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

5/29/2015NLAD Outage Due to Scheduled System Maintenance: Tuesday, June 2


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance beginning at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, June 2, until 1:00 AM EDT Wednesday, June 3. 

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

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

5/29/2015My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, May 29


Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable Friday, May 29, from 5:00-7:30 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.

5/26/2015My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, May 28


Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable Thursday, May 28, from 5:00-7:00 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.

5/26/2015FCC Form 481 FAQs Updated for Program Year 2016


Carriers receiving High Cost Program support, Lifeline Program support, or both, must submit FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, by July 1.

Before you file, be sure to review the FCC Form 481 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), recently updated on our website. These FAQs cover questions from every section of the form and hit some of the most common questions we get asked around July 1 deadline.

Other helpful filing resources include the FCC Form 481 Instructions (revised February 2015). For any questions about FCC Form 481, contact HCLI Questions.

5/22/2015FCC Issues Public Notice on Draft ESL for FY2016


On May 21, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-615) establishing the comment period for the Funding Year (FY) 2016 Eligible Services List (ESL).

Comments on the draft ESL, which is attached to the Public Notice, are due to the FCC on or before June 22, 2015. Reply comments are due to the FCC on or before July 6, 2015. For information on filing comments with the FCC, please refer to the Public Notice. 

 

5/22/2015News Brief Issued


The 05/22/2015 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.

5/19/2015Carriers in Group 3 - De-enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by May 28


Beginning Thursday, May 21, 2015, the updated Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in 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 updated list will include the results of the consumer selection process (Round #2 of the production duplicate resolution process). 

On Thursday, May 21, 2015 USAC will de-enroll the subscriber records that were not chosen in the consumer selection process in Arizona and Michigan. The carriers that were not selected must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days, by Thursday, May 28, 2015.  

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

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 in to NLAD
  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"

5/19/2015E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, May 21


USAC's E-File system, including RHC Program’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, May 21, from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/19/2015Training Site Outage Due to System Maintenance: Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21


The Schools and Libraries Training Site will be unavailable from 9:00 AM on Wednesday, May 20 until 3:00 PM EDT on Thursday, May 21 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to train or practice filing forms on the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/15/2015This Week’s Updates to NLAD Web Pages


For the week of May 11:

  • 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.   

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: May 15

 

5/13/2015NLAD Outage Due to Scheduled System Maintenance Saturday, May 16


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance on Saturday, May 16 from 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM EDT. 

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

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

5/13/2015Refer to the Filing Reminder Guide for Program Year 2016 FCC Form 481 Filings


Carriers receiving High Cost Program support, Lifeline Program support, or both, must submit FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, by July 1.

For ETCs with rates below the benchmark, report rates and lines on Rate Floor Data Collection Report and Certification (see 47 C.F.R. Sections 54.313(h) and 54.318). For 2015, ETCs do not have to file pursuant to Section 54.313(a)(11) (Reporting results of network performance tests), Section 54.313(a)(12) (broadband reasonable comparability rate certification), Section 54.313(e) (Recipients of Connect America Phase II). ETCs should complete sections of the FCC Form 481 electronically in E-File as outlined in the FCC Form 481 filing reminder guide.    

Before filing, review the FCC Form 481 Instructions (revised February 2015).

For questions about FCC Form 481, contact HCLI Questions. For more information about filing FCC Form 481, watch the Changes to FCC Form 481 for Program Year 2016 webinar recording available in the Online Learning Library. For help filing the FCC Form 481 online, check out the FCC Form 481 online filing user guide, available on the High Cost Program Forms page. For help with E-File, call USAC Customer Support at (888) 641-8722.

5/13/2015Apply Online Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, May 15


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 7:00 PM EDT on Friday, May 15 through 2:00 AM EDT on Saturday, May 16 for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/12/2015Carriers in Group 2 - De-enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by May 19


Beginning Tuesday, May 12, 2015, the updated Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The updated list will include the results of the consumer selection process (Round #2 of the production duplicate resolution process). 

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015 USAC will de-enroll the subscriber records that were not chosen in the consumer selection process in Arizona and Michigan. The carriers that were not selected must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days, by Tuesday, May 19, 2015.  

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

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 in to NLAD
  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"

5/12/2015Invitation to E-rate Program Applicant Trainings


Join USAC at an all-day Applicant Training for schools, libraries, and consortia that apply to the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Each training is identical; please select only one.

Register early to secure your spot - these complimentary events are very popular and have limited space.

  • Washington, DC
    Friday, October 2, 2015
  • Albuquerque, NM
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015
  • New Orleans, LA
    Thursday, October 29, 2015
  • Philadelphia, PA
    Tuesday, November 10, 2015
  • Tampa, FL
    Thursday, October 8, 2015
  • Minneapolis, MN
    Tuesday, October 20, 2015
  • Los Angeles, CA
    Thursday, November 5, 2015
  • Portland, OR
    Monday, November 16, 2015

Additional Information
More information is available in the Trainings & Outreach section of the Schools and Libraries Program website. Registration for the training does not guarantee hotel accommodations. Individuals must contact the hotel separately for room reservations.

Please inform USAC of any special needs, including dietary restrictions, at least one week prior to the event. If you have questions or need assistance, contact USAC Training.
 

5/5/2015May 2015 HC Reporter Issued


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

5/4/2015NLAD Outage Due to Scheduled System Maintenance: Tuesday, May 5


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT. The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

NLAD v2.4.6 will be released during this outage.

This release includes:

  • Invalid address error message will not be returned if the address field has not been updated.
  • Disable the ability to update subscriber's last four digits of SSN and DOB to existing record in NLAD.

A summary of bug fixes and known issues for this release is available in the NLAD v2.4.6 Release Notes.

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

5/1/2015Webinar Next Week: Changes to FCC Form 481 in Program Year 2016


FCC Form 481, the Annual Carrier Reporting Data Collection Form, is due to USAC and the FCC on July 1, 2015. Join USAC for a webinar to review filing requirements and changes to the form for 2015.

The initial date for this webinar was April 29. Due to technical difficulties preventing the completion of the webinar, the webinar has been re-scheduled to the following week. 

Webinar: Changes to FCC Form 481 in Program Year 2016
Thursday, May 7, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

Register Now!

The webinar will be presented by Elizabeth Pertsevoi and Brandon Ruffley, Senior Program Analysts of the High Cost Program.

Presentation Topics
The presenters will review the following topics about FCC Form 481:

  • New requirements for the FCC Form 481 for Program Year 2016,
  • System enhancements for the new filing period,
  • Changes to the following components of the FCC Form 481: Dynamic tables, Data Collection Form, 100, 710, 800, 1100, 2005, 3005, and the certification process.

Following the presentation, the presenters will accept questions from the audience in a live Q&A.

More Information
More information about FCC Form 481 is available in the Certification Requirements section of the High Cost Program website.

For questions about FCC Form 481, please contact HCLI Questions. For event-related assistance, email USAC Outreach, or request help via the "Questions" box during the webinar.

4/30/2015NLAD System Issues Resolved


This morning, the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) experienced a partial outage in both the pre-production and production environments, affecting carriers attempting to submit dispute resolution requests.

These system issues are now resolved. The NLAD pre-production and production environments have resumed normal operations.

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

4/24/2015FCC Form 690 Template and Instructions - Now Available


The FCC Form 690 Template and Instructions are now available on the Forms page of the High Cost Program section of the USAC website. FCC Form 690 is the Mobility Fund Phase 1 Annual Report Form. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the High Cost Program team.

4/24/2015Lifeline Program Annual Recertification Election Form Due May 1


Carriers are required to recertify the eligibility of each of their subscribers annually, and have the option to elect USAC to perform the recertification process on their behalf.  

This is a reminder to provide the completed recertification election template to USAC via email by Friday, May 1, 2015, if your company wishes to elect USAC to perform recertification of your subscribers on your behalf for 2015, or if your company had USAC perform recertification last year but wishes to do its own recertification for 2015. 

Default Election After May 1
ETCs that elected USAC to perform recertification in 2014 will default to again electing USAC for 2015 unless you notify USAC otherwise by May 1, 2015.  

ETCs that did not elect USAC last year, and do not make an election by May 1, will again be responsible for conducting their own recertification process.  

About the Recertification Election Option
As required by the FCC's Lifeline Reform Order, ETCs must recertify the eligibility of their subscribers annually. Effective in 2013, ETCs may elect USAC to conduct the annual recertification process on their behalf.  

If elected, USAC will recertify all of the electing ETC's SACs unless it affirmatively indicates which SACs USAC should not recertify. 

4/24/2015Arizona and Michigan - De-enroll Production Duplicate Subscribers by May 4


Beginning Monday, April 27, 2015, the updated Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report for production duplicate subscribers will be available for carriers in Arizona and Michigan. The updated list will include the results of the consumer selection process (Round #2 of the production duplicate resolution process). 

On Monday, April 27, 2015 USAC will de-enroll the subscriber records that were not chosen in the consumer selection process in Arizona and Michigan. The carriers that were not selected must de-enroll the subscribers listed on the report from their own internal company listings within five business days, by Monday, May 4, 2015.  

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

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 in to NLAD
  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"

4/21/2015Webinar This Week: Walkthrough of FCC Form 690


Join USAC this Thursday, April 23, for a webinar about FCC Form 690, the Mobility Phase I Annual Report Form. The form is due to USAC and the FCC on July 1, 2015.

Webinar: Walkthrough of FCC Form 690
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Register Now


The webinar will be presented by Elizabeth Pertsevoi and Brandon Ruffley, Senior Program Analysts of the High Cost Program. More information about this event is available on the Trainings & Outreach page of the High Cost Program website.

Presentation Topics
The presenters will review the following topics about FCC Form 690:

  • Filing Requirements,
  • How to access E-File and file online, and
  • A walkthrough of form inputs and certifications.

Following the presentation, the presenters will accept questions from the audience in a live Q&A.


More Information
More information about this event and other High Cost Program events is available on the Trainings & Outreach page of our website. This webinar will be recorded and available shortly following the live presentation in the Online Learning Library.

More information about FCC Form 690 is available in the Mobility Fund section of the High Cost Program website.

For questions about FCC Form 690, please contact HCLI Questions. For event-related assistance, email USAC Outreach, or request help via the "Questions" box during the webinar.


4/20/2015FCC Form 690 Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Tuesday, April 21


FCC Form 690 will be unavailable in E-File due to scheduled system maintenance on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, starting at 5:00 PM EDT. We anticipate this maintenance will last approximately two (2) hours.

During this time, users will be unable to access the FCC Form 690 online. Any user already in the E-File system at the time of maintenance will lose all un-saved data.

4/17/2015FCC Announces 2015 Local Service Rate Floor and Reasonable Comparability Benchmarks


The FCC issued a Public Notice on April 16, 2015, announcing the 2015 local service rate floor for incumbent ETCs and the reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services. Based on the survey results, the 2015 rate floor for voice services is $21.22, and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $47.48. Under the Commission’s rules, by July 1, 2015, all ETCs that are incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) recipients of high-cost support must report in their annual FCC Form 481 the number of residential service lines for which the sum of the local rate and state fees (as of June 1, 2015) is below $21.22. To the extent that an ILEC’s local rates (plus state regulated fees) in 2015 are less than $16, that carrier’s high-cost support will be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This is the same $16 phase-in limit for support reductions as was in effect in 2014. In addition, each ETC, including competitive ETCs providing fixed voice services, must certify in the FCC Form 481 that the pricing of its basic residential voice services is no more than $47.48.

4/17/2015Today’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

  • General Guidance– Now that the filing window has closed, gather the program documentation you have produced or received so far and determine how you will store or archive it. You must retain required program documents for at least 10 years after the last day of service delivered.

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 
  • Although the online FCC Form 471 can be filed using several different browsers, other online Schools and Library Program forms must be filed with Internet Explorer, version 6.0 or higher. Posted 04/01 
  • You cannot create or update an entity through the online FCC Form 471. You must compile the necessary information. Use the Entity Numbers page for guidance. Then contact the Client Service Bureau as described on that web page. Posted 04/03  
  •  Call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 if you need help during these last days of the FY2015 filing window. CSB will be open weekdays until 10:00 PM EDT, this coming Saturday and Sunday until 5:30 PM EDT, and on Thursday, April 16 until 11:59 PM EDT. 04/06 
  • Your FCC Form 471 must be submitted before 11:59 PM EDT tonight. If you have any last-minute questions, call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100. Posted 04/16 

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 
  • Make sure you choose the correct category of service before you start the Discount Calculation section. Category One includes Telecommunications Services, Voice Services, and Internet Access; Category Two includes Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Posted 04/14 

Discount Calculation

  • 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 
  • 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. Posted 03/30 
  • The “Student Count Based on Estimate?” field is set to “No” for Category One services and cannot be changed. However, for Category Two services, you will change this field to “Yes” if the student count you provide is an estimate. Posted 03/31 
  • The entry in the field “Number of Students Attending This School as Their Home School” must be an actual count, not an estimate. Posted 04/02 
  • To provide your count of full-time and part-time students, enter the number that identifies the maximum number of students that will use a service at one time. For example, if you have 20 full-time students at your school that attend classes all day, 35 part-time students that attend classes only in the morning, and 15 part-time students that attend classes only in the afternoon, you would enter “55” (that is, 20 full-time plus 35 part-time) in this field. Posted 04/07 
  • Please note that you cannot copy a “Block 4 worksheet” from an application from FY2014 or previous into a FY2015 application. You must enter your data directly into the application or use a template. Posted 04/09 

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 
  • In the "Key Information" section, the field where you provide the total number of months for all contract extensions is limited to two digits. If your contract can be extended for a total greater than 99 months, enter “99” in that field and provide the correct total in the "Narrative" section. Posted 04/08 
  • The entry for the total eligible cost for an individual line item in a funding request is limited to $2,000,000.00. If your cost for a single line is greater than this amount, please split your request into additional lines. Posted 04/10 
  • Remember that applicants no longer submit funding request information on a separate Item 21 attachment. The funding request information on services and costs must be entered directly into the online FCC Form 471. Posted 04/13 
  • Choose “Voice Services” as the service type if you want to enter voice services on a funding request. The online form will not allow you to enter voice services under the "Telecommunications Services" service type. Posted 04/15 

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 

4/16/20152015 FCC Form 499-Q is Now Available and Due by May 1


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

The FCC Form 499-Q is due to USAC Friday, May 1. The information on this form projects third quarter 2015 revenues and historical first quarter 2015 revenues. A late filing fee may be imposed for filing after the due date or failing to file.

Please note that the FCC now requires contributors with access to the internet to submit their FCC Form 499-Q using E-File. Users can retrieve historical forms, edit and submit changes, and certify online.
   

4/16/2015FY2015 Filing Window Closing Today


The application filing window closes today, April 16, 2015, at 11:59:59 PM EDT.

To support last minute filers, the Client Service Bureau (CSB) has extended its service hours one half hour past the application filing window deadline to assist applicants with last-minute filing issues. Please feel free to contact us at (888) 203-8100 with any questions during this timeframe.

For more information, review the News Brief from April 10.

  

4/15/2015Release of NLAD v2.4.4 on Wednesday, April 15


NLAD v.2.4.4 will be deployed on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 9:00 PM EDT. The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be affected and there will be no interruption of service during this time.

This release includes:

  • Update to "Benefit Transfer" function due to reported errors.

A summary of bug fixes and known issues for this release is available in the NLAD v2.4.4 Release Notes as well as the API specifications in NLAD.

4/13/2015USAC Names Michael Moeller As Vice President of Strategy and Performance Management


The USAC is pleased to announce that Lt. General (ret.) Michael Moeller will join the organization as Vice President of Strategy and Performance Management effective April 13, 2015. Moeller brings a distinguished record of public service and executive leadership to the task of building effective strategy, risk and performance management capabilities at USAC.


Moeller most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the United States Air Force with responsibility for Strategic Plans and Programs. In his two years there, he led the development and integration of Air Force long-range plans and the $604 billion Future Years Defense Program, ensuring the Air Force's ability to build and employ effective air, space, and cyber forces to achieve national defense objectives. His specific achievements include implementing a new process that resulted in the first-ever approved Air Force Strategic Master Plan, which enabled cross-portfolio trades and linked priorities to resource allocation.
Prior to his experience as Deputy Chief of Staff, Moeller held other senior positions, including as the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (2010-2012) in the Department of State and Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy for US Central Command (2009-2010). Moeller received a BS in Geography from the United States Air Force Academy, a MA in Airpower Art and Sciences from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and a MS in Aeronautical Science and Technology from Embry-Riddle University.


USAC CEO Chris Henderson stated, “We are both fortunate and honored to have someone as accomplished as General Moeller joining USAC to drive sustainable excellence in our planning, risk and performance management efforts. I believe we and our stakeholders will see very tangible results from his leadership in the near term.”

4/10/2015FCC Provides Guidance on 2015 Recertification Election Process


On March 31, 2015, the FCC released Public Notice DA-15-397 which provides guidance regarding the recertification process that USAC will use if an ETC elects to have USAC conduct subscriber recertification on its behalf.

Deadlines
ETCs should perform their election by sending the completed recertification election template to USAC via email by May 1, 2015.

ETCs that make this May 1 election must submit to USAC its subscriber listing supporting the February FCC Form 497 submission. USAC will post a subscriber listing template on the Lifeline Program Forms page by June 1. USAC must receive the completed subscriber listing template by July 1, 2015.

Any ETC that elected USAC to conduct their 2014 recertification will be presumed to elect USAC for the 2015 recertification as well, unless that ETC rescinds its 2014 election by May 1, 2015. Any ETC that fails to elect USAC by the May 1 deadline will be responsible for their subscriber recertification.

New Requirements for 2015

  1. USAC will recertify all SACs of the electing ETC unless the ETC affirmatively indicates to USAC which SACs USAC should not certify.
  2. ETCs choosing USAC for recertification may limit the SACs for which USAC performs recertification.
  3. If USAC initiates an ETC’s recertification process after August 15, USAC will provide ETCs with an opportunity to update consumer addresses 45 days prior to USAC’s recertification attempts.
  4. After providing ETCs with a list of subscribers who failed to recertify, USAC will provide notice to those subscribers via automated text or call informing them their ETC is in the process of de-enrolling them form their Lifeline benefit due to failure to recertify. USAC will also provide notice of the steps that the consumer can take to re-enroll if they remain eligible.

More Information
For more information regarding annual recertification requirements please visit USAC’s Recertification Election Option page. Please direct all correspondence concerning the annual recertification process to USAC via email.
 

4/10/2015498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 2Q2015 Issued


The 2Q2015 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.

4/9/2015HCF 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 RHC Program compliance. Many enhancements are based on feedback from applicants.


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

New Site and Service Substitution Functionality
Site and service substitutions allow applicants to reallocate un-invoiced funds within commitments, subject to the terms of their contract and the Request for Proposal (RFP) associated with the commitment. Substitutions allow the flexibility to ensure that all of the committed funds on an approved FCC Form 462 can be spent, even though USAC-supported services may change over the course of a commitment.


Applicants can now perform site and service substitutions within My Portal by clicking the “Substitution” button on the “Form 462” tab. Through My Portal, applicants can modify the expense items on approved FCC Forms 462, including the eligible expense information on existing line items for service upgrades or changes and the financial information. Substitution modifications cannot change the overall funding disposition (i.e. exceed approved funding amount or de-commit money that has already been disbursed).


New HCF Program Funding Commitments Search Tool
A funding commitments search tool has been added to the HCF Program Search Tools web page that provides the estimated support amount for all HCF Program commitments. Funding commitments can be searched and sorted by funding year, applicant name, city, state, or ZIP code, Funding Commitment Letter (FCL) issue date, service provider name, or Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN).


New Consortium FCC Form 460 Bulk Load Enhancement
Consortium applicants can select multiple HCPs to upload to Line 2a and 2b of the consortium FCC Form 460 instead of selecting each HCP one at a time. Allowing batches of HCPs to be added at once reduces the amount of time necessary to select large numbers of HCPs.


In addition, consortium applicants can now add member HCPs to the consortium FCC Form 460 after a member HCP FCC Form 460 has been submitted but before it has been approved by USAC. This enhancement will allow for more accurate initial lists of member HCPs and will reduce the amount of revisions needed for the consortium FCC Form 460 to include all member HCPs.


New Email Notification Feature for Consortium FCC Form 460 Revisions
Consortium applicants will now receive an email notification when a revision to the consortium’s FCC Form 460 has been approved.


Existing HCPs Search Function Enhancement for New FCC Forms 460
When creating a new FCC Form 460, applicants can now search for existing HCPs using their HCP numbers in addition to searching by the ZIP code.


Consortium Search Function Enhancement
Consortium project coordinators can now search and sort member HCPs by HCP number and HCP name on the “My Consortium” tab.


FCC Form 462 Contract Enhancement
On the FCC Form 462, the contract ID for a contract added to the form will now display next to the contract on the “Competitive Bidding” and “Expense Items” tabs. 


Validation Correction on FCC Form 460, Line 49
Applicants are now able to enter “0” on Line 49 of the FCC Form 460 for the number of licensed patient beds that are at a non-profit hospital.


Search Posted Services Bug Fixed
A bug that was preventing service providers from downloading PDFs from the Search Posted Services tool 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.

4/3/2015Telecommunications 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:


Service Provider Invoicing Search Screen Enhancement
The processing speed has increased for the funding requests search on the FRNs tab. Service providers who are invoicing for multiple FRNs can now search and add FRNs to their invoices without excessive lag time. See update

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.

4/3/2015Second Quarter 2015 LI Program News Issued


The second quarter 2015 issue of LI Program News is now available.

4/2/2015FCC Form 690 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 690, Mobility Fund Phase I Annual Report, which is due Wednesday, July 1, 2015 for Program Year 2015.

The FCC Form 690 is required for all participants in Phase I Mobility Fund (Section 54.313(k)), including 902 auction winners.

USAC has posted the necessary upload templates to the High Cost Program Forms page and will continue to post additional FCC Form 690 resources over the next couple of weeks.  

FCC Form 690 Training and Resources Coming Soon
USAC is planning to present a webinar about the FCC Form 690 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 690 user guide around the same time, which will be available on the Forms page of our website.
 

 

4/1/2015April 2015 HC Reporter Issued


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

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.

3/27/2015FCC 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.

3/24/2015First 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.  
 

 

3/16/2015FCC 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. 

3/5/2015Pre-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