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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.

4/18/2014FCC Form 481 Unavailable in E-File: Tuesday, April 22


The FCC Form 481 will be unavailable in E-File from 5:00-8:00 PM EDT Tuesday, April 22, 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience. During this outage, the following updates will be made:

  • Service Quality Improvement (the 5 year plan) (Section 100)

Line items 113 – 118, which address the items requiring certification in subsequent years’ progress reports, will be made optional when an initial 5 year plan is attached to line item 112.

  • Complaints per 1000 customers (Voice)(Section 400)

This reporting is not required for state commission designated Lifeline Program-only ETCs, line items 410 and 420 will be made optional on the form.

  • Price cap carrier additional documentation (Section 2005)

Due to price cap carriers varied regulatory status, line items 2013 and 2016 will be made optional on the “Price Cap Data” screen.

  • Rate of return carrier additional documentation (Section 3005)

Rate of return carriers are not filing progress reports on their 5 year plans, line items 3010, 3011, and 3012 will no longer appear on the “Rate of Return” data screen for Program Year 2015.

4/18/2014News Brief Issued


The 04/18/14 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.

4/17/2014USAC Provides Demand Estimate for Funding Year 2014 to FCC


On April 17, 2014, the Schools and Libraries Program of the USAC reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that $4.825 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking discounts for Funding Year 2014. This estimate is based on the dollars requested in 45,731 applications received or postmarked on or before March 26, 2014, the close of the FY2014 FCC Form 471 application filing window.

There are several factors that will reduce ultimately the funds requested from the estimated level. First, USAC will find duplicate funding requests as these funding applications are reviewed and processed. Second, USAC's efforts to assure that funds are committed only for eligible services and equipment for use by eligible entities with the appropriate discount rate and are otherwise consistent with FCC rules, will further reduce the demand estimate.

For detailed information, please refer to the FY2014 Demand Estimate.

4/17/2014NLAD Dispute Resolution Process Available


Currently, USAC handles error code resolution disputes manually, via a ticketing system. This process will soon be automated through NLAD. The current, manual process for dispute resolution that carriers should follow is outlined on the Dispute Resolution webpage.

This process may be used to resolve dispute resolution tickets that have already been submitted in NLAD and are currently awaiting processing, or new dispute resolution tickets entered in NLAD.

With questions about this process, contact NLAD Questions.

4/16/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, April 17


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Thursday, April 17, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/16/2014USAC Monthly System Maintenance: Saturday, April 19


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to USAC monthly system maintenance on Saturday, April 19, from 2:00 AM EDT until 6:00 AM EDT. Neither the API nor the NAP will be available for use during this time. This outage is for routine USAC-wide server maintenance, which usually occurs on the third Saturday of each month. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Questions about NLAD
If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

4/16/2014NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, April 21


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT Monday, April 21, due to system maintenance. Neither the API nor the NAP will be available for use during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/15/2014NLAD Duplicate Resolution Webinar Slides Now Available


The presentation slides for the webinar, "NLAD Duplicate Resolution," are now available. The webinar is today, April 15, 2014, at 11:00 AM EDT. Visit the Lifeline Program Trainings & Outreach page for more information and to sign up.

4/11/2014498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 2Q2014 Issued


USAC is excited to present the second issue of the 498/499 Spotlight quarterly newsletter. 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.

4/10/2014System Maintenance: 9:00-11:00 PM EDT Friday, April 11


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 9:00-11:00 PM EDT Friday, April 11, for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

4/9/2014NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, April 11


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT Friday, April 11, due to system maintenance. Neither the API nor the NAP will be available for use during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/7/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, April 7


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 PM EDT Monday, April 7, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/4/2014Correction - Connect America Fund ICC Data Filing is June 16, 2014


In the April 2014 edition of the HCLI News newsletter, USAC misstated the filing deadline for the Connect America Fund ICC data filing. The correct deadline is June 16, the same day as the FCC’s tariff filing deadline. The April 2014 HCLI News has been updated to reflect the correct deadline.

4/4/2014NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, April 7


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable from 9:00-11:00 PM EDT Monday, April 7, due to system maintenance. Neither the API nor the NAP will be available for use during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/4/2014FCC Form 690 Now Available for July 1, 2014 Filing


USAC is pleased to announce that beginning April 4, 2014, eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) can log in to E-File and access the FCC Form 690. The FCC Form 690 is required for all ETCs receiving support from the Mobility Fund. It is due July 1, 2014. USAC has also posted the FCC Form 690 (Excel version), an FCC Form 690 Online Filing User Guide, OMB-approved filing instructions, and the necessary upload template. These can all be found on the High Cost Program Forms page.

4/4/2014NLAD Duplicate Subscriber Resolution Mailing Schedule


USAC has begun the NLAD duplicate subscriber resolution process for Lifeline Program subscribers identified as receiving multiple Lifeline Program benefits. The duplicate resolution process begins when USAC sends a letter to a subscriber identified as having more than one benefit. The letter will require the subscriber to select a single service provider. If the subscriber fails to respond, a single randomly selected provider will be designated on the subscriber’s behalf.

  • On May 6, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Alabama, Kentucky, Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia.
  • On April 29, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Michigan.
  • On April 22, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Florida.
  • On April 18, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Delaware, District of Columbia, and Missouri.
  • On April 15, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Georgia.
  • On April 11, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Maine, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
  • On April 8, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Ohio.
  • On April 4, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Massachusetts.
  • On April 1, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Louisiana and Washington.
  • On March 25, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Oklahoma.
  • On March 17, 2014, USAC will mail subscriber letters for Maryland and Arkansas.

USAC will continue to notify carriers in advance of each state’s mailing. If you have any questions about NLAD, please email the NLAD team.

4/3/2014Guidance on Completing Non-Routine Benefit Transfers


Click here to learn how to complete a non-routine benefit transfer.

4/3/2014Certain Online Forms Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, April 5


Certain online forms will be unavailable Saturday, April 5, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Including forms in the:

  • High Cost Program system,
  • Lifeline Program system,
  • Rural Health Care Program My Portal system, and
  • Schools and Libraries Program Apply Online system. 

These online forms will not be accessible for eligible telecommunications carriers, 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, search for certain forms online, and use online applications or tools.

The FCC Forms 499-A/Q and FCC Form 498 will still be available.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/3/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, April 4


The E-File system, including the Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, April 4, from 9:00-11:00 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.

4/3/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, April 3


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Thursday, April 3, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/2/2014FCC Form 481 Now Available for July 1, 2014 Filing


USAC is pleased to announce that beginning April 1, 2014, eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) can log in to E-File and access the FCC Form 481. The FCC Form 481 is required for all ETCs participating in the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs. It is due July 1, 2014. USAC has also posted updated versions of the FCC Form 481 (Excel version), an FCC Form 481 Online System User Guide, OMB-approved filing instructions, and all necessary upload templates. These can all be found on the High Cost and Lifeline programs' Forms pages.

Note Rate-of-return carriers can begin populating their FCC Form 481, but will not certify their data until after a subsequent release. USAC will announce that date in the near future.

4/1/20142013 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2013 Annual Report highlights USAC's efforts to provide support and guidance for program participants as they navigate ongoing changes in the landscape of universal service. With responsiveness and flexibility, USAC worked in 2013 to show beneficiaries a clear path towards affordable access to telecommunications and Internet services.

3/28/2014NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 29


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable from 12:00-6:00 AM EDT Saturday, March 29, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/27/2014Update on Demand Estimate Preparation


As of the close of the FY2014 application filing window last night (at 11:59 PM EDT), the following are totals at that point in time. It should be noted that these numbers are not final as we need to receive, finish data entry, and total all applications postmarked by the close of the filing window that were mailed to us. That process will take more than two weeks.

 

Priority 1

Priority 2

Total

Number of applications

38,480

8,543

47,023

Funding requested

$2.643 billion

$2.225 billion

$4.868 billion


Number of online item 21 attachments filed: 89,837

These preliminary numbers include all FCC Forms 471 that were either complete or certified as of the close of the window plus all paper forms that had finished the data entry process. In the next few weeks, we expect to receive and process more paper applications that were postmarked on or before the window close.

3/27/2014Group 6 Subscriber Data Is Now Live in the NLAD Production Environment


USAC is pleased to notify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in Group 6 (Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Virgin Islands) to start using the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in the live production environment beginning today, Thursday, March 27, 2014.

Beginning today, all ETCs are required to use the live production environment in NLAD to enroll, de-enroll, or transfer subscribers in the Lifeline Program.

To access NLAD, please use this URL: https://NLAD.universalservice.org

3/27/2014You Can Still File Your Item 21 Attachment


This notice is to remind applicants that they are still able to submit Item 21 attachments online or by email, by fax, or on paper. To submit online, go to the Apply Online page, click the “Item 21 Attachment” button, enter your Billed Entity Number, FCC Form 471 application number, and security code, and enter your data.

Filing an Item 21 attachment immediately after the window closes will not disadvantage your application nor cause your application to be considered as outside the window. However, we encourage you to file your Item 21 attachments as soon as possible.

FCC Order DA 11-88, released January 14, 2011, directs USAC to inform applicants in writing of any missing Item 21 attachments and give them 15 calendar days after receipt of the written notice to submit the missing Item 21 attachments. These letters will be issued in the next few weeks.

3/27/2014Walkthrough of FCC Form 481 Webinar Slides Now Available


The presentation slides for the webinar, "Walkthrough of FCC Form 481," are now available. Please note: these slides have been updated since the webinar was held. Specifically, rate-of-return carriers should be aware of a correction on slide 75: RoR carriers will not be required to file the Milestone Certification or the Data on Community Anchor Institutions in the 2015 Program Year filing. This information will be required in next year's progress report on the five year plan. 

3/27/2014E-File User Entitlements to Set Up NLAD Accounts Webinar Today


In order to set up user accounts in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), the carrier must begin in E-File.

Join Lifeline Program staff for a webinar on March 27,  2014, about how to set up user entitlements in E-File, so the FCC Form 497 Officer can begin setting up user accounts in NLAD. Register here: Lifeline Program Training & Outreach

3/26/2014Walkthrough of FCC Form 690 Webinar Slides Now Available


The presentation slides for today's webinar, "Walkthrough of FCC Form 690," are now available.

3/26/2014FY2014 Filing Window Statistics Updated Daily


In order to keep you informed about applications submitted during the FY2014 application filing window, check back here each day to find updates on high-level data from FCC Forms 471 filed both online and on paper.

Category

FY2014

FY2013*

Certified Applications Filed

36,308

45,210

Total Requested

$3,428,453,406

$4,978,880,862

Priority 1 (P1)

$1,917,910,770

$2,675,792,904

Priority 2 (P2)

$1,493,273,388

$2,188,877,235

Total P1/P2

$17,269,248

$114,210,723

Percent P1

55.9%

53.7%

Percent P2

43.6%

44.0%


*FY2013 data cumulative as of April 19, 2013

These statistics are updated on a daily basis.

3/25/20142014 Universal Service Contributions Recording Now Available


The recording for the "2014 Universal Service Fund Contributions" is now available. For more information about other Contributor topics, please visit the Contributors Trainings & Outreach page.

3/20/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, March 20


The E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, March 20, from 10:00-11:59PM 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.

3/20/2014Group 5 Subscriber Data Is Now Live in the NLAD Production Environment


USAC is pleased to notify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in Group 5 (Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin) to start using the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in the live production environment beginning today, Thursday, March 20, 2014.
 
Beginning today, all ETCs in Group 5 are required to use the live production environment in NLAD to enroll, de-enroll, or transfer subscribers in the Lifeline Program.

To access NLAD, please use this URL: https://NLAD.universalservice.org 

If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

3/19/2014NLAD Duplicate Resolution Webinar Recording Now Available


A recording of the NLAD Duplicate Resolution Webinar presented on March 13, 2014, is now available in the Online Learning Library.

3/19/20142014 Universal Service Contributions Webinar Slides Now Available


The slides for today's webinar, "2014 Universal Service Fund Contributions," are now available. If you aren't registered already, sign up on the contributors Trainings & Outreach page.

3/18/2014Walkthrough of FCC Form 481 Webinar on March 25


FCC Form 481, the Annual Carrier Reporting Data Collection Form, is due to USAC and the FCC on July 1, 2014. Join USAC for a webinar to review filing requirements and changes to the form for 2014. Register here: Walkthrough of FCC Form 481.

3/18/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 18


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-6:00 PM EDT Tuesday, March 18, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/18/2014Client Service Bureau Extended Hours For Last-minute Filers


The Client Service Bureau (CSB) is once again offering extended hours during the last week of the filing window. CSB is generally busiest on weekdays between 11:00 AM and 5:30 PM EST, so we suggest you call them at (888) 203-8100 before or after those times, or during this coming weekend.

Here is a list of CSB's extended hours for the FY2014 filing window:

DayDateOpenClose
Saturday March 22 9:00 AM EDT 6:00 PM EDT
Sunday March 23 9:00 AM EDT 6:00 PM EDT
Monday March 24 8:00 AM EDT 8:00 PM EDT
Tuesday March 25 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Wednesday March 26 8:00 AM EDT 11:59 PM EDT




3/17/2014Progress Towards Annual Funding Cap Tracked


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 the funding cap progress report, found in the Quick Links feed on the USAC website. Estimated commitments are based on HCP funding requests, and are subject to change after USAC review of forms.

3/17/2014USAC's Washington, DC Office Closed, Monday, March 17, 2014


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office is closed today, Monday, March 17, 2014. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will remain open.

3/14/2014NLAD Undergoing Maintenance on Monday, March 17, from 9:00 -10:00 PM EDT


On Monday, March 17, 2014, USAC is deploying a maintenance release of NLAD from 9:00 PM EDT to 10:00 PM EDT. The API and NAP will still be available for use during this time. This release contains several enhancements to issues reported by users.

Release Notes for Monday, March 17:

  • Resolves an issue that prevented a 497 Officer from deactivating an ETC Admin account
  • Improves stability when downloading report batch files
  • Improves the handling of batch files submitted through API calls
  • Improves handling of notifications when file transactions occur

USAC also had a maintenance release on Monday, March 10, 2014, from 9:00 PM EDT to 10:00 PM EDT that introduced several updates to NLAD.

Release Notes from Monday, March 10:

  • Added ability to pull reports of duplicate subscribers detected during the migration of a state
  • Added a check during enrollment of whether a subscriber's address is already identified as a duplicate address; if it is, NLAD returns the appropriate response

Questions about NLAD
If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

3/14/2014FCC Announces Second Quarter 2014 Contribution Factor Increase to 16.6 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 14-337) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter (April-June) of 2014 will be 0.166 or 16.6 percent.

3/14/2014Online FCC Form 471 Will Be Unavailable from Midnight Tonight to 2:00 AM EDT Saturday


Each year, shortly before the filing window closes, USAC reboots its Apply Online systems to enhance the performance of the network in preparation for the large volume of online FCC Forms 471 that come in during the last few days of the window.

The Apply Online system will be unavailable for approximately two hours – from midnight tonight, Friday, March 14 to 2:00 AM EDT Saturday, March 15. We suggest that applicants do not try to access the system or file forms during this time as your session may be terminated and your data lost.

3/13/2014NLAD Duplicate Resolution Webinar Slides Now Available


The presentation slides from the webinar, "NLAD Duplicate Resolution," presented on March 13, 2014, are now available.

3/13/2014Group 4 Subscriber Data Is Now Live in the NLAD Production Environment


USAC is pleased to notify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in Group 4 (Alabama, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee) to start using the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in the live production environment beginning today, Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Beginning today, all ETCs in Group 4 are required to use the live production environment in NLAD to enroll, de-enroll, or transfer subscribers in the Lifeline Program.

To access NLAD, please use this URL: https://NLAD.universalservice.org

More information about NLAD is available in the NLAD section of our website.

If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

3/10/2014Webinar on March 19: 2014 Universal Service Fund Contributions


Join USAC to learn about the changes to the 2014 version of FCC Form 499-A, the 499-A true-up process, and Public Notices and FCC Orders related to universal service fund contributions.

Register here: 2014 Universal Service Fund Contributions Webinar

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

To receive news and notification of events about FCC Forms 499 via email, sign up for the 498/499 Spotlight quarterly newsletter in the subscription center.

3/10/2014NLAD Duplicate Resolution Webinar on March 13


Visit the Lifeline Program Trainings & Outreach page to view more information and sign up for the webinar.

On March 17, USAC will begin the duplicate resolution process for Lifeline Program subscribers identified as Track 1 duplicates (a single subscriber receiving multiple benefits) by the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). All carriers are invited to join the Lifeline Program staff for a webinar about the duplicate resolution process.

The process begins when USAC sends a letter to a Lifeline Program subscriber identified as a Track 1 duplicate. The letter will require the subscriber to select a single benefit, and cancel all others. Carriers will receive notice from USAC via email if their customers are being contacted. This webinar will cover what a carrier should do if/when their subscribers are contacted.

3/7/2014NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, March 10


On Monday, March 10, 2014, NLAD will be down for maintenance from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM EDT. Neither the NLAD Access Portal (NAP) nor API will be available during that time.

After the maintenance is complete, Track 1 and Track 2 detail reports can be accessed by ETC Administrators, ETC Analysts, and ETC Operations by following these steps:

  1. Log into NLAD
  2. In the left navigation pane, under the “Reports and Tools” section, click on “Reports”
  3. Click “Detail Duplicate Subscribers Report”
  4. Select your SAC
  5. Select either “CSV File” or “Display on a web page”
  6. Click “Submit.”
The reports are also accessible via the API. Please review the API specification document that will be available after the release.

Release notes: Track 1 and Track 2 detail reports will now be available through the NAP. Updated documentation will reflect the new reports.

Please Note: This release does not change any existing API functionality.

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

3/6/2014"470 No 471" Email Notifications Issued


Each year, USAC sends a notification to applicants that have timely posted an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website but not yet filed an FCC Form 471 funding request citing that FCC Form 470.

On March 6, USAC prepared an email to each FCC Form 470 contact person or authorized person with a timely posted FCC Form 470 not cited on any FCC Form 471 Block 5 funding request (Item 11 on the form) as of March 3. For each unique email address, this email contained all affected FCC Form 470 application numbers and all Entity Numbers.

  • If the contact person email address appeared in Item 6e of the form, the email was sent to the contact person.
  • If the contact person email address was blank but the authorized person email address appeared in Item 27f of the form, the email was sent to the authorized person.
Each Form 470 featured at least one of these addresses.

3/6/2014FCC Provides Guidance on 2014 Recertification Election Process


On March 5, 2014, the FCC released Public Notice DA-14-303 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 April 1, 2014.

ETCs that make this April 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 April 1. USAC must receive the completed subscriber listing template by May 1, 2014.

Any ETC that elected USAC to conduct their 2013 recertification will be presumed to elect USAC for the 2014 recertification as well, unless that ETC rescinds its 2013 election by April 1, 2014. Any ETC that fails to elect USAC by the April 1 deadline will be responsible for their subscriber recertification.

More Information
For more information regarding annual recertification requirements please visit USAC’s Recertification Election Option web page. Please direct all correspondence concerning the annual recertification process to LIVerifications@usac.org.

3/6/2014Group 3 Subscriber Data Is Now Live in the NLAD Production Environment


USAC is pleased to notify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in Group 3 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia) to start using the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in the live production environment beginning today, Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Beginning today, all ETCs in Group 3 are required to use the live production environment in NLAD to enroll, de-enroll, or transfer subscribers in the Lifeline Program.

To access NLAD, please use this URL: https://NLAD.universalservice.org

More information about NLAD is available in the NLAD section of our website.

If you have any questions about NLAD, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

3/6/2014Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 7


The Rural Health Care Program's My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EST Friday, March 7, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/5/2014FCC Form 481 Filing Reminder and Guide


FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, is due to USAC and the FCC before July 1, 2014. All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) receiving High Cost Program or Lifeline Program support must file FCC Form 481.

Review the FCC Form 481 filing guide for more information about filing FCC Form 481. This resource includes a list of each issue in the data collection report, the corresponding High Cost Program or Lifeline Program rules, and notes about each issue.

The FCC Form 481 templates and instructions are available on the High Cost Program Forms page of USAC's website. For questions regarding FCC Form 481, please contact HCLI Questions.

3/3/2014USAC's Washington, DC Office Closed, Monday, March 3, 2014


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office is closed today, Monday, March 3, 2014. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will remain open.

2/28/2014Registration Open for 2014 Service Provider Trainings


This spring, join USAC in Tampa or Los Angeles for a training focused on service providers who participate in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. The training will cover general topics for service providers.

Register early! Space is limited. Both service provider trainings present the same information, so please select only one. Registration is complimentary.

2/27/2014Special Edition News Brief - FY2014 Funding Decisions, Help Us Help You


The 02/27/14 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.

2/27/2014Group 2 Subscriber Data Is Now Live in the NLAD Production Environment


USAC is pleased to notify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in Group 2 (Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia) to start using the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in the live production environment beginning today, Thursday, February 27, 2014.

Beginning today, all ETCs in Group 2 are required to use the live production environment in NLAD to enroll, de-enroll, or transfer subscribers in the Lifeline Program.

To access NLAD, please use this URL: https://NLAD.universalservice.org 

More information about NLAD is available in the NLAD section of our website.

If you have any questions about NLAD, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

2/27/2014Update on Priority 2 Commitments for FY2013


On February 7, 2014, the USAC Schools & Libraries Committee approved a resolution that authorized USAC to deny all FY2013 Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at the 90 percent discount level upon FCC approval. On February 24, the FCC authorized USAC to proceed. These denials will start with FY2013 Wave 41, dated March 5, 2014.

Previously USAC had been authorized to deny all Priority 2 applications at the 89 percent discount level and below. As a result, USAC will fund no Priority 2 applications for FY2013.

2/26/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, February 27


USAC’s E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, February 27, from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM EST, 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.

2/26/2014Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, February 28


The Rural Health Care Program's My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EST Friday, February 28, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/25/2014New NLAD API Specification Document


USAC has released version 1.6 of the API Specification document. Carriers are advised to log in to NLAD and download it from the "API Specification" link under the "Reports and Tools" menu section.

This version includes only changes to the documentation to better reflect the functionality of the API. There are no changes to the API functionality.

2/25/2014Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program Deferred


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the deferral of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Pilot Program, originally expected to be implemented in Funding Year 2014. The SNF Pilot Program, introduced in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Order (FCC 12-150), was intended to support broadband connections for skilled nursing facilities using telehealth applications that improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery.

The FCC is reviewing comments solicited in the Technology Transitions Order Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) and is considering using part of the $50 million set aside for the SNF Pilot Program for consumer-oriented rural broadband experiments that would improve patient access to health care.

Updates about the SNF Pilot Program will be announced in the Rural Health Care Program’s Latest News and the RHC Circuit newsletter.

2/24/2014FCC Form 470 Deadline is Wednesday, February 26


February 26, 2014, is the deadline to post an FCC Form 470 on USAC's website.

Applicants who post an FCC Form 470 on February 26th will have just enough time to meet the 28-day competitive bidding requirement to then submit their FCC Form 471 and Item 21 Attachment(s) on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, when the filing window closes.

For more information see Step 2: Competitive Bidding on the USAC website, or use the Submit a Question tool to contact the Client Service Bureau.

The Special Edition News Brief from February 7 also provides helpful reminders for applicants.

2/18/2014RHC Circuit 1Q 2014 Issued


The RHC Circuit for 1Q 2014 is now available. Sign up to receive the newsletter via email in the Subscription Center.

2/13/2014USAC's Washington, DC Office Closed, Thursday, February 13, 2014


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office is closed today, Thursday, February 13, 2014. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will remain open.

2/12/2014February HCF Program Monthly Webinar Slides Now Available


Presentation slides for this month's webinar are now available. Learn more about the HCF Program Monthly Webinars via the Trainings & Outreach section of our website.

2/11/20142014 Federal Poverty Guidelines Released


On January 22, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their annual update to the federal poverty guidelines in the Federal Register (Vol. 79, No. 14, January 22, 2013, pp. 3593-3594). Since households at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for Lifeline support, USAC has created a chart that outlines 135% of the federal poverty guidelines for 2014. ETCs should use this chart to update any Lifeline eligibility materials containing the federal poverty guidelines for 2014.

2/11/2014Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Tuesday, February 11


The Rural Health Care Program's My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-5:30 PM EST Tuesday, February 11, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/6/2014Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, February 7


The Rural Health Care Program's My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EST Friday, February 7, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/6/2014Beware of Email and Text Scams Offering Jobs with USAC


USAC does not send unsolicited emails. USAC's human resources department will reach out to you only if you have first contacted us through the USAC Careers Portal.

Any USAC human resources department emails will be from a "@usac.org" or "@agents.icims.com" email address. If you receive an unsolicited email that indicates the sender is representing USAC, please tell us about it.

We are aware of persons purporting to be named Michelle Burns, Samantha Brandon, Ray Herndon, Christy Maurice, and other aliases, falsely offering USAC employment opportunities.

1/29/2014CEO Scott Barash to Depart USAC February 14


USAC announces the departure of Acting Chief Executive Officer D. Scott Barash, effective February 14, 2014. Barash is leaving after more than 14 years at USAC, having served as Acting CEO since January 2006.

Read the press release.

1/29/2014Common Reporting and Filing Errors on FCC Form 555


Some reporting and filing errors common among carriers who file FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form) can result in incorrect or late filings. Read below to learn about common errors so you can avoid these mistakes on your company's filing.

FCC Form 555 is due to USAC on January 31, 2014. Please be aware that the online filing system, E-File, will be down for maintenance today, January 29, between 2:00 and 2:30 PM EST.

Common Reporting Errors

Incorrect Entry in Column C
Column C should report the number of subscribers (claimed on the ETC's February 2013 FCC Form 497) that were initially enrolled in the Lifeline Program in either January or February 2013.

Example: An ETC claimed 25 Lifeline Program subscribers on its February 2013 FCC Form 497. A total of 23 subscribers enrolled during 2012 and two subscribers enrolled in 2013.

  • Column A should report the 25 subscribers claimed on the February 2013 FCC Form 497.
  • Column C should report the two subscribers that were initially enrolled in 2013.

Incorrect Entry for Columns D and I
Column D should report the number of subscribers claimed on the ETC's February 2013 FCC Form 497 that are subject to recertification (i.e., those subscribers who were claimed, but not initially enrolled, in the Lifeline Program in either January or February of 2013). Here is how Column D is calculated (using the numbers from the example above):

  • Column A (25 subscribers) minus Column C (two subscribers) = Column D (23 subscribers). Column I is a subset of Column D and should report the number of subscribers that would be subject to recertification had they not de-enrolled prior to the recertification attempt (for any reason).

Common Online Filing Errors

Errors in Saving Initials
FCC Form 497 Users should not enter initials as they are preparing the submission for certification by the 497 Officer. During the certification review, the 497 Officer should not select "Save" at any point. Every time you select "Save Draft," all initials boxes will clear. The 497 Officer should instead navigate between tabs (located at the top of each page) instead of clicking "Save Draft" at the bottom of each completed page. Once the review is complete and all appropriate sections have been certified by the 497 Officer, they will be able to submit the completed form from the "Signature" tab.

Study Area Code (SAC) Not Retained
If the E-File system is not retaining your company's SAC, the issue is likely that the user has not selected "Add/Update" on the "Header" tab. On the "Header" tab, you must click the "Add/Update" button so that the system formally accepts the information. Then, the SAC will appear in dropdown boxes on other tabs.

Section 2 Data Error
Each time data is entered into a data row in Section 2 the "Add/Update" button must be selected so that the system formally accepts the entry. Every data box on this tab must have an entry—if there is nothing to report for that SAC, you must add a zero. If you are filing for multiple SACs, you must enter a value for each SAC.

More Information

The best resource for completing FCC Form 555 are the form instructions and online filing instructions. More information about FCC Form 555 is available in the Step 8: Annual ETC Certification section of our website. A recording of the FCC Form 555 webinar presented earlier this month is available in the online learning library.

If you have additional questions about FCC Form 555, please email us.

1/29/2014NLAD Rollout: Group 5 Migration Webinar


Slides Now Available!

1/29/2014Webinar Slides Now Available: FCC Form 460 for Consortia


The presentation slides for today's webinar, FCC Form 460 for Consortia, are now available.

1/27/2014NLAD Rollout Webinar on January 29


Please join the Lifeline Program staff for a webinar about rolling out the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). There will be five webinars total, each presenting the same information, and USAC strongly recommends that all carriers attend the webinar at least once. Carriers are advised to attend a webinar prior to their group's rollout date.

1/22/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: 9:00 PM EST Friday, January 24 to Noon Saturday, January 25


USAC’s E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, January 24, from 9:00 PM EST through noon on Saturday, January 25, 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.

1/21/2014USAC's Washington, DC Office Closed, Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office is closed today, Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will remain open.

1/20/2014Join Us For a Webinar About FCC Form 460 for HCF Program Consortia


You are invited to join the RHC Program staff for a webinar about FCC Form 460 (Eligibility and Registration Form), the first form in the application process for consortia in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program. After the form walk-through and discussion of agenda items, the RHC Program staff will answer questions from the audience.

1/17/2014FY2014 FCC Form 465 Now Available in My Portal


The FCC Form 465 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) is now available in My Portal to certify health care provider (HCP) eligibility and request bids from service providers. Applicants may file the FCC Form 465 earlier than in previous funding years, allowing more time for competitive bidding and the option to submit an FCC Form 466 funding request as early as March 1, 2014.

New in FY2014: Service Type Selection for "Telecommunications Only"

Beginning in Funding Year (FY) 2014, the FCC Form 465 may only be used to request support for telecommunications services. Applicants who are seeking bids for Internet services must request those services through the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program.

What to Select in Block 30 of FCC Form 465

Currently, Block 30 of the FCC Form 465 allows applicants to select the box for "Both Telecommunications & Internet Services," "Telecommunications Service ONLY," and '"Internet Service ONLY."

Applicants applying for funding for telecommunications service should select "Telecommunications Service ONLY." Requests for Internet service through either "Internet Service ONLY" or "Both Telecommunications & Internet Services" will not be supported in the Telecommunications Program in FY2014. Future enhancements to My Portal will remove the invalid service request options. 

Next Steps
After the FCC Form 465 has been posted to the USAC website, the 28-day posting period is complete, and the HCP has selected a service provider (while following competitive bidding rules), the HCP may submit a funding request as early as March 1, 2014, as part of the initial funding request filing period. More information about the filing period can be found in the latest edition of the RHC Circuit.

For more updates, subscribe to the RHC Circuit quarterly newsletter and participate in the Telecommunications Program Monthly Webinars.

1/16/2014498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 1Q 2014 Issued


USAC is excited to present the first issue of the 498/499 Spotlight quarterly newsletter. 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.

1/15/2014Training Site System Maintenance: 7:30 AM Wednesday, January 15 to 9:00 PM EST Friday, January 17


The Schools and Libraries Program training site will be unavailable from 7:30 AM Wednesday, January 15 through 9:00 PM EST Friday, January 17 to upload the revised FCC Forms 470, 471, and 486. During this time, users will not be able to access the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/9/2014Special Edition News Brief - FY2014 Window Opens Today


The FY2014 application filing window for the FCC Form 471 opened at noon EST today and closes at 11:59 PM EDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The window will be open for 77 days.

1/9/2014Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, January 10


The Rural Health Care Program's My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EST Friday, January 10, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/9/2014Updated Contact Information Available for Lifeline Program Inquiries


USAC’s Contact Lifeline page has been updated to provide you with contact information for multiple specific topics.

Please visit this page prior to contacting USAC to ensure that your inquiry is being directed to the appropriate member of the Lifeline Program team.

1/9/2014Continuing the NLAD Rollout Webinar Series -- Register Today!


Please join the Lifeline Program staff for a webinar about rolling out the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). There will be five webinars, each presenting the same information, and USAC strongly recommends that all carriers attend the webinar at least once. Carriers are advised to attend a webinar prior to their group's rollout date.

Next Webinar: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 3
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 3 with a data submission start date of January 27 (Missouri, Kentucky, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Michigan).

Upcoming Webinars:
Please select a webinar prior to your group's data submission start date. You must register to attend. To find your group or data submission date, please review the NLAD migration schedule.

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 4
Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 4 with a data submission start date of February 3 (New York, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, and New Jersey).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 5
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 5 with a data submission start date of February 10 (Kansas, Connecticut, Indiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Utah, New Mexico, and Iowa).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 6
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 6 with a data submission start date of February 17 (South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa).

Webinar Agenda
  • Difference between the pre-production and live production environments
  • How to get NLAD Access Portal (NAP) logon credentials
  • Where to find the template for uploading subscriber files
  • Review of the migration schedule
  • How to get assistance
  • Questions and answers

We look forward to you joining us for the event and hearing your questions. For event-related assistance, contact USAC Training. If you have any questions about NLAD, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

1/7/2014HCLI News Issued


The January 2014 issue of HCLI News is now available.

1/2/2014System Maintenance: 8:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST Thursday, January 2


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable Thursday, January 2 from 8:00 PM through 11:59 PM EST to upload the revised FCC Form 486. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

1/2/2014Webinar Invitation: NLAD Rollout by Migration Group


Please join the Lifeline Program staff for a webinar about rolling out the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). There will be five webinars, each presenting the same information, and USAC strongly recommends that all carriers attend the webinar at least once. Carriers are advised to attend a webinar prior to their group's rollout date.

Available Webinars:
Please select a webinar prior to your group's data submission start date. You must register to attend. To find your group or data submission date, please review the NLAD migration schedule.

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 2
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST Recommended for carriers in Group 2 with a data submission start date of January 20 (Massachusetts, Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, and Mississippi).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 3
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 3 with a data submission start date of January 27 (Missouri, Kentucky, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Michigan).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 4
Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 4 with a data submission start date of February 3 (New York, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, and New Jersey).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 5
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 5 with a data submission start date of February 10 (Kansas, Connecticut, Indiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Utah, New Mexico, and Iowa).

Register Here: NLAD Rollout Webinar for Group 6
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Recommended for carriers in Group 6 with a data submission start date of February 17 (South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa).

Webinar Agenda:
  • Difference between the pre-production and live production environments
  • How to get NLAD Access Portal (NAP) logon credentials
  • Where to find the template for uploading subscriber files
  • Review of the migration schedule
  • How to get assistance
  • Questions and answers

We look forward to you joining us for the event and hearing your questions. For event-related assistance, contact USAC Training. If you have any questions about NLAD, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

12/30/2013Revised FCC Forms 479, 486, and 500 Are Now Available


The Office of Management and Budget has approved the FCC’s revisions to the FCC Forms 479, 486, and 500 and their accompanying instructions. The revised forms and instructions – dated December 2013 – are available on the Forms page.

Starting today, paper filers must use the revised versions of these forms. The online version of the revised FCC Form 486 will be available January 3, 2013.

12/27/2013Information about Urban Health Clinics


USAC has been getting questions about HCP eligibility, including questions about "urban health clinics." Participants in the HCF Program must fall into one of these eligible entity types (see 47 CFR Section 54.600(a)):

  • Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, including teaching hospitals or medical schools;
  • Community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants;
  • Local health departments or agencies;
  • Community mental health centers;
  • Not-for-profit hospitals;
  • Rural health clinics, including mobile clinics; and
  • Dedicated emergency rooms of for-profit hospitals.
Common eligible entity types include "rural health clinics," which are exclusively located in rural areas, and "community health centers," found in both rural and urban areas.

A health clinic in an urban area that is not a "community health center" (defined by the Public Health Services Act, Section 330) and cannot be classified as one of the other eligible entity types listed above is not eligible to receive funding through the HCF Program.

RHC Pilot Program project participants that were eligible as the “urban health clinic” entity type for the Pilot Program are grandfathered eligible for the HCF Program. To qualify for grandfathered eligible status, the health care provider (HCP) must have received a funding commitment through the Pilot Program on or before the December 12, 2012 adoption date of the Healthcare Connect Fund Order. The HCP’s grandfathered eligible status for the HCF Program is based on the HCP’s continued participation in the Pilot Program project for which it received a commitment under the Pilot Program. If the HCP chooses to participate in another consortium in the HCF Program, it will need to qualify as eligible as one of the HCF Program eligible entity types.

12/27/2013Modification to NLAD Schedule


USAC is working closely with carriers to implement the NLAD. We are working through the challenges carriers are facing and are revising the NLAD schedule for the pre-production environment for testing.

Carriers in the first five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Washington) may begin using the pre-production environment for testing on January 13, 2014.

Please note that modifications have been made to the dates for pre-production environment testing as well as final list submission, and live dates for all groups (1-6).

Please see the modified migration timeline for a revised schedule.

12/26/2013Application Outage Due to Scheduled System Maintenance: December 27


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable from 5:00 – 8:00 PM ET Friday, December 27, 2013, due to scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/26/2013System Maintenance: 3:00 PM EST December 26 to Noon EST December 27


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 3:00 PM EST December 26 through noon EST December 27 to prepare for the upcoming application filing window. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

12/20/2013NLAD Maintenance 5:00 PM EST Friday, December 20 to 9:00 AM EST Saturday, December 21


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) is scheduled to be down for maintenance beginning 5:00 PM EST Friday, December 20, 2013, through 9:00 AM Saturday, December 21, 2013.

When NLAD becomes available on Saturday, ETCs will be able to create API accounts. If you have already created API accounts prior to this maintenance period, you must deactivate those accounts and recreate them again.

12/19/2013Revised FCC Forms 470 and 471 Are Now Available


The Office of Management and Budget has approved the FCC’s revisions to the FCC Forms 470 and 471 and their accompanying instructions. The revised forms and instructions – dated December 2013 in the lower right-hand corner – are available on the Forms page.

Starting today, paper filers must use the revised versions of these forms. The online version of the revised FCC Form 470 will be available tomorrow morning, and the online version of the revised FCC Form 471 will be available when the FY2014 application filing window opens at noon EST on January 9, 2014.

12/19/2013USAC to Present Webinar About Changes to FCC Form 555


Join USAC for a webinar to review changes to FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form), which eligible telecommunications carriers should use to submit the results of their 2013 annual recertification efforts. FCC Form 555 is due to USAC and the FCC on January 31, 2014. Register Today!

12/19/2013FCC Form 555 is Now Available, Due January 31


FCC Form 555, the Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form, is now available. ETCs must use the FCC Form 555 to report the results of their annual certification of continuing Lifeline Program eligibility.

ETCs are encouraged to file online, through USAC’s E-File system. Instructions for filing FCC Form 555 online are available on the Lifeline Program Forms page.

FCC Form 555 is due to USAC by January 31, 2014. The submission must include the results of ETCs' certification of their subscriber bases as of February 1, 2013.

ETCs must also file a copy of their FCC Form 555 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by filing the form in Docket 11-42. For information on how to file electronically via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System, please refer to the FCC's website.

12/19/2013System Maintenance: 6:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST Thursday, December 19


The "Apply Online" page, including "Submit a Question," online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable Thursday, December 19 from 6:00 PM through 11:59 PM EST to upload the revised FCC Form 470. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

The revised FCC Form 470 will be available online tomorrow morning. Access to the FCC Form 470 function buttons on the Apply Online page will be blocked until the upload is complete.

  • If you have started an FCC Form 470 online, you are urged to complete it before 6:00 PM EST today. If you do not, some of your data may be lost when the revised form becomes available.
  • If you have completed an FCC Form 470 online, you are urged to certify it before 6:00 PM EST today. If you do not, you must use the certification from the revised form to certify your form.
  • If we cannot complete data entry of a paper form or paper certification today, you must re-file using the December 2013 version of the form or certification available on this website.

12/19/2013System Maintenance: 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST Friday, December 20


The "Apply Online" page, including "Submit a Question," online forms, and most search tools, will be unavailable Friday, December 20, from 9:00 PM through 11:59 PM EST for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

12/19/2013December HCF Program Monthly Webinar Slides Now Available


Visit the HCF Program Monthly Webinars page to view presentation slides from the December webinars (Parts I and II), and register for the webinar in January.

12/16/2013National Lifeline Accountability Database Now Available


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) is now available.

Eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) in the first five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Washington) have been notified to begin establishing their NLAD accounts and to begin scrubbing data.

All other states will receive a link to access NLAD later this week. Once you have the link to access NLAD, you will be able to establish NLAD accounts in preparation for your state’s go live date.

Questions about NLAD
If you are unsure of the migration schedule for your state, please see the NLAD Migration webpage. If you have any questions, contact us via email or by phone at (877) 524-1325.

12/13/2013FCC Announces First Quarter 2014 Contribution Factor Increase to 16.4 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 13-2388) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter (January-March) of 2014 will be 0.164 or 16.4 percent.

12/12/2013RHC Circuit Special Edition Issued


A Special Edition of the RHC Circuit is now available.

12/10/2013USAC's Washington, DC Office Closed, Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Due to inclement weather, USAC’s Washington, DC office is closed today, Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Please note that the Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau (CSB) will remain open.

12/9/2013Registration Open for HCF Program Monthly Webinar on December 11


Join USAC on the second Wednesday of each month for a webinar about the Healthcare Connect Fund.

12/5/2013HCF Bulletin Issued


The HCF Bulletin provides monthly updates as news unfolds for the Healthcare Connect Fund. Sign up in the Subscription Center to receive the HCF Bulletin via email every month.

This issue contained:

  • Funding Request Filing Period Established for Funding Year 2014 - The initial filing period to submit funding requests for FY2014 is March 1, 2014, through May 30, 2014. This applies to both the Telecommunications Program and the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program. Funding requests received on or between these dates will be considered as received simultaneously. From May 30, 2014, through June 30, 2015 funding requests will be processed on a rolling first-come, first-served basis.
  • Urban Health Clinic Eligibility - USAC has been getting questions about eligibility for "urban health clinics." Participants in the HCF Program must fall into one of these eligible entity types: post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, including teaching hospitals or medical schools, community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants, local health departments or agencies, community mental health centers, not-for-profit hospitals, rural health clinics, including mobile clinics, and dedicated emergency rooms of for-profit hospitals. Common eligible entity types include "rural health clinics," which are exclusively located in rural areas, and "community health centers," found in both rural and urban areas. A health clinic in an urban area that is not a "community health center" (defined by the Public Health Services Act, Section 330) and cannot be classified as one of the other eligible entity types listed above is not eligible to receive funding through the HCF Program.
  • Visit the New Posted Services Page - Visit the HCF Program's Search Posted Services page to find links to posted services for consortia and individual HCPs. The HCF Program recently converted the posted services RSS feed into two RSS feeds: one specifically for posted services from consortia applicants and one specifically for posted services from individual HCP applicants.
  • Questions about the HCF Program - For questions about the HCF Program, email the HCF Help Desk at RHC-assist@usac.org, or call us at (800) 453-1546.or call us at (800) 453-1546.

    12/2/2013December Deadline for FCC Form 497 Accelerated Payment Process


    In the Lifeline Reform Order (FCC 12-11), the FCC established an accelerated payment process which allows ETCs that file certified FCC Forms 497 electronically through USAC's E-File system by the eighth day of each month to receive payment for these claims at the end of the same month.

    Because December 8, 2013, falls on a Sunday, the deadline for December 2013 disbursements is December 9, 2013.

    Support claims filed after December 9, 2013, will be included in the January 2014 support disbursement.

    12/2/2013Certification Sample Letters for 54.314


    On or before December 16, 2013, all carriers must submit Section 54.314 compliance "use" certifications. State commissions can file certifications or companies can self-certify.

    Sample certification letters can be found on the High Cost Program Forms page:

    11/27/2013Modification to NLAD Schedule


    USAC is revising the NLAD schedule. Carriers in the first five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Washington) now must submit their subscriber data on December 16, 2013. Please note that modifications have been made to the dates for data submission, pre-production environment testing, and final list submission for all groups (1-6).

    Please see the modified migration timeline posted on USAC’s website for a revised schedule.

    USAC strongly encourages all carriers to use this time to fully develop their interfaces and prepare for NLAD implementation.

    If you have any questions, please submit them to NLAD Support.

    11/25/2013NLAD Bulletin Issued


    The NLAD Bulletin provides updates as news unfolds for the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Sign up in the Subscription Center to receive the NLAD Bulletin via email.

    This issue contained:

    • How to Establish an NLAD Account - An NLAD Admin account is your main account for NLAD. Only users with an existing 497 Officer registered in E-File can create an NLAD Admin account, and it must be established by your company's 497 Officer. Each 497 Officer can establish only one NLAD Admin account, but can create multiple subaccounts, and one API account, if applicable. For a step-by-step walkthrough of these processes, watch the short videos, 497 Officer: Creating NLAD Admin, and NLAD Admin: Creating Subaccounts.
    • FCC Seeks Comments on Residential Address Accommodations - The FCC released Public Notice DA 13-2240, seeking comment on how NLAD can accommodate addresses for participants of address confidentiality programs (ACPs), whose addresses often include a PO Box. The Bureau is seeking comment on whether they should waive the rule limiting the use of PO boxes for residential addresses to accommodate individuals participating in state-administered ACPs. Comments are due December 5, 2013; reply comments are due December 12, 2013.
    • New NLAD Resource Are Available - Once your accounts are set up, let our NLAD instructional videos walk you through everything you need to know, such as how to upload subscriber files, transfer a subscriber's benefits, and more. Other resources include recordings and presentation slides from past NLAD Connectivity Workshops, and helpful handouts and reference documents like field description information, address standardization guidelines, and more. Also, be sure to check out the ever-growing NLAD Frequently Asked Questions web page on the USAC website.
    • Questions about NLAD - More information is available on the NLAD information page of USAC's website. For questions about NLAD, email NLADquestions@usac.org.

    11/22/2013FCC Seeks Comments on Lifeline Residential Address Issue


    On November 21, 2013, the FCC released Public Notice DA 13-2240, seeking comment on how the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) can accommodate addresses for participants of address confidentiality programs (ACPs).

    ACPs allow victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse to keep their residential address confidential from public records. These programs are administered at the state level and provide victims with alternate, shared mailing addresses for use on public documents, such as public benefit materials or voter registration. The addresses often include a PO Box, along with an individualized code tied to each participating consumer.

    Current Lifeline rules do not permit subscribers to use a PO Box as their residential address. The Bureau is seeking comment on whether they should waive the rule limiting the use of PO Boxes for residential addresses to accommodate individuals participating in state-administered ACPs.

    Comments are due December 5, 2013; reply comments are due December 12, 2013.

    11/22/2013Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: November 22


    Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 5:00 to 7:00 PM EST Friday, November 22, 2013, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    11/20/2013Special Edition News Brief - USAC Announces FY2014 Filing Window


    A special edition of the Schools and Libraries News Brief is now available, containing information about the FY2014 filing window.

    Subscribe to the News Brief to receive it each week in your inbox.

    11/15/2013System Maintenance: 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST Friday, November 15


    The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools, will be unavailable Friday, November 15, from 9:00 PM through 11:59 PM EST for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

    11/13/2013RHC Circuit 4Q 2013 Issued


    The RHC Circuit for 4Q 2013 is now available.

    11/12/2013NLAD Bulletin Issued


    The NLAD Bulletin provides updates as news unfolds for the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Sign up in the Subscription Center to receive the NLAD Bulletin via email.

    This issue contained:

    • Welcome to the NLAD Bulletin - The NLAD Bulletin offers updates, reminders, and guidance while USAC rolls out the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). NLAD will help carriers identify and resolve duplicate claims for Lifeline Program-supported service and prevent future duplicates. Carriers can check NLAD on a real-time and nationwide basis to see if the consumer is already receiving a Lifeline Program-supported service. NLAD is part of the Lifeline Reform Order, and is scheduled for deployment in December 2013.
    • NLAD Migration: Dates You Need to Know - NLAD migration is the process of carriers transitioning from scrubbing to NLAD 'live' production. There are six steps to the migration process. Migration will take place on a rolling basis beginning December 2, 2013. Participating states have been placed into six groups. Each group will move through the migration process on its own schedule. To find out more information about these six different groups, the six steps in the NLAD migration process, and group-specific dates for each step, visit the NLAD Migration web page on the USAC website.
    • Questions about NLAD - More information is available on the NLAD information page of USAC's website. For questions about NLAD, email NLADquestions@usac.org.

    11/11/2013NLAD Migration Timeline Available


    NLAD migration is the process of carriers transitioning from scrubbing their data in the test NLAD environment to entering data in the 'live' NLAD production environment.

    Participating states have been placed into six groups. Each group will move through the migration process on its own schedule. Review the groups on the NLAD Migration webpage to find out which group you are in.

    Once you have determined your group, review the six steps of the migration process. In the table on the NLAD Migration webpage, find your group's column to identify the dates on which your group will start each step.

    Note that all dates are subject to change.

    11/7/2013Sign Up for the NLAD Bulletin to Receive Email Updates with Reminders, Deadlines, and More


    Visit the subscription center to sign up for the NLAD Bulletin in order to receive updates, reminders, and more via email about the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD).

    11/1/2013Attend the NLAD Workshop on Nov. 20 in Washington, DC, or via Webinar


    USAC is hosting NLAD Workshop IV on Wednesday, November 20. Join us in Washington, DC, or online. This is the final workshop of the NLAD workshop series.

    10/31/2013Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, November 1


    My Portal will be intermittently unavailable from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT on Friday, November 1, 2013, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    10/30/2013HCF Bulletin Issued


    The HCF Bulletin provides monthly updates as news unfolds for the Healthcare Connect Fund Program. Sign up in the Subscription Center to receive the HCF Bulletin via email every month.

    This issue contained:

    • Complete the FCC Form 461 in My Portal - All forms should be submitted through My Portal; paper forms are no longer accepted. When filing the FCC Form 461, be sure that the form and supporting documentation provide information sufficient to promote an effective competitive bidding process. Applicants using a Request for Proposal (RFP) for competitive bidding, whether voluntarily or due to requirements, are required to submit the RFP with their FCC Form 461. USAC recommends that all consortium applicants use an RFP to better facilitate the process of requesting a future site or service substitution. Consortium leaders must obtain a Letter of Agency (LOA) from a participating HCP prior to filling out a form on behalf of a participating HCP. Sample RFPs and LOAs are available on the HCF Program Sample Documents page on the USAC website.
    • Processing Times for the FCC Form 461 - To speed up processing, be sure to respond as soon as possible to USAC information requests. Time frames for approval and posting of an FCC Form 461 submitted with an RFP will be dependent upon the RFP's complexity and the applicant's responsiveness to information requests. An FCC Form 461 without an RFP for an individual applicant will likely be approved and posted within two to three business days. An FCC Form 461 submitted with an RFP by an individual applicant or consortium applicant will require additional review.
    • How to Submit Third-Party Authorizations - If the person filing an FCC form is not an officer, director, or authorized employee of the HCP or consortium, then the applicant must first submit a third-party authorization (TPA) agreement to USAC. Before submitting the agreement, we recommend that you contact the HCF Help Desk at (800) 453-1546, to determine whether the proposed TPA is compliant with USAC requirements. Submit finalized TPAs to USAC via email. Future enhancements to My Portal will allow applicants to upload TPAs as part of the FCC Form 461 submission.
    • New Webinar Series Coming Soon - In the coming weeks, you'll be able to visit the HCF Program's Trainings and Outreach page for information about a series of webinars that will offer an overview of FCC Forms 460 and 461, and teach you how to file online through My Portal. Stay tuned for email updates about the webinar series. USAC also plans to announce a monthly webinar for HCF Program participants that will offer live access to educational tutorials and other resources.
    • Questions about the HCF Program - For questions about the HCF Program, email the HCF Help Desk at RHC-assist@usac.org, or call us at (800) 453-1546.

    10/24/2013NLAD Accepts Subscriber Information Beginning December 2013


    On October 23, 2013, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA-13-2052) informing eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be ready to receive subscriber information by December, 2013. Beginning in December, ETCs serving Lifeline Program subscribers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Washington must provide the following pieces of subscriber information, by state, to NLAD:
    • The subscriber’s full name;
    • Full residential address;
    • Date of birth;
    • Last four digits of the subscriber’s Social Security number or Tribal Identification number, if the subscriber is a member of a Tribal nation and does not have a Social Security number;
    • The telephone number associated with the Lifeline Program service;
    • The date on which the Lifeline Program service was initiated;
    • The date on which the Lifeline Program service was terminated, if it has been terminated;
    • The amount of support being sought for that subscriber; and
    • The means through which the subscriber qualified for the Lifeline Program.

    USAC has been directed to provide ETCs with a schedule for loading additional states in the near future, as well as guidance regarding data submission requirements. The FCC and USAC will conduct workshops on October 31 and November 20 to further discuss NLAD implementation. Visit the Lifeline Program Trainings & Outreach page for more information.

    The FCC also reminded ETCs of their obligation to eliminate duplicative support within their company. ETCs are instructed to use all information available to them, including the information collected as part of their obligation to transmit information to NLAD, to identify and eliminate household duplicates.

    10/23/2013FCC Releases Eligible Services List Report and Order


    On October 22, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission released a Report and Order (DA 13-2037) releasing the Eligible Services List for Funding Year 2014.

    10/17/2013System Maintenance: 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT Friday, October 18


    The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools, will be unavailable Friday, October 18, from 9:00 PM through 11:59 PM EDT for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

    10/7/2013Filing Tips for FCC Form 481 October 15 Deadline


    All carriers receiving Lifeline Program support are required to file the FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, by October 15. This form is now available through E-File, USAC's online filing system.

    The information below clarifies reporting requirements specific to 47 CFR Section 54.422:

    1. Carriers with a Study Area Code (SAC) assignment from USAC must submit an FCC Form 481. Carriers with a SAC that have not yet sought reimbursement from the Lifeline Program via FCC Form 497 will not be able to use the online FCC Form 481. These carriers will be required to complete their filing via email.

    2. Carriers must complete the following sections of FCC Form 481 based on the governing body which designated the carrier as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC):

    FCC designated carriers (47 CFR Section 54.422b) must complete:

    • (200) Service Outage Reporting (voice);
    • (400) Number of Complaints (voice);
    • (430) Number of Complaints (broadband) – this section not required in Program Year 2014;
    • (500) Service Quality Standards and Consumer Protection Rules Compliance;
    • (600) Functionality in Emergency Situations;
    • (800) Operating Companies and Affiliates;
    • (1200) Terms and Conditions for Lifeline Program Consumers;
    • Accuracy certification;
    • Validate the filing; and
    • Certify the filing.

    State designated carriers (47 CFR Section 54.422a) must complete:

    • (800) Operating Companies and Affiliates;
    • (1200) Terms and Conditions for Lifeline Program Consumers;
    • Accuracy certification;
    • Validate the filing; and 
    • Certify the filing.

    3. In Block 1200, the “Terms and Conditions of Lifeline Program Consumers” section, enter the terms and conditions of all Lifeline Program service options for voice telephony service plans - those generally made available to the public, and plans offered to subscribers. Include rates for each voice telephony service plan, the number of minutes provided (as part of all Lifeline Program plans offered), and additional charges for toll calls.

    Presentation slides from a FCC Form 481 webinar training session are available in the Online Learning Library, along with answers to questions asked throughout the webinar.

    10/2/2013HCLI News Issued


    The October HCLI News is now available.

    10/1/2013FCC Seeks Comments on Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan


    On September 30, the FCC released a Public Notice, seeking comment on the proposed Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan. The plan would require all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that provide Lifeline Program-supported services and receive at least $5 million in universal service support on an annual basis, must conduct a biennial audit.

    Comments are due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register; and reply comments are due on or before 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    10/1/2013FCC Proposes Over $14.4 million in Forfeitures for Violations of the One-Per-Household Rule


    On September 30, the FCC released Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) against five Lifeline Program telecom providers who were apparently in violation of Lifeline Program rules by providing more than one Lifeline Program-supported service to a single subscriber. The NALs were issued against the following companies: Icon Telecom for $4.8 million, TracFone Wireless for $4.6 million, Assist Wireless for $2.2 million, Easy Wireless for $1.6 million, and UTPhone for $1.2 million.

    9/30/2013Join Us for a Webinar About E-File Roles and Responsibilities


    Join USAC on Tuesday, October 8, at 3:00 PM EDT for a webinar on E-File roles and responsibilities. All who use E-File or who establish/manage E-File users (Company Officers, General Contacts, authorized users, and RHC Invoice users) are invited to attend. Registration is complimentary.

    This webinar will cover definitions for E-File terms you should know, the roles of Company Officers and General Contacts, the responsibility of establishing and managing authorized users, and the roles of authorized users for each form (FCC Forms 498, 499, 497, 525, 472, 481) as well as for Rural Health Care Program users.

    For more information, please email USAC Outreach.

    9/27/2013System Maintenance: 5:00 PM EDT Tuesday, October 1


    Due to maintenance, the FCC Form 481 will be unavailable in E-File on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, beginning at 5:00 PM EDT. We anticipate this maintenance to last for approximately 3 hours. During this time, users will be unable to access the FCC Form 481 online, and any user already in the system at the time of maintenance will lose all un-saved data.

    9/25/2013HCF Bulletin Issued


    The HCF Bulletin provides monthly updates as news unfolds for the Healthcare Connect Fund. Sign up in the Subscription Center to receive the HCF Bulletin via email every month.

    This issue contained: 

    • Look for HCF Program Training Materials on USAC's Website - The Rural Health Care Program recently held two trainings in Washington, DC, for individual health care providers and consortium leaders. Visit the Healthcare Connect Fund Program’s Trainings & Outreach page on the USAC website to view the handouts and presentations from these trainings.
    • HCPs Can Complete FCC Form 460 in My Portal - All individual HCPs, consortia, and consortium members must fill out this form so that USAC can determine their eligibility to participate in the HCF Program. One FCC Form 460 must be completed for each entity, including each eligible HCP site, ineligible site, off-site data center, and off-site administrative office. Consortium leaders can file the FCC Form 460 on behalf of a participating HCP member after obtaining a Letter of Agency (LOA). Eligibility must be determined prior to the start of the competitive bidding process. Complete FCC Form 460 instructions and My Portal filing instructions are now available.
    • HCPs Can Complete FCC Form 461 in My Portal - Once the FCC Form 460 is submitted and approved, applicants can initiate the competitive bidding process by submitting the FCC Form 461. All applicants are required to file the FCC Form 461 unless their request for services meets one or more of the competitive bidding exemptions, which are listed in the complete FCC Form 461 instructions. All applicants should review the complete instructions before filing the form in My Portal.
    • FCC Form 498 Changes Affect Service Providers - The FCC released Public Notice DA-13-1777 on August 19 that explains the new changes to the FCC Form 498. All prior years’ forms are no longer accepted. Changes to the form affect service providers participating in the RHC Program. By default, current service providers will automatically receive reimbursement as an offset to their universal service contribution requirement unless they change their method of reimbursement by unchecking Box 122, Block 14. Service providers newly participating in the RHC Program can choose their method of reimbursement. Additionally, service providers that plan on participating in the HCF Program must indicate their intention by checking the box in Block 15, “Certification to Assist Health Care Providers.” To learn more, watch the video, Changes to FCC Form 498 as of August 2013.
    • Contact the RHC Program About the HCF - The RHC Program has dedicated an email address, RHC-assist@usac.org, and phone number, (800) 453-1546, for questions and comments regarding the HCF.

    9/20/2013Attend the NLAD Workshop on October 31 in Washington, DC, or via Webinar


    USAC is hosting the third NLAD Workshop on Thursday, October 31. Join us in Washington, DC, or online.

    9/19/2013System Maintenance: 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT Friday, September 20


    The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable Friday, September 20 from 9:00 PM through 11:59 PM EDT for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

    9/19/2013Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, September 20


    My Portal will be intermittently unavailable from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT on Friday, September 20, 2013, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    9/19/2013FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Changes to FCC Form 555


    On September 6, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comments on proposed changes to FCC Form 555, the Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form, and accompanying instructions. Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) are required to file FCC Form 555 annually to provide the results of their subscriber recertification process, results of de-enrollments from non-usage, and the required annual Lifeline Program ETC officer certifications. A completed FCC Form 555 is due to USAC and the FCC no later than January 31, annually.

    The draft form and instructions are available on USAC’s website. Once the FCC releases the revised FCC Form 555, USAC will post the final form on its website and will make the form available through E-File, and training materials will follow.

    9/17/2013Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: 5:00 PM EDT Tuesday, September 17


    The FCC Form 481 will be unavailable in E-File starting Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM EDT for maintenance. We anticipate this maintenance to last for approximately 3 hours. During this time, users will be unable to access the FCC Form 481 online, and any user already in the system at the time of maintenance will lose all un-saved data.

    9/13/2013FCC Announces Fourth Quarter 2013 Contribution Factor Increase to 15.6 Percent


    The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 13-1880) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2013 will be 0.156 or 15.6 percent.

    9/11/2013HCF Program FCC Form 460 Is Now Available


    The FCC Form 460 (Eligibility and Registration Form) is now available in My Portal for use by health care providers (HCPs) to certify their eligibility to participate in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program.

    One form must be completed for each site. This includes each eligible HCP site, ineligible site, off-site data center, and off-site administrative office. All individual HCPs, consortia, and consortium members must obtain an eligibility determination using FCC Form 460 in order to participate in the HCF Program.

    The FCC Form 460 and supporting documentation may be submitted at any time during the funding year, but eligibility must be determined prior to the start of the competitive bidding process, which is initiated through the submission of the FCC Form 461 (Request for Services Form).

    For instructions for filing the form online through My Portal, read the FCC Form 460 Online Filing Instructions (available soon!). These instructions outline steps required for individual HCP applicants (those who have already registered in My Portal and those who have not) and consortium applicants (steps the consortium leads and participating entities must take).

    Other HCF Program forms will be available for applicants to submit online on a rolling basis, and will be announced in the HCF Program Latest News section of the USAC website and in the HCF Bulletin.

    9/11/2013USAC to Present Webinar About FCC Form 481 on September 19


    FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, is due October 15, 2013, and requires information pursuant to sections 54.313 and 54.422 of the Commission's rules. Join USAC for a webcast about this new form. The presentation has been updated based on system changes and carrier feedback from the webcast on August 15.

    9/9/2013Application Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, September 9


    My Portal will be intermittently unavailable from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT on Monday, September 9, 2013, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    9/9/2013Attend the NLAD Workshop on September 18 in Washington, DC, or via Webinar


    Lifeline Program carriers are invited to a workshop in Washington, DC, to provide feedback about planning, technical features, and more, of the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Carriers may participate on-site or attend the meeting virtually, via live webcast.

    9/6/2013Q&A from FCC Form 481 Webcast Now Available


    Answers to questions submitted during the FCC Form 481 Webcast on August 15, 2013, are now available in the Training Events Archive.

    8/28/2013Special Edition News Brief - FCC Form 472 Available Online


    A Special Edition of the Schools and Libraries News Brief is now available, containing information about the online FCC Form 472. Subscribe to the News Brief to receive it each week in your inbox.

    8/28/2013Scheduled Systems Maintenance: 5:00 PM EDT Thursday, August 29


    The FCC Form 481 will be unavailable in E-File starting Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM EDT for scheduled maintenance. We anticipate this maintenance to last for approximately 3 hours. During this time, users will be unable to access the FCC Form 481 online, and any user already in the system at the time of maintenance will lose all un-saved data.

    8/27/2013Attend the NLAD Workshop, August 27 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT


    Lifeline Program carriers are invited to a workshop in Washington, DC, to provide feedback about the initialization plan, features, and more, of the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Carriers may participate on-site, or attend the meeting virtually, via live webcast.

    For more information and access to presentation slides and other resources, visit the NLAD Workshop webpage on the USAC website.

    8/23/2013News Brief Issued


    This week's Schools and Libraries News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.