3. Click "Submit."
  6. A 2015 FCC Form 499-A will open that you can then fill out online.

More Information

3/2/2015FCC Form 462 and Supporting Documentation Requirements


The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program began accepting FCC Forms 462 for Funding Year 2015 (FY2015) on March 1, 2015, and will continue to accept FCC Forms 462 for FY2014 through June 30, 2015.

Please be advised of the requirements relating to the source of FCC Form 462 supporting documentation.

Supporting Documentation Requirements
Per the Healthcare Connect Fund Order 47 C.F.R. Section 54.643(a)(3), applicants must provide a contract, bill, service offer, letter, or similar document from the service provider that contains the following information:

  1. The vendor(s) selected and the HCP(s) who will receive the services;
  2. The service, bandwidth, and costs for which support is being requested;
  3. The term of the service agreement(s), if applicable.


As such, cover letters or any other documentation that is not provided by the service provider and hand-written notes by health care providers on documents provided by service providers are not compliant with program rules for supporting documentation.

Failure to supply documentation that meets requirements will result in an information request, and failure to respond to information requests in a timely manner may result in loss of funding. 

For More Information
The following resources are available to assist you with filing FCC Form 462:

3/2/2015Funding Request Filing Tips for FCC Form 471


Use these tips when completing the "Funding Request" section of the FCC Form 471: 

  1. Select the correct "Purpose" (in most cases "Internet" and "Transport" are itemized separately) 
    In most cases, applicants should itemize the costs for Internet connections separately from transport connections. Only in situations where the provider offers a single price for a bundled service for both Internet connections and transport circuits should the applicant select "Transport and Internet." Transport services (or WAN) are connections between buildings, whereas Internet is the connection from the school or library to the Internet provider.
  2. Select the correct "Type of Service" (in most cases it is "Digital Transmission Services" for broadband) 
    For Category One broadband, in most cases, applicants will select "Digital Transmission Services" and specify the type of connection procured for that service. "IA Only (no circuit)" should not be selected generically for Internet Access service. "IA Only (no circuit)" is a rare situation where an applicant is paying for Internet access separately from the physical connection that carries the Internet to their building.
  3. Select the correct response for WAN ("Yes" for Transport connections only)
    WAN or "Wide Area Network" is a service that provides the connections between buildings. Select "Yes" for the WAN if the district or library system has a Transport connection.

For more information about these issues, please refer to our February 19th Special Edition of the News Brief on "Selecting Service Types for Category One." 

  

2/27/2015News Brief Issued


The 02/27/2015 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/26/2015FY2015 FCC Form 470 Filing Deadline: Thursday, February 26


Thursday, February 26, 2015, is the last day you can post an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website and still meet the 28-day requirement before filing your FCC Form 471. If you are required to file an FCC Form 470 but have not yet done so, please promptly file your form.

To get started, USAC recommends watching the instructional videos located in our Online Learning Library, including:

 

2/25/2015Michigan and Arizona: De-Enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by March 9


Carriers in Michigan and Arizona: De-Enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers from Internal Company Listing by Monday, March 9, 2015

Beginning Monday, March 2, 2015, the Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in Michigan and Arizona. Carriers in those states must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days,1 by Monday, March 9, 2015

Subscribers in Michigan and Arizona listed on the report that have been determined as failing the third party identity verification (TPIV) check will be automatically de-enrolled in NLAD by USAC.2 Carriers do not need to take further action for these subscribers in NLAD. However, carriers must take action to remove these subscribers from their own internal company listings by Monday, March 9, 2015.3 Additionally, USAC will announce further duplicate resolution guidance for subscribers in Michigan and Arizona that still appear in the duplicate resolution report in NLAD after completion of this process. 

For all other states, USAC will notify carriers on next steps and also when the Production Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Reports become available.  

1 47 C.F.R. § 54.405(e)(2) 
2 See id 
3 See id 


How to Pull the Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report
Follow these instructions to locate and pull the Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report from NLAD.

  1. Only use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer (supported Internet browsers)
  2. Log into NLAD: https://nlad.universalservice.org
  3. In the left navigation pane, under the "Report and Tools" section, select "Reports"
  4. Select "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report"
  5. Select the study area code (SAC)
  6. Select "Production – Duplicate Subscriber"
  7. Select your preferred report format (display or CSV)
  8. Click "Submit"


Please visit our website and review any upcoming NLAD Bulletins for updates regarding the Production Duplicate Resolution process.

2/23/2015NLAD System Issues Resolved


System issues with the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) were reported on the morning of Saturday, February 21, 2015. The reported issues were addressed and resolved, and the system resumed normal operation at noon the same day.

Thank you for your patience over the weekend while we worked to resolve the issue.

2/19/2015Special Edition News Brief - Guidance on Selecting Service Types for Category One Funding Requests


The 02/19/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/12/2015Webinar on February 24: Filing the 2015 FCC Form 499-A


Join USAC to learn about the changes to the 2015 version of FCC Form 499-A, the requirement to file the FCC Form 499-A online through USAC's E-File portal, and a demonstration for using E-File to file the FCC Form 499-A. 

After the discussion of agenda items, the FCC Form 499 staff will answer questions from the audience.

Register here: Filing the 2015 FCC Form 499-A

To receive invitations to events like this, sign up for the 498/499 Spotlight Quarterly Newsletter in the subscription center.

  

2/11/2015Update to Production Duplicate Subscriber Report in Michigan and Arizona


An update to the Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report for Production Duplicate Subscribers in Michigan and Arizona will be available after the maintenance outage on Friday, February 13.

A report of the records will be available in NLAD in the reports section. Select, "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report," then "Production - Duplicate Subscriber" as the "duplicate type" field.

Additional information about this process is available in the Production Duplicate Resolution section of the Lifeline Program website.
 

2/9/2015February 2015 HC Reporter Issued


The February 2015 HC Reporter is now available. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/9/2015Special Edition News Brief - E-rate Modernization Order Frequently Asked Questions


The 02/09/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/6/2015One-Time Extension Granted for FY2013 FCC Form 463 Filing Deadline


The FCC has released an Order (DA 15-163) providing a one-time 60-day extension of the Funding Year (FY) 2013 FCC Form 463 invoice filing deadline for the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program. This extension will provide applicants and service providers with sufficient flexibility to complete and submit their invoicing forms to USAC with the necessary supporting documentation.  

All completed invoices must be received by USAC within six months (180 days) of the end of the funding commitment. For example, for FY2013 funding commitments ending on June 30, 2014, the FCC Form 463 deadline for submission by the applicant to USAC and approval by the service provider was December 31, 2014. This one-time 60-day extension will provide those applicants whose FCC Forms 463 were due on December 31, 2014 with an extension until March 2, 2015 to file. For those applicants whose funding commitments ended prior to June 30, 2014, the 60-day extension will begin six months after the end date of their funding commitment. 

Per the order, this limited waiver does not reduce or eliminate any HCF Program procedures or lessen the program requirements with which participants must comply to receive funding under the HCF Program. All existing HCF Program rules and requirements will continue to apply. Applicants are encouraged to start the invoicing process as soon as services have started and a bill has been received from the service provider.  

More information for HCPs:

More information for service providers:

Additional Assistance
If you are experiencing any issues submitting your FCC Form 463, contact the RHC Help Desk by email or by phone at (800) 453-1546. We also recommend that you subscribe to the RHC Circuit newsletter and join us for quarterly webinars for up-to-date information about the RHC Program and assistance with program rules.  

 

2/4/2015New Guidance Available to Help Determine Library Main Branch


New guidance has been approved on how to determine the main branch of a library for the purposes of calculating a library system's discount. 

Libraries with outlets/branches in more than one school district must use the total student counts from the school district in which the central outlet or main administrative branch of the library is located. For some libraries – especially those in large cities – identifying the building that would be considered the main branch is straightforward. However, in other situations – rural areas with outlets/branches of similar size and importance, regional library service systems, library consortia (as opposed to consortia of libraries) – applicants indicate they are not sure how to determine which library outlet/branch should be considered the main branch.

Here is what we suggest:

  1. Where there is an identified and known central outlet or main library branch, use that location.
  2. If no library is identified as the “main” library branch, use the library location where official library business is transacted or mail is sent. However, note that this location cannot be a non-instructional facility.
  3. If neither of the two preceding options fit the situation, the library can designate one library location as the “main” library. The library should document its rationale for designating that location as the “main” library and retain that documentation with its other program documentation so that it can be produced upon request.  

2/4/2015Telecommunications Program: My Portal Software Updates


The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program deploys software updates to improve usability and functionality in My Portal, the RHC Program's online application management system.  


These updates include features that will expedite the application review process and help applicants maintain RHC Program compliance. The features are also intended to make form submission faster and easier for applicants. Many enhancements are based on applicant feedback.


Telecommunications Program Updates


Change to FCC Form 465 Confirmation Step for New Applicants
When a new applicant submits an FCC Form 465 through My Portal for the first time, the original FCC Form 465 will need to be printed, signed, and dated by the individual who submitted the form, and submitted to USAC. The signed hard copy of the form can be submitted by mail, or electronically by scanning and sending a PDF via to the RHC Help Desk. The FCC Form 465 confirmation pop-up window has been updated to inform applicants they can submit the “wet signature” via email.


Learn More/Receive Assistance 
Stay in touch with the Telecommunications Program to learn about future enhancements to My Portal and other information.


- Join us for the Telecommunications Program Webinars
- Subscribe to the RHC Circuit quarterly newsletter to receive updates about My Portal and other RHC Program news. 
- Email us with suggestions and feedback about My Portal.


For immediate assistance about the Telecommunications Program, submit questions via email or phone at (800) 453-1546.

2/4/2015Monthly Updates on Progress Towards Annual Funding Cap


The Rural Health Care Program has an annual cap of $400 million in total support available for telecommunications and broadband funding for the Telecommunications and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) programs. As part of the total funding cap, there is also a $150 million cap for upfront payments and multi-year commitments. Requests for funding for both the Telecommunications and HCF programs may be submitted beginning during the initial funding request filing period, March 1 – May 30 prior to the beginning of the funding year, and through the end of funding year. USAC will process all requests until funding is exhausted.

In order to keep you informed about progress towards reaching the funding caps for Funding Year (FY) 2013 and FY2014, RHC Program staff will continue to update this funding cap progress report. Estimated commitments are based on HCP funding requests, and are subject to change after USAC review of forms.

$400 million Cap for Total RHC Program Funding

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$192,302,359

$116,695,473

Total Commitment Made

$178,292,081

$65,379,342


Commitment Requests Received (Telecom Program)

$141,299,499

$77,550,930


Commitments Made (Telecom Program)

$128,824,718

$42,343,378


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Consortia)

$34,377,214

$26,072,856


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Consortia)

$32,539,586

$18,100,134


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$16,625,646

$13,071,687


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$16,927,777

$4,935,830


$150 million Cap for Upfront Payments and Multi-year Commitments

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$42,284,497

$31,490,651

Total Commitment Made

$40,530,757

$18,209,398


Total Commitment Requests Received (Consortia)

$32,799,129

$24,559,428


Total Commitment Made (Consortia)

$30,947,848

$16,976,977


Total Commitment Requests Received (Individual HCPs)

$9,485,368

$6,931,223


Total Commitment Made (Individual HCPs)

$9,582,908

$1,232,421


HCF Program Disbursements

FY2013

FY2014

Total Disbursements Made

$11,741,175

$739,850


Total Disbursements Made (Consortia)

$5,418,103

$662,195


Total Disbursements Made (Individual HCPs)

$6,323,073

$77,655


HCF Program Funding Requests

FY2013

FY2014

Total Funding Requests Made

2,839

1,335


Total Funding Requests Made (Consortia)

55

88


Total Funding Requests Made (Individual HCPs)

2,784

1,247


Note: All data for estimated commitments and disbursements made are through January 31, 2015.

2/2/20152014 FCC Form 499-A Downward Revisions Due by March 31


The filing deadline to submit downward revisions to revenue reported on the 2014 FCC Form 499-A is Tuesday, March 31. 

The 2014 FCC Form 499-A reports historical telecommunications revenue collected between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. Though upward revisions to these revenues are accepted at any time, downward revisions must be submitted within one year from the original filing deadline.

USAC encourages universal service contributors to submit any revisions to the 2014 FCC Form 499-A using E-File.

1/30/2015FCC Form 555 is Due Monday, February 2


 FCC Form 555 (the 2014 Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form) is due Monday, February 2, 2015.

The form must be filed and certified before it is considered complete. If you filed online and want to verify that the form is complete, you can log in to E-File and check the status of your form.

How to File
USAC recommends filing FCC Form 555 using the E-File online filing system. To file online, log in to E-File and select the "Form 555" link from the left-hand navigation panel.   

To submit multiple forms at once, you can use the bulk upload and bulk certify functions. The bulk upload template is available on the Forms page of the Lifeline Program website.

Training and Resources
Visit the Lifeline Program's Online Learning Library to view a recording of the 2014 Online FCC Form 555 webinar. This webinar includes a walk-through of the form in the pre-production environment, clarification about entitlements, and navigation through the form.  

Benefits of Filing Online
USAC encourages carriers to use the E-File system to file FCC Form 555 online. Benefits of filing online include:

  • Instant validation that all required fields are completed
  • Built-in guidance on how to report certification results
  • Auto-populated fields eliminate common errors
  • Easy to view and print a PDF of the filing
  • Revisions can be made easily throughout the filing period

Additional Assistance
More information about FCC Form 555 is available on our website on the Forms page and under Telecom Carriers Step 8: Annual ETC Certification. For help with FCC Form 555, call (888) 641-8722, select Option #1, then Option #4, or email us

1/29/2015Special Edition News Brief - Reminders on Student Counts


The 01/29/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/28/2015NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance on Monday, February 2


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance and enhancements on Monday, February 2, from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM EST on Tuesday, February 3. 

The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available during this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience.  For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

1/28/2015Special Edition News Brief - Optional Templates for Online FCC Form 471


The 01/28/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/23/2015NLAD Maintenance Schedule Updated


The calendar of scheduled maintenance for the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) has been updated to include monthly scheduled maintenance for 2015.  For more information, please visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

1/22/2015FCC Clarifies Supporting Documentation Deadline with Order Release


The FCC has released an Order (DA 15-69) clarifying the deadline for supporting documentation associated with the FCC Form 466 (Telecommunications Program Funding Request and Certification Form). Per the Order, beginning in Funding Year 2015, applicants will be required to file all supporting documentation with their FCC Form 466 by the end of the funding year. FCC Forms 466 will not be deemed complete absent the receipt of all supporting documentation and associated certifications.

If a form is received without all supporting documentation, or if supporting documentation is inadequate, USAC will inform the applicant in writing and give the applicant 14 calendar days to submit the missing or relevant supporting documentation. If an applicant does not provide a timely response to USAC requests for documentation, the funding request will be denied.

Requiring the submission of supporting documentation with the FCC Form 466 by the end of the funding year is intended to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the RHC Program by minimizing the need to reprocess applications and decreasing both administrative costs and form processing time. 

1/20/2015Carriers in Arizona: Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process Begins


Carriers in Arizona are now able to view records for production duplicate subscribers. To view these production duplicate subscriber records, log in to NLAD and select the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report" under the "Reports and Tools" section.

Carriers in Arizona will not be able to make changes or de-enroll subscribers that are identified in the production duplicate subscriber resolution process. If you wish to notify USAC that one of the records that appears in the report has already been de-enrolled from your internal company records, submit a de-enroll request to USAC via email with the subject line "Production Duplicate Subscriber De-Enroll Request - Arizona." Please include the study area code and the phone number of the subscriber that need to be de-enrolled. 

1/20/2015NLAD v2.3.12 Released in Pre-Production Environment


NLAD v2.3.12 has been released in the pre-production environment. Carriers are encouraged to use the pre-production environment to explore the new features and train their staff. 

This release includes:

  • Deployment of detailed TPIV error messages that identify the causes of TPIV failures
  • Elimination of the self-help "Resolution Error Code" override function

For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

1/19/20152015 FCC 499-Q is Now Available and Due by February 2


Each quarter, telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers that are not de minimis and are required to contribute directly to universal service must file the FCC Form 499-Q (Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) with USAC.

The FCC Form 499-Q is due to USAC Tuesday, February 2. The information on this form projects second quarter 2015 revenues and historical fourth quarter 2014 revenues. A late filing fee may be imposed for filing after the due date or failing to file.

USAC encourages universal service contributors to submit their FCC Form 499-Q using E-File. Users can retrieve historical forms, edit and submit changes, and certify online.
   

1/16/2015498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 1Q2015 Issued


The 1Q2015 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is now available. The 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is designed to provide important, up-to-date information about the FCC Form 498 and FCC Form 499 including news, deadlines, and filing best practices for service providers. 

To sign up to receive the 498/499 Spotlight newsletter via email, visit the subscription center.

1/16/2015FCC Form 481 Due July 1 for Program Year 2016


The FCC Form 481 is due to USAC, the FCC, relevant state commissions, and/or Tribal government on July 1, 2015, for Program Year 2016. USAC anticipates that the FCC Form 481 online filing system will be available for preparing a submission for Program Year 2016 on April 1, 2015. Do not begin using the system to prepare your submission until April 1.

1/15/2015Mailing Schedule Now Available: Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution


The mailing schedule for Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution is now available for all states. The process is set to begin with letters mailed to Michigan on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

The process is completed state-by-state, and begins when USAC sends letters to Lifeline Program subscribers identified as having more than one Lifeline Program benefit. The letter will require the subscriber to select a single Lifeline Program provider. If the subscriber fails to respond, a single randomly selected provider is designated on the subscriber’s behalf, and the other benefit is canceled.

USAC will notify carriers when they are able to view and download their duplicate subscriber reports. The report will be available approximately 10 days prior to each state’s mailing date.

Additional information about the production duplicate resolution process, including a complete schedule, is available on the Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution page of our website and in the NLAD Bulletin issued December 1, 2014.

1/15/2015Process Update: De-Enroll Interstate Duplicate Subscribers by January 22


Beginning Thursday, January 15, 2015, the "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report" for interstate duplicate subscribers will be available to carriers. An "interstate duplicate subscriber" refers to individuals who are receiving Lifeline Program-supported services in more than one state. Carriers must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days, by Thursday, January 22, 2015.

All subscribers listed on the report will be automatically de-enrolled in NLAD. Carriers do not need to take further action for these subscribers in NLAD. However, companies must take action to remove these subscribers from their own internal company listings.

As of the de-enroll deadline (Thursday, January 22, 2015), ETCs should not include these subscribers on their FCC Form 497 for support going forward.

Additional information about this process is available on the Interstate Duplicate Subscriber Resolution page on our website, and in the NLAD Bulletin issued October 31, 2014.

How to Pull the De-Enroll Report
ETCs can see which subscribers should be de-enrolled by following these instructions to locate the "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report" in NLAD:

  1. Only use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer (other Internet browsers are not supported)
  2. Log into NLAD: https://nlad.universalservice.org
  3. In the left navigation pane, under the "Report and Tools" section, select "Reports"
  4. Select "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report"
  5. Select the study area code (SAC)
  6. Select "Migration – Duplicate Subscriber" in the "Type" section
  7. Select your preferred report format (display or CSV)
  8. Click "Submit"

1/14/2015FCC Forms 470 and 471 Available on Training Site


FCC Forms 470 and 471 for FY2015 are now available on the Schools and Libraries Program Training Site. The training site can be used to practice filing and certifying some program forms online or to train others in the online filing process.

We suggest that you file using the following information in order to see all of the functionality available on these forms:

  • Start the form using Billed Entity Number 145909 (APPLICANT). This will allow you to file as any application type: individual school, school district, library, consortium, or statewide applicant.
  • For the FCC Registration Number, use 1234567890.
  • If you would like to test the Consultant Registration Number lookup functionality in the FCC Form 470, use 16062359. You may not be able to test it on the FCC Form 471.
  • When you reach the "Discount Calculation" section, you can use the "Search" function to choose any entities you want to include in your test application, based on the application type you selected in the "Basic Information" section.
  • When you reach the "Funding Request" section, you will be asked for a valid FCC Form 470 number and a SPIN for each FRN you file. Please use the following valid numbers:
    • FCC Form 470 Numbers: 104530001046284 and 813490001142573
    • SPIN: 143999999
  • To complete an online certification, please use:
    • AUTHORIZED PERSON NAME: Jane Smith
    • AUTHORIZED PERSON EMAIL: applicant@usac.org
    • PIN: ocular#

1/14/2015Special Edition News Brief - FY2015 Window Opens Today


The 01/14/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/14/2015FCC Form 471 Filing Window for Funding Year 2015 Opens at Noon EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2015


The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2015 will open at noon EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 26, 2015. The filing window will be open for 72 days.

Be sure to review the FY2015 Eligible Services List for details on products and services that are eligible for E-rate discounts in FY2015.

We will issue the customary Letter to the Field around the time that the FCC Form 471 application filing window opens to provide filing information and deadline reminders related to the window.

Meanwhile, keep the following in mind:
  • You can file an FCC Form 470 now if you are ready to do so; you don't need to wait for the window to open. To file an FCC Form 470 online, go to the Apply Online page and click on the "Create Form 470" button.
  • You must wait 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is POSTED to the USAC website before you can select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 is the last day to post an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.

You can find additional program guidance documents in the Reference Area of the USAC website.

1/13/2015FCC Form 555 Is Available; File Online by February 2


The online FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is now available with bulk upload and bulk certify functionality. The bulk upload template can be found on the Forms page of the Lifeline Program website.

Carriers can now log in to E-File and file their 2014 FCC Form 555 online. The form is due by February 2, 2015.

How to File
Log in to E-File and select the "Form 555" link from the left-hand navigation panel.

Note: The FCC Form 555 Pre-Production Site is still available (just select the "FCC Form 555 Pre-Production" link once you have logged in to E-File) for users to test the system before attempting to submit their form in the actual production environment, but any data entered in the pre-production environment will not be saved. Be sure to select the "Form 555" link if you are ready to submit the form.   

Training and Resources
Visit the Lifeline Program's Online Learning Library to view a webinar about the 2014 Online FCC Form 555. Features of the webinar include a walk-through of the form in the pre-production environment, clarification about entitlements, and navigation through the form.  

Benefits of Filing Online
USAC encourages carriers to use the E-File system to file FCC Form 555 online. Benefits of filing online include:

  1. Instant validation that all required fields are completed 
  2. Built in guidance on how to report certification results
  3. Auto-populated fields eliminate common errors
  4. Easy to view and print a PDF of the filing 
  5. Revisions can be made easily throughout the filing period 

Additional Assistance
More information about FCC Form 555 is available on our website on the Forms page and under Telecom Carriers Step 8: Annual ETC Certification.

1/13/2015Special Edition News Brief - Tips for the FY2015 Application Filing Window


The 01/13/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/12/2015Upcoming Version of NLAD API Specification Document Now Available


USAC has released the upcoming version (2.3.12) of the API Specification document and is now available on the NLAD Resources page on our website.

This document can be used for NLAD API users to prepare for the implementation of the new TPIV error code messaging changes and the elimination of the self-help override feature beginning the week of February 2, 2015.

Please note this document should only be used for API planning/development purposes and should not be used to replace the current API specifications (version 2.3.11).

1/12/2015Update: Changes to TPIV Implementation Override Process


Date Remains Week of February 2, 2015, for Changes to TPIV Override Exception Process Implementation

After further consideration with the Commission, USAC will keep the week of February 2, 2015, as scheduled for the implementation of the TPIV error code messaging changes and the elimination of the self-help override feature. We appreciate your concerns regarding the short timeframe, but in an effort to preserve the integrity of NLAD and the Lifeline Program, we will continue with the original dates as communicated on the January 7, 2015 webinar.

We will be updating our website and providing the technical documentation soon and will notify you when the additional information is available. We appreciate your support in facilitating this important change to NLAD.

Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process
USAC will begin mailing letters for the production duplicate resolution process in Michigan on January 21, 2015. We will be posting the mailing schedule for all other states soon. Michigan carriers may view and download a list of their current duplicate subscribers from NLAD now. For all other states, carriers will be able to view and download their duplicate subscriber reports approximately 10 days prior to the mailing date as posted on our website.

How to Identify Production Duplicate Subscribers
To view records for production duplicate subscribers, log in to NLAD and select the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report" under the "Reports and Tools" section. The records for subscribers identified as receiving multiple Lifeline Program-supported services in NLAD will appear as "Production – Duplicate Subscriber" in the "duplicate type" field of this report.

Please note: Once the subscribers are moved into duplicate resolution, carriers will be unable to de-enroll or update these records until after the duplicate resolution process has concluded for their state. For "Production - Duplicate Subscribers" who appear on the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report," USAC will work with carriers to de-enroll any subscribers that require de-enrollment.

For assistance in performing de-enrollments related to those subscribers, please email us with the subject line "Production Duplicate Subscriber De-enroll Request" and include a list with only the study area code (SAC) and the phone number of the subscribers that need to be de-enrolled. Upon receipt of the email, USAC will send a confirmation receipt of the de-enrollment request.

1/12/2015Online Filing with E-File Required for the 2015 FCC Forms 499


On December 23, 2014 the FCC released the Public Notice DA 14-1886 and further clarified on January 7, 2015 with an Erratum DOC 331395 that "Beginning with the April 2015 FCC Form 499-A and the May 2015 FCC Form 499-Q, contributors are required to file the FCC Forms electronically."

To file online, click here: E-File System

How to Prepare for Your Next Filing
In order to be prepared for 2015 FCC Form-A 499 filing, USAC suggests the following:

  • Make sure that your E-File account is active by logging into E-File. If you have forgotten your passcode, click on the "Forgot password" link located on the E-File login page.
  • Watch the video FCC Form 499-A: Online Filing Demo. This video gives a navigational overview of the E-File interface, demonstrating the ease of using E-File. This video includes a demonstration of data entry, resolving error and alert notifications, and reviewing and submitting the online form to USAC.
  • If required to file your company's February 2015 FCC Form 499-Q, use E-File.

Upcoming Training and Additional Assistance
USAC will host a webinar in February to provide a live demo of the E-File system. In March, USAC will host a second webinar to review good filing practices and how to avoid common errors in filing the FCC Form 499-A.

These events will be posted in the Trainings & Outreach section of our website and announced via the 498/499 Spotlight newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter and receive an invitation to these events, visit the Subscription Center and select the "498/499 Spotlight."

USAC is available at (888) 641-8722 (Option 2) to answer any FCC Form 499 questions. Additional training is available in the Contributors and Service Providers' Online Learning Library and in the E-File User Guide.

1/9/2015January 2015 HCLI News Issued


The January 2015 issue of HCLI News is now available.

1/8/2015Special Edition News Brief - Templates for Completing Discount Calculations


The 01/08/2015 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/6/2015Reminder! Upcoming E-rate Program Webinars


Participants in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program are invited to join USAC for a series of webinars about the E-rate Program. If you aren't already signed up, register today! These webinars will include updates from the recently released Second E-rate Modernization Order, and we encourage you to join us for all of them. 

Register here: Category Two Budgets Webinar
Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Register here: Discount Calculations Webinar
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Register here: Urban/Rural Tool Webinar
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST

Please note: Due to the large size of our virtual audience, the presenters will not accept live questions during these webinars. However, participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance using the registration form.

Webinar Recordings
All webinars will be recorded and are available for viewing immediately following the original presentation in the Schools and Libraries Program's Online Learning Library. Recordings from recent E-rate Modernization Order webinars are already available:

  • E-rate Modernization Order Webinar (originally aired November 13)
  • FCC Form 470 Online Demo Webinar (originally aired December 9)
  • Eligible Services Webinar (originally aired December 16)
  • Program Compliance Webinar (originally aired December 18)
     

1/6/2015Submit FY2015 Service Requests


Applicants can now submit the FCC Form 465 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) or FCC Form 461 (Request for Services Form) through My Portal for Funding Year (FY) 2015.

USAC allows for form submission up to six months before the beginning of the funding year (July 1, 2015), so that applicants may have sufficient time for the competitive bidding process. Service requests can be submitted at any time during the funding year, but must be submitted before June 2, 2015, to receive a full 12 months of funding for FY2015. This allows for the minimum 28-day competitive bidding period required by the RHC Program.

Learn More about the FCC Form 465
Instructions and best practices for FCC Form 465 can be found on the Telecom Program Forms page. For more information, review the Step 2: Evaluation Criteria and Service Request web page on the RHC Telecom Program website for applicants.

All Telecom Program applicants should also review web pages for the steps that precede the "Evaluation Criteria & Service Requests" step to ensure program compliance, including information about determining eligibility, preparing for competitive bidding, and Evergreen contracts, which may exempt an HCP from filing the FCC Form 465.

A Telecom Program Application Timeline with all form submission deadlines is available on the handouts section of the Telecom Program Trainings & Outreach page.

Learn More about the FCC Form 461
Instructions and best practices can be found on the HCF Program Forms page. For more information, review the service request web pages on the RHC website for HCF Program Individual HCPs or HCF Program consortia.

All RHC Program applicants should also review web pages for the steps that precede the “Request Services” step to ensure program compliance, including information about determining eligibility, preparing for competitive bidding, and competitive bidding exemptions for filing the FCC Form 461 for the HCF Program.

An HCF Program Application Timeline with all form submission deadlines is available on the handouts section of the HCF Program Trainings & Outreach page.
 

1/2/2015HCF Program My Portal Software Updates


The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program deploys software updates to improve usability and functionality in My Portal, the RHC Program's online application management system. 

These updates include features that will expedite the application review process and help applicants maintain Rural Health Care (RHC) Program compliance. Many of the enhancements are based on feedback from applicants.

The following updates are only applicable to the Healthcare Connect Fund Program.

New Consortium FCC Form 460 Bulk Load Enhancement
Consortia users can now “bulk load” HCPs for Lines 2a and 2b when filling out the consortium FCC Form 460.

New Email Notification Features for FCC Form 462
If an applicant selects a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) on the FCC Form 462 for a service provider that has not checked the HCF Program certification in Block 15 of their FCC Form 498, an email will be send to the contact email address for that service provider, alerting them to revise their SPIN to elect to participate in the HCF Program.

FRN Added to Subject and Body Text of FCC Form 463 Notification Emails
The FRN will be included in the subject line and in the top portion of the body of all FCC Form 463 notification emails to ensure accuracy.

Applicants Able to Delete FCC Form 463 Drafts
Applicants are now able to delete a draft of an FCC Form 463, even after they have submitted it to the service provider for review. An email will be sent to the account holder who deleted the draft confirming the deletion. Once the service provider certifies and submits the form to USAC, applicants can no longer delete the FCC Form 463.

New Features for Consultants to Manage Third Party Authorizations (TPAs)
Consultant applicants will now see the list of all of their FCC Forms 460 that are in status “Pending TPA” on their dashboard. Consultants can upload a single TPA document, and choose to which FCC Forms 460 it applies. Once the TPA is uploaded, start and end dates entered, and associated with one or more HCPs, those FCC Forms 460 will show as “Submitted” status.

Firefox® Number Fields Bug Fixed 
When using Firefox® browser, a bug that caused the cursor to jump to the next field when a number was entered has been fixed.


Learn More, Receive Assistance
Stay in touch with the RHC Program to learn about future enhancements to My Portal and other information.

For immediate assistance with the HCF Program, submit questions via email or phone at (800) 453-1546.

12/23/2014E-rate Program Funds Available for Carry Forward from Prior Funding Years


In this letter, USAC notifies the FCC of the E-rate Program funds available for carry-forward based upon FCC guidance concerning maintenance of cash reserves.

12/23/2014Fourth Quarter 2014 RHC Circuit Issued


The 4Q 2014 RHC Circuit has been issued. To subscribe, please visit our subscription center.

12/23/2014Urban/Rural Tools Now Available


Two new tools are now available on the Schools and Libraries Program's Search Tools web page: the Urban/Rural Lookup Tool and the Urban/Rural Status Reports by State Tool. These tools will help you:

  • Locate the urban/rural status for an individual school or library.
  • Find out if a school district or library system is eligible for an urban/rural discount by locating the urban/rural status of its member schools or libraries.
  • Identify schools and libraries whose addresses must be updated in order for USAC to determine their urban/rural status.

For more information, refer to the instructions for each tool. You can find the appropriate set of instructions to the right of the tool name on the Search Tools page.

Note: If you are having difficulty accessing the Urban/Rural Status Reports using a mobile device, switch to a non-mobile device such as a desktop.

12/22/2014Second E-rate Modernization Order Released


On December 19, the FCC issued the Second E-rate Modernization Report and Order (Order) and Order on Reconsideration. Building on the E-rate Modernization Order adopted by the FCC in July, the improvements to the program adopted in this Order seek to close the high-speed connectivity gap between rural schools and libraries and their urban and suburban counterparts, and provide sufficient and certain funding for high-speed connectivity to and within all eligible schools and libraries. The FCC takes these actions to ensure the continued success of the E-rate program as it transitions from supporting legacy services to focusing on meeting the high-speed broadband connectivity needs of schools and libraries consistent with the recently adopted program goals and long-term connectivity targets.

12/19/2014Rate Floor Data Collection Reports Due January 2, 2015


Pursuant to CFR section 54.313(h)(2), all incumbent local exchange carrier recipients of high-cost support must report all of their rates for residential local service for all portions of their service area, as well as state fees, to the extent the sum of those rates and fees are below the rate floor, and the number of lines for each rate specified. Carriers shall report lines and rates in effect as of June 1.

You must file an updated report on January 2, 2015 if:
  • Your local service rates were above $20.46 before June 1, 2014, but for some reason reduced your rates below $20.46 between June 1, 2014 and December 1, 2014.

You should file an updated report on January 2, 2015 if:
  • Your local service rates were below $16 as of June 1, 2014, and you raised rates to $16 or above after June 1, 2014 and before December 1, 2014.

You do not need file an updated report on January 2, 2015 if:
  • Your local service rates have remained constant between June 1, 2014 and December 1, 2014.
  • Your local service rates were above $20.46 on June 1, 2014, and your rates have decreased but still remain above $20.46 as of December 1, 2014.

12/17/2014CANCELED - NLAD Industry Webinar Scheduled for December 22


The NLAD Industry webinar scheduled for Monday, December 22nd has been canceled due to the upcoming holidays and scheduling conflicts. Please join us on January 7, 2015, for our next NLAD Industry webinar. More information can be found on the Lifeline Program's Training and Outreach page.

12/16/2014FCC Announces First Quarter 2015 Contribution Factor Increase to 16.8 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 14-1832) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter (January-March) of 2015 will be 0.168 or 16.8 percent.

12/12/2014This Week’s Updates to NLAD Web Pages


For the week of December 8:

  • There were no updates this week.

NLAD-related website updates from prior weeks:

What is the purpose of this Latest News post?
The purpose of this post is to provide information about website updates related to NLAD. Each Friday, USAC will update this post with any new website additions that were made during the week to the NLAD section of the Lifeline Program portion of the USAC website. This list will date back three months from the most recent post.

Last Updated: December 12

12/12/2014Postponed--Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process


The Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution scheduled mailings for the state of Michigan will no longer be sent on December 16, 2014. The rescheduled mailing for the Michigan letters will occur in January 2015. USAC will send a bulletin when the new schedule is available.

For subscribers in Michigan who were identified as Production Duplicate Subscribers, USAC will work with carriers to de-enroll any subscribers that require de-enrollment during this time period. For assistance in performing de-enrollments related to those subscribers in Michigan, please email us with the subject line "Production Duplicate Subscriber De-enroll Request" and include a list with only the study area code (SAC) and the phone number of the subscribers that need to be de-enrolled. Upon receipt of the email, USAC will send a confirmation receipt of the de-enrollment request.

Questions about NLAD
If you have any questions about this process, please contact us via email or (877) 524-1325.

12/11/2014FCC Continues E-rate Program Reboot to Meet the Needs of 21st Century Digital Learning


Today the FCC adopted an Order aimed at closing the connectivity gap by making more funding available for libraries and schools to purchase broadband connectivity capable of delivering gigabit service over the next five years. The Order also provides schools and libraries additional flexibility and options for purchasing broadband services to enable schools and libraries to meet their Internet capacity needs in the most cost-effective way possible. For more information, please see the FCC Press Release.

12/9/2014Invitation to Webinar: FCC Form 463 Invoicing for Service Providers


FCC Form 463 is due for Funding Year (FY) 2013 single-year funding commitments with an end date of June 30, 2014, by December 31, 2014. Join us for a webinar to review FCC Form 463 requirements for service providers and tips for completing invoices on time.

Register here: FCC Form 463 Invoicing Webinar for Service Providers
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
2:00 to 3:00 PM EST

We encourage participants to submit questions in advance using the webinar registration form. If you think of a question after you register, please send it to RHC Program Outreach.

Webinar Topics
USAC will present best practices and answer your questions about the FCC Form 463. Service providers participating will learn about:

  • FCC Form 463 invoicing process
  • The roles of the HCP and service provider in the FCC Form 463 submission
  • FCC Form 463 best practices
  • Reviewing and certifying an FCC Form 463
  • Updating an FCC Form 498
  • Disbursement cycle
  • Where to find help

After the discussion of agenda items, staff will answer questions from the audience. We welcome suggestions for additional topics to RHC Program Outreach.

Need Help?
More information about HCF Program events is available on the Trainings & Outreach page of the RHC Program website.

If you have difficulty connecting to the webinar on December 17, contact USAC Outreach. For questions about the HCF Program, contact the HCF Program Help Desk via email or by phone at (800) 453-1546.

12/8/2014FCC Form 555 Pre-Production Environment & Webinar


The online FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is now available in a pre-production (for training) environment. Carriers are encouraged to log in and explore the online FCC Form 555 in preparation for the filing due January 31, 2015.


The pre-production environment is designed to familiarize carriers with the form, and serve as a training aid. It is not possible to file the form in the pre-production environment. Any information entered in the pre-production environment is for training and testing purposes only. All information will need to be re-entered in the production environment when it becomes available.

Training and Resources
Join us on Wednesday, December 10 at 3:00 PM EST for a webinar that will walk through the form in the pre-production environment, including entitlements, navigation, and a live Q&A.

Register Now: FCC Form 555 in the Pre-Production Environment Webinar
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 3:00 to 3:30 PM EST

Benefits of Filing Online
USAC encourages carriers to use the E-File system to file FCC Form 555 online. Benefits of filing online include:

  1. Instant validation that all required fields are completed
  2. Built in guidance on how to report certification results
  3. Auto-populated fields eliminate common errors
  4. Easy to view and print a PDF of the filing
  5. Revisions can be made easily throughout the filing period

Additional Assistance
More information about FCC Form 555 is available on our website on the Forms page and under Telecom Carriers Step 8: Annual ETC Certification. For help with FCC Form 555, call (202) 423-2063 or email us.

12/5/2014This Week’s Updates to NLAD Web Pages


For the week of December 1:

  • The Maintenance Schedule page was updated with the NLAD v.2.3.10 Release Notes. Refer to the December 4 issue of the NLAD Bulletin for more information about these updates.

 

NLAD-related website updates from prior weeks:


What is the purpose of this Latest News post?

The purpose of this post is to provide information about website updates related to NLAD. Each Friday, USAC will update this post with any new website additions that were made during the week to the NLAD section of the Lifeline Program portion of the USAC website. This list will date back three months from the most recent post.

 

Last Updated: December 5

12/4/2014NLAD Release 2.3.10 Updates


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) version 2.3.10 was released on December 2, 2014.

The release included these updates:

The "Tribal Address" field will no longer default to "Yes" when the "Linkup Service Date" is entered.
NLAD will no longer return a "Duplicate Address" error on subscriber updates if the address fields were not updated.

A summary of the bug fixes and known issues for this release is available in the NLAD v2.3.10 Release Notes.

For a full calendar of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

Questions about NLAD
If you have any questions about NLAD, contact us via email or (877) 524-1325.

12/3/2014Resolved: Rural Health Care Help Desk Phone Line Down


The Rural Health Care Help Desk line (800) 453-1546 is currently down.  Calls placed to this number are being directed to a message from USAC’s Customer Operations. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that until the issue is resolved, please send all inquiries via email to RHC Assist. This message will be updated when the phone issue has been resolved.

12/3/2014Monthly Updates on Progress Towards Annual Funding Cap


The Rural Health Care Program has an annual cap of $400 million in total support available for telecommunications and broadband funding for the Telecommunications and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) programs. As part of the total funding cap, there is also a $150 million cap for upfront payments and multi-year commitments. Requests for funding for both the Telecommunications and HCF programs may be submitted beginning during the initial funding request filing period, March 1 – May 30 prior to the beginning of the funding year, and through the end of funding year. USAC will process all requests until funding is exhausted.

In order to keep you informed about progress towards reaching the funding caps for Funding Year (FY) 2013 and FY2014, RHC Program staff will continue to update this funding cap progress report. Estimated commitments are based on HCP funding requests, and are subject to change after USAC review of forms.

$400 million Cap for Total RHC Program Funding

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$192,951,927

$100,844,308

Total Commitment Made

$168,167,049

$19,667,036


Commitment Requests Received (Telecom Program)

$147,545,751

$50,218,653


Commitments Made (Telecom Program)

$118,978,139

$4,624,668


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Consortia)

$34,779,193

$27,287,348


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Consortia)

$32,941,565

$13,667,640


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$17,056,076

$10,600,624


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$16,247,345

$1,374,828


$150 million Cap for Upfront Payments and Multi-year Commitments

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$42,748,798

$31,418,468

Total Commitment Made

$40,222,050

$13,184,828


Total Commitment Requests Received (Consortia)

$33,204,975

$26,288,117


Total Commitment Made (Consortia)

$31,353,695

$13,087,457


Total Commitment Requests Received (Individual HCPs)

$9,543,823

$5,130,351


Total Commitment Made (Individual HCPs)

$8,868,356

$97,371


HCF Program Disbursements

FY2013

FY2014

Total Disbursements Made

$6,543,066

$273,711


Total Disbursements Made (Consortia)

$4,031,525

$256,464


Total Disbursements Made (Individual HCPs)

$2,511,542

$17,247


HCF Program Funding Requests

FY2013

FY2014

Total Funding Requests Made

2,839

867


Total Funding Requests Made (Consortia)

55

54


Total Funding Requests Made (Individual HCPs)

2,784

813


Note: All data for estimated commitments and disbursements made are through November 30, 2014.

12/2/2014Fourth Quarter 2014 FCC Form 499-Q Revisions Accepted until December 18


FCC rules require all telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers that are required to contribute directly to universal service and that are not de minimis exempt companies to file a quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q).

The fourth quarter 2014 FCC Form 499-Q was due Monday, November 3. The filing window for this reporting period closes on Thursday, December 18. Information on this form projects first quarter 2015 revenues and historical third quarter revenues. A late filing fee may be imposed for filing after the due date or failing to file.

USAC encourages universal service contributors to submit their FCC Form 499-Q using E-File. Users can retrieve historical forms, edit and submit changes, and certify online.

If you have questions about FCC Form 499-Q, contact us.

12/2/2014Join the E-rate Program for a Series of Webinars on FY2015 Topics


Join the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program throughout December and January for a series of webinars on Funding Year 2015 topics. Please register for each webinar individually:

Register here: FCC Form 470 Demo
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Eligible Services
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Program Compliance
Thursday, December 18, 2014
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Category Two Budgets
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Discount Calculations
Thursday, January 8, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Register here: Urban/Rural Tool
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
3:00 PM EST

Please note: Due to the large size of our virtual audience, the presenters will not accept live questions during the presentation. All webinars will be recorded and will available for viewing a day after the original webinar presentation, in the Schools and Libraries Program's Online Learning Library.

Need Help?
More information about the E-rate Modernization Order is available on the USAC website. If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact USAC Outreach.

For questions about the E-rate Program, contact us via Submit a Question or call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100.

12/2/2014Reminder: HCF Program Deadline for FCC Form 463 for FY2013


Per the FCC Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Order, Paragraph 305,* all FCC Forms 463 must be submitted to USAC within six months of the end date of the funding commitment. For funding year (FY) 2013 single year funding commitments ending June 30, 2014, the FCC Form 463 must be approved by both the applicant and service provider and submitted to USAC by December 31, 2014.

To ensure service provider payment by submitting an FCC Form 463 to USAC:

  • An applicant must have an approved FCC Form 462 funding commitment from USAC.
  • An applicant must submit its FCC Form 463 associated with the funding commitment.
  • The service provider will be notified and will approve or reject the form. If the service provider rejects the form, it is sent back to the health care provider (HCP) for corrections.
  • After the form has been approved by the service provider, USAC will review it.
  • Payments are made upon USAC review and approval.

Note: This deadline is for the HCF Program only and does not apply to the Telecommunications Program.

More Information for HCPs

More Information for Service Providers
  • FCC Form 463 Service Provider Guide

Additional Assistance
  • If you are experiencing any issues in submitting your FCC Form 463, please do not hesitate to contact the RHC Help Desk by email or by phone at (800) 453-1546.
  • We also recommend subscribing to the RHC Circuit quarterly newsletter and joining us for quarterly webinars for the most up-to-date information about the RHC Program and assistance with program rules.

*FCC Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Order (FCC 12-150), Paragraph 305: "This invoicing procedure is different from the Primary Program in two principal ways. In the Healthcare Connect Fund, as in the Pilot Program, (1) a HCP or Consortium Leader must certify to USAC that it has paid its contribution to the service provider before the invoice can be sent to USAC and the service provider can be paid, and (2) before any invoice is sent to USAC, both the HCP and service provider must certify that they have reviewed the document and that it is accurate. We believe the adoption of these requirements in the new program will help eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse by making sure that HCPs have made their required contribution to the cost of the services they receive and that the invoice accurately reflects the services an HCP is receiving and the support due to the service provider. It is permissible to certify that these steps have been taken via electronic signature of an officer, director, or other authorized employee of the Consortium Leader or HCP. All invoices must be received by the Administrator within six months of the end date of the funding commitment."

12/1/2014New Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process


USAC has identified subscribers that must undergo a duplicate subscriber resolution process to address duplicate enrollments that were not resolved during the NLAD migration process. This NLAD Bulletin describes the process for addressing these duplicate subscribers, which will be referred to as the "Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process." This resolution process will be similar to the duplicate subscriber resolution process (track 1) that was performed for subscribers who were determined to be receiving Lifeline benefits from multiple subscribers.

The “Production Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Process” will begin on December 5, 2014, starting with the state of Michigan. Additional information about this process will be available in the Duplicate Resolution section of the Lifeline Program website.

How to Identify Production Duplicate Subscribers
USAC will announce the date for each state when the report outlining the subscribers subject to the production duplicate subscriber resolution process will be available for viewing in NLAD. To view records for production duplicate subscribers, log in to NLAD and select the “Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report” under the “Reports and Tools” section. The records for subscribers identified as receiving multiple Lifeline Program-supported services in NLAD will appear as “Production – Duplicate Subscriber” in the “duplicate type” field of this report.

Letters to Subscribers
When USAC begins the production duplicate subscriber resolution process, USAC will send letters starting on December 16, 2014 for the state of Michigan. The production duplicate subscriber resolution letter will request that the subscriber select a single Lifeline Program provider within 35 days from the date of the letter. The letter will be identical to the letter used during the “track 1” duplicate subscriber resolution process; a copy of the letter is available on our website. During the 35-day period where the subscriber must select a single Lifeline Program benefit, NLAD will not allow de-enrollment or changes to the production duplicate subscribers’ information.

If the subscriber fails to make a selection in the 35-day period, the randomly-selected default carrier indicated on the letter will be designated as the Lifeline Program service provider for the subscriber. Carriers will be notified of the results from this process and may be directed to de-enroll specific subscribers.

Questions about NLAD
If you have any questions about this process, please contact us via email or (877) 524-1325.