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News Archive

USAC's News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the universal service programs as they were made throughout the years. The archives will be updated as new announcements are made.


  

5/18/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, May 21


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 21 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/16/2017E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: May 18


USAC's E-File system will be unavailable for 498 and 499 users on Thursday, May 18, from 9:00-11:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. FCC Forms for contributors and service providers will not be accessible. During this time, users will be unable to file, certify, and search for FCC Forms 498 and 499 online. 

EPC, HUBB, My Portal, NLAD, and High Cost/Lifeline forms will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/27/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site Outage Due to System Maintenance: April 27


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site will be unavailable from 5:15-5:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 27 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to the site. We apologize for any inconvenience.    

4/20/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site Outage Due to System Maintenance: April 21


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site will be unavailable from 1:00-2:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 21 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to the site. We apologize for any inconvenience.    

4/20/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, April 23


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 23 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/11/2017E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: April 13


USAC's E-File system (including My Portal) will be unavailable for all users on Thursday, April 13, from 9:00-11:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. All online FCC forms for contributors, service providers, eligible telecommunications carriers, and health care providers will not be accessible. During this time, users will be unable to file, certify, and search for FCC Forms 460, 461, 462, 463, 465, 466, 467, 473, 481, 497, 498, 499, 555, or 690. 

NLAD and EPC will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/10/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site Maintenance: Tuesday, April 11


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site will be unavailable from 8:30-10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 11 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to the site. We apologize for any inconvenience.  

3/27/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site Maintenance: Thursday, March 30


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site will perform a scheduled maintenance from 3:00-6:00 PM ET, on Thursday, March 30. During this time, users can still log in and practice filing forms as usual. If you do experience any issues, please contact the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.   

3/23/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, March 26


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 26 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/17/2017EPC Temporary Outage - Service Restored


You can now access the E-rate Productivity Center.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/17/2017EPC Temporary Outage - Update


e are still working on EPC access. We will provide an update in an hour if we have not been able to restore access during that time.  

3/17/2017EPC Temporary Outage


The E-rate Productivity Center is currently unavailable for all users. We are working on the issue and expect to have access restored within the next two hours. Thank you for your patience.

3/17/2017Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - March 17-18


The Schools and Library legacy systems will be unavailable from 8:00 PM ET on Friday, March 17 through 2:00 AM ET Saturday, March 18 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. We apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center will not be affected by this maintenance.

3/9/2017My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, March 13th, 2017


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00AM through 8:00AM ET on Monday, March 13th, 2017 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for heath care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

3/3/2017My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Tuesday, March 7


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 9:00 PM through 10:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/24/2017Extended CSB Hours This Weekend


The Client Service Bureau will have extended hours this weekend.

Call: (888) 203-8100
Online: Submit a customer service case in EPC

The Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be open the following hours:

  • Saturday and Sunday, February 25-26, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST 
 

2/23/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, February 26


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 26 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/22/201730-day Deadline for A-CAM ETCs to Submit Lifeline Broadband Forbearance Notices


File a forbearance notice if your company is not planning to offer Lifeline-supported BIAS in Census blocks where it does not receive A-CAM.  

Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) are required to offer Lifeline-supported broadband Internet access service (BIAS) throughout their designated service areas, excluding Census blocks where they have availed themselves of the conditional forbearance relief from this obligation. Under the Lifeline Modernization Order, ETCs receiving Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) support may avail themselves of the conditional forbearance from the Lifeline BIAS obligation in Census blocks where they do not have an A-CAM broadband obligation. 

Consistent with the FCC’s Public Notice about Forbearance Procedures, if your company is not planning to offer Lifeline-supported BIAS in Census blocks where it does not receive A-CAM support, your company must file a forbearance notice for those Census blocks with the FCC and USAC within 30 days of receiving its first 2017 A-CAM payment (e.g. the payment your company receives in February 2017). 

ETCs that avail themselves of the conditional forbearance relief may still offer and receive reimbursement for Lifeline-supported BIAS in the Census blocks where they have availed themselves of the forbearance relief.

Forbearance Filing Procedures
Review the FCC’s Public Notice about Forbearance Procedures for details on the information that must be included in the forbearance notice. The filing procedures for forbearance relief from the obligation to offer Lifeline-supported broadband are:

  1. Submit a forbearance notice to the FCC (use WC Docket No. 11-42 in the FCC ECFS) within 30 days of receiving your first 2017 A-CAM support payment.
  2. Submit a copy of the forbearance notice with attachments to USAC an email (if the forbearance notice and supporting documentation are under 15 MB), or contact us if the file is over 15 MB for instructions about how to upload it via USAC’s SFTP server.

More Information
Visit our website to learn more about your Lifeline broadband obligations and the forbearance process. The conditional forbearance relief from the Lifeline-BIAS obligation is described in the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.

2/22/2017NLAD Release Version 3.3.1


NLAD version 3.3.1 will be released into the Production Environment on Saturday, February 25, 2017. This release requires a system outage that will begin on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST and will last until 2:00 AM EST Saturday, February 25, 2017. After the outage is over, NLAD Production will be in version 3.3.1.

The following system enhancement will be included in this release:

"Anniversary Date" field displayed on the UI 
After the subscriber has been enrolled, the "Anniversary Date" field will be displayed next to the "Subscriber ID" field on the Update Subscriber page. This date is system-generated and cannot be edited. This date represents the customer's deadline for recertification; therefore please only refer to the "Anniversary Date" field instead of the editable "Service Reverification Date" field to obtain this information.

2/22/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: February 23


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 9:00-11:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 23 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/22/2017EPC Training Site Outage Due to System Maintenance: February 22


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Training Site will be unavailable on Tuesday, February 22 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET for system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/21/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) outage, Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is currently experiencing an outage and users are unable to access the system. This message will be updated when the system is back on line. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

2/20/2017E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: February 23


USAC's E-File system (including My Portal) will be unavailable for all users on Thursday, February 23, from 9:00-11:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. All online FCC forms for contributors, service providers, eligible telecommunications carriers, and health care providers will not be accessible. During this time, users will be unable to file, certify, and search for FCC Forms 460, 461, 462, 463, 465, 466, 467, 473, 481, 497, 498, 499, 555, 690, or Telecommunications Program invoices online. 

NLAD and EPC will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/15/2017NLAD Release Version 3.2.1


NLAD version 3.2.1 has been released into the Production Environment today, February 14, 2017. The following system update has been included in this release:

New "Mailing Address Validated" Field in the Detail Active Subscriber and Detail Duplicate Subscriber Reports
The "Mailing Address Validated" field has been added to the Detail Active Subscriber and Detail Duplicate Subscriber Reports. 

The "Mailing Address Validated" field is displayed after the "Mailing ZIP" field. The "Mailing Address Validated" field will display the Address Matching Service (AMS) pass/fail result of the Mailing Address if the subscriber's record contains a mailing address.

Please note that both the Detail Active Subscriber Report and Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report now contain one additional field and service providers should be prepared to receive one additional data field when submitting an API request for these reports.

2/14/2017FCC Announces Results of 2017 Urban Rate Survey


On February 14, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-167) announcing the 2017 rate floor for incumbent ETCs and reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services. In addition, the notice announced the posting of the fixed voice and broadband services data collected in the most recent urban rate survey, and explanatory notes regarding the data, on the FCC’s website. The notice also announces the required minimum usage allowance for ETCs subject to public interest obligations for fixed broadband.

The Public Notice indicates that each ETC providing fixed voice services must certify in the FCC Form 481 filed no later than July 1, 2017, that the pricing of its basic residential voice services is no more than $49.51. The reasonable comparability broadband benchmark varies, depending upon the supported service’s download and upload bandwidths and usage allowance. A table providing the details can be found in the Public Notice.

2/10/2017FCC Waives Bidding Rules for Certain HCPs Served by Network Services Solutions for FY2016


On February 10, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order (DA 17-164) waiving sections 54.603; 54.615; and 54.642 of the FCC competitive bidding rules governing the Rural Health Care (RHC) Telecommunications and Healthcare Connect Fund Programs (collectively, RHC Programs) for certain health care providers (HCPs).

Pursuant to the waiver, affected HCPs have the option of receiving funding for a new service provider from the date a new funding request was submitted through the end of FY2016 (June 30, 2017). These HCPs will not need to submit a new request for services (FCC Form 465 or FCC Form 461) to seek competitive bids for the most cost-effective service provider, but will need to submit a new funding request (FCC Form 466 or FCC Form 462) and any documentation required for the relevant FCC Forms.  

To see if you are covered by the FCC’s waiver order, please check the Appendix attached to the order.  Only those HCPs and funding request numbers contained in the Appendix are covered.

Questions? Contact us!

For questions or more information about the waiver, please email RHC Assist

2/10/2017FCC Releases the 2017 FCC Forms 499-A & 499-Q


On February 9, 2017, the FCC announced (DA 17-161) the release of the FCC Form 499-A and accompanying instructions to be used in 2017 to report 2016 revenues, and the FCC Form 499-Q and accompanying instructions to be used in 2017 to report projected and collected revenues on a quarterly basis. Filers can find copies of these forms with the FCC Public Notice

USAC will make these forms available on our Contributor Forms page in late February when our E-File system is updated to accept the 2017 FCC Form 499-A electronically.

2/10/2017HUBB Is Coming Soon, Be Prepared! FAQs Now Available


The High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal will soon be live and ready to accept broadband deployment data from carriers participating in the modernized Connect America programs.

Carriers can take steps now to prepare for the HUBB launch and be ready to file data showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service.

USAC is committed to helping carriers file successfully with the HUBB. Below are some resources from USAC and the FCC to help carriers collect geolocated broadband deployment data, check its accuracy, and upload it to the portal:

2/9/2017Buildout Methodology Selection made by All Carriers for CAF Broadband Loop Support


USAC has collected the buildout methodology selection made by all carriers for Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support, including those with no buildout requirement (NBR). This information is now posted on USAC’s website on the High Cost Program Tools page.

2/9/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, February 12


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 12 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/7/2017Deployment Obligations for Rate-of-Return Carriers


On February 3, 2017, the FCC released updated information regarding the mandatory deployment obligations that will apply to rate-of-return carriers who remain on legacy universal service support mechanisms. This updated information now includes deployment obligations for ASTCA.

This information is now posted on USAC’s website on the High Cost Program Search Tools page. 

2/6/2017FCC Releases Order on Reconsideration for Lifeline Broadband Providers (LBPs)


On Friday, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration for LBP designations. The order allows the FCC to reconsider the Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designations for nine new Lifeline broadband providers. 

USAC appreciates the FCC's commitment to universal service and the integrity of the Lifeline Program. Reconsiderations of recent decisions are common during administration changes.

Current Lifeline ETCs with voice designations are still authorized to provide Lifeline-supported broadband service. USAC will work closely with the FCC and service providers to minimize the effect on consumers, following the approach laid out in the order. Lifeline subscribers of the affected LBPs will be allowed to select a new service provider. 

2/3/2017Special Edition News Brief - Dates of the E-rate Funding Year 2017 Application Filing Window


The 02/03/2017 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.

2/2/2017Invitation to Webinar: Lifeline Program Updates February 8


Join us to hear updates about the Lifeline Program, including the Lifeline Modernization Order and the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). During the webinars, you can ask questions and participate in a collaborative dialog with USAC and stakeholders throughout the industry.

Lifeline Program Updates Webinar, Wednesday, February 8, 3:00 PM ET
REGISTER NOW 

Webinar Agenda
During the webinar, the Lifeline Program staff will discuss:

  • Eligibility Programs and Documentation

To foster a collaborative discussion with our audience, we will accept live questions during the event. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments!

Q&A and Event Resources
Please submit questions and comments in advance to the Lifeline Program while registering. Visit the Lifeline Program Update Webinars page to find the webinar recording, slide deck, and list of questions and answers for each event.

2/1/2017Federal Poverty Guidelines Updated for 2017


On January 31, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services published the 2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines in the Federal Register. Lifeline Program carriers should ensure their eligibility materials are updated to reflect the new Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2017. Federal Poverty Guidelines are typically updated each year in late January, and USAC releases a guide set at 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines shortly thereafter. 

1/30/2017498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 1Q2017 Issued


The 1Q2017 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is now available. The 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is designed to provide important, up-to-date information about the FCC Form 498 and FCC Form 499 including news, deadlines, and filing best practices for service providers. 

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

1/27/2017Please Disregard EPC Account Creation Email


The EPC system has sent some applicants an email in error from the address portal-int@usac.org notifying them that they can create an account in EPC.

Please disregard this message, it was sent in error. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

1/26/2017Invitation to Webinar Series: Filing FCC Form 499-A March 6, 9, 15, and 16


All telecommunications providers (including de minimis carriers) must submit FCC Form 499-A, which reports historical revenue data from 2016 and is due Monday, April 3, 2017.

Join USAC for a webinar about FCC Form 499-A, the Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet. This year, we are offering four webinars, each tailored to a specific audience. Based on your primary line of telecommunications service, please select the webinar that best fits your needs. Each webinar will cover the same general information about filing the FCC Form 499-A, so there is no need to attend more than one. 

View Events and Register: FCC Form 499-A Webinar Series
Live webinars from 2:00 PM-3:30 PM ET on March 6, 9, 15 and 16, 2017

MARCH 6, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 PM ET - Filing FCC Form 499-A: for Wireline Local & Long Distance Companies
In this webinar, designed for wireline local and long distance companies and have revenue associated with local calling, including PICC charges (when they exist) and vertical features, we’ll cover wireline long distance calling, including international calls, and the yearly true up process.

MARCH 9, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 PM ET -Filing FCC Form 499-A: for VoIP Service Providers
In this webinar, designed for VoIP service providers, we’ll cover VoIP revenue, both local and long distance, including how to use the FCC’s safe harbor percentages and when to send in traffic studies. (FCC Form 499-A lines 404.4, 404.5, 414.2)

MARCH 15, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 PM ET -Filing FCC Form 499-A: for Mobile Service Providers
In this webinar, designed for mobile service providers, including those providing paging services and specialized mobile radio (SMR), we’ll discuss filing for mobile services (which are cell phone calling, paging, and SMR).  We will also go over the non-USF assessable revenue lines of 418.1 – 418.4 and the summation/bad debt lines of 419 – 423 on the FCC Form 499-A.

MARCH 16, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 PM ET -Filing FCC Form 499-A: for All Other Services
This webinar is designed for providers of all "other" services, such as those providers interested in learning about state and federal USF, local and long distance private lines, payphones (including prison payphones), prepaid cards, calls that do not originate, terminate, or transit the United States, calls that use special billing arrangements, and satellite services. (FCC Form 499-A lines 403, 406, 407, 411, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417.) 

1/26/2017LI Program News: FCC Form 555 Deadline, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, and more!


The next issue of LI Program News is now available.

1/26/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, January 29


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 29 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/24/2017FCC Authorizes Revised A-CAM Support


On January 24, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-99) authorizing 182 rate-of-return companies that elected 217 revised offers of Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) support to receive model-based support. Nationwide, a total of 207 rate-of-return carriers in 43 states have now been authorized to receive A-CAM support.

1/24/2017E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: January 26


USAC's E-File system for FCC Forms 498 and 499 filers will be unavailable Thursday, January 26, from 6:00-10:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. The online FCC Forms 498 and 499 will not be accessible for contributors or service providers. During this time, users will be unable to file, certify, and search for FCC Forms 498 and 499 online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/19/2017USAC Submits Updated Version of the National Verifier Plan to the FCC


USAC submitted an updated National Verifier Plan  to the FCC on January 19, 2017. Please share your questions and feedback about this version of the plan on the Lifeline National Verifier Blog.

1/18/2017Reminder! Update Company Marketing Name and Customer Service Number by January 18


Remember to update your company's marketing name and customer service phone number in NLAD by close of business today. 

USAC needs this information to include on the USAC-elected Lifeline recertification letter to your subscribers. Thank you in advance for updating your information by COB on January 18. View more action items and their deadlines on the To-Do List for participating companies.

How to Update Marketing Name and Customer Service Number
To update your company's marketing name and phone number in NLAD, have your company's NLAD "ETC Admin" complete the following steps:

  1. Log into the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD)
  2. Select "ETC Administrator Home Page" from the left-hand menu (under the "Account Management" list)
  3. Select "Maintain SAC Information"
  4. Select each SAC in your account and enter the "marketing name" and customer service phone number
  5. Press the "update" button at the bottom of your screen

Need Help? Contact Us!
For more information, visit the USAC-Elected Recertification for 2017 web page. If you have any questions about the USAC-elected recertification process, please contact us via email.

You are the contact person for your company's participating SACs. If any company or contact information is missing or incorrect, please contact us as soon as possible to change it.

1/18/2017USAC Customer Operations and RHC Help Desk Closed: Friday, January 20


USAC’s Customer Operations and RHC Help Desk will be closed on Friday, January 20, 2017 due to the Presidential Inauguration.  These customer service centers will re-open on Monday, January 23, 2017 at their normally scheduled times.  This closure does not affect the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Client Service Bureau (CSB) or NLAD Technical Support.

1/13/2017E-rate Client Service Bureau Closed: Monday, January 16


In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Schools and Libraries Program’s Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Monday, January 16. CSB will reopen Tuesday, January 17 for regular hours of 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

1/13/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, January 14


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 14 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/13/2017RESOLVED - E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Currently Down


RESOLVED - The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site is currently unavailable. USAC is working to resolve this service disruption and will provide an update when the issue has been resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/13/2017Elect A-CAM by January 19 or Remain with High Cost Legacy Funding


Carriers have until 5:30 PM EST on Thursday, January 19, 2017, to notify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they elect to receive High Cost Program support based on the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM). Carriers can make this election on a state-by-state basis. 

No action is required if carriers wish to continue to receive support from reformed legacy mechanisms, including Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) and High Cost Loop Support (HCLS), if applicable. If a carrier fails to submit any final election letter by the January 19, 2017 deadline, it will remain on legacy support.

To Select A-CAM Support
To elect A-CAM support, carriers must email the FCC at ConnectAmerica@fcc.gov and indicate their A-CAM election in the email, along with specific state elections (if applicable). Elections will be considered timely if the FCC receives them by 5:30 PM EST on January 19, 2017. (Note: please see 47 CFR Section 0.403, 1.7). Carriers should not mail a hard copy of their election letter to the FCC.

Carriers submitting election letter emails will receive an e-mail confirmation receipt from the FCC.  Should carriers not receive this receipt, they should contact the FCC, via email or via phone at (202) 418-7400, no later than 4:00 PM EST on January 19, 2017. Confirmation of receipt does not constitute authorization to receive A-CAM support.

Background on A-CAM
The Rate-of-Return Order allows carriers to elect the new A-CAM model, which provides a set amount of monthly support over 10 years, or remain with a reformed version of legacy support mechanisms, including CAF-BLS and HCLS. After receiving initial carrier elections by November 1, the FCC took a number of steps to address high demand for A-CAM support. 

Those steps include allocating an additional $50 million annually to the A-CAM budget and making revised offers to 191 carriers that previously elected A-CAM. The methodology used to calculate the revised offers reduces support by varying percentages based on how many locations in a carrier’s eligible service territory still lack access to broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream. Carriers that accept the revised offer of support must agree to meet the terms of the original A-CAM offer if additional support becomes available in 2017 to fund the original offers.

More Resources
For more information, please visit our Rate of Return Reform Order web page. If you have any questions, please contact us at HC Questions.

1/13/2017RESOLVED - NLAD Intermittent Service Disruptions


RESOLVED - The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) is experiencing intermittent system disruptions.

We are working to resolve the issue and will communicate as soon as it has been resolved.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

1/13/2017No Additional Filing Windows for FY2016; FY2017 Filing Window to Run From March 1-June 30, 2017


No Additional Filing Window Periods for Funding Year 2016  

Due to an extraordinarily high demand for Rural Health Care (RHC) Program funds in Funding Year 2016 (FY2016), there will not be a third filing window period and no more funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) will be accepted for FY2016. Current projections show that the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received will either meet or slightly exceed the program’s $400 million annual cap. 
 
While FY2016 is closed to new funding requests, My Portal continues to accept Telecom Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2016.
 
           What This Means for Applicants:

  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests does not exceed the $400M annual funding cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying requests will receive 100% of the requested funding.
  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests exceeds the $400M annual cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying funding requests will receive a pro-rated percentage of the total funds available during the second filing window period, based on the total amount of funding requested during the second filing window period.
  • Those qualifying requests filed prior to the second filing window period will receive 100% of the requested funding.


 Funding Year 2017 Initial Filing Window Period March 1 - June 30, 2017 

The initial filing window period for Funding Year 2017 (FY2017) will be from March 1 – June 30, 2017, rather than February 1 – April 30, as previously stated. 

Why delay the filing window period start date and extend the close date?
The delay of the initial filing window period start date and extension of the close date will allow applicants additional time to conduct their competitive bidding processes. It will also grant more time for new applicants, including the newly eligible skilled nursing facilities(SNFs), to familiarize themselves with program requirements, obtain eligibility determinations for the RHC Program, and apply for RHC Program funding.


Do applicants have to wait until March to get started?
No. Applicants can start submitting other necessary forms for FY2017 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before the filing window period opens, and the RHC Program strongly recommends doing so. However, applicants must wait until the start of the initial filing window period for FY2017 on March 1 to submit their FCC Forms 462 (for the HCF Program) or FCC Forms 466 (for the Telecom Program).


Applicants that submitted an FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 but did not submit a corresponding FCC Form 462 or FCC Form 466 for FY2016 will need to submit a new FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 for FY2017 if they do not meet an HCF Program competitive bidding exemption.


What is the likelihood of additional filing window periods for FY2017?
At this time, USAC is opening an initial filing window period for FY2017 from March 1 – June 30, 2017. If the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received during the first filing window period for FY2017 does not exceed the cap, USAC will provide notice about any subsequent filing window periods for FY2017, based on its assessment of the total qualifying funding requested in the initial filing window period and the amount of available funding still remaining.


More Resources
Please visit our filing window period web page for more information about filing windows periods and pro-ration or contact RHC-Assist@usac.org with questions.


1/13/2017No Additional Filing Windows for FY2016; FY2017 Filing Window to Run From March 1-June 30, 2017


No Additional Filing Window Periods for Funding Year 2016  
Due to an extraordinarily high demand for Rural Health Care (RHC) Program funds in Funding Year 2016 (FY2016), there will not be a third filing window period and no more funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) will be accepted for FY2016. Current projections show that the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received will either meet or slightly exceed the program’s $400 million annual cap. 

While FY2016 is closed to new funding requests, My Portal continues to accept Telecom Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2016.

          What This Means for Applicants:
If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests does not exceed the $400M annual funding cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying requests will receive 100% of the requested funding.
If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests exceeds the $400M annual cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying funding requests will receive a pro-rated percentage of the total funds available during the second filing window period, based on the total amount of funding requested during the second filing window period.
Those qualifying requests filed prior to the second filing window period will receive 100% of the requested funding.

Funding Year 2017 Initial Filing Window Period March 1 - June 30, 2017

The initial filing window period for Funding Year 2017 (FY2017) will be from March 1 – June 30, 2017, rather than February 1 – April 30, as previously stated. 
Why delay the filing window period start date and extend the close date?
The delay of the initial filing window period start date and extension of the close date will allow applicants additional time to conduct their competitive bidding processes. It will also grant more time for new applicants, including the newly eligible skilled nursing facilities(SNFs), to familiarize themselves with program requirements, obtain eligibility determinations for the RHC Program, and apply for RHC Program funding.

Do applicants have to wait until March to get started?
No. Applicants can start submitting other necessary forms for FY2017 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before the filing window period opens, and the RHC Program strongly recommends doing so. However, applicants must wait until the start of the initial filing window period for FY2017 on March 1 to submit their FCC Forms 462 (for the HCF Program) or FCC Forms 466 (for the Telecom Program).

Applicants that submitted an FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 but did not submit a corresponding FCC Form 462 or FCC Form 466 for FY2016 will need to submit a new FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 for FY2017 if they do not meet an HCF Program competitive bidding exemption.

What is the likelihood of additional filing window periods for FY2017?
At this time, USAC is opening an initial filing window period for FY2017 from March 1 – June 30, 2017. If the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received during the first filing window period for FY2017 does not exceed the cap, USAC will provide notice about any subsequent filing window periods for FY2017, based on its assessment of the total qualifying funding requested in the initial filing window period and the amount of available funding still remaining.

More Resources
Please visit our filing window period web page for more information about filing windows periods and pro-ration or contact RHC-Assist@usac.org with questions.

1/13/2017No Additional Filing Windows for FY2016; FY2017 Filing Window to Run From March 1-June 30, 2017


No Additional Filing Window Periods for Funding Year 2016  

Due to an extraordinarily high demand for Rural Health Care (RHC) Program funds in Funding Year 2016 (FY2016), there will not be a third filing window period and no more funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) will be accepted for FY2016. Current projections show that the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received will either meet or slightly exceed the program’s $400 million annual cap. 
 
While FY2016 is closed to new funding requests, My Portal continues to accept Telecom Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2016.
 
           What This Means for Applicants:

  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests does not exceed the $400M annual funding cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying requests will receive 100% of the requested funding.
  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests exceeds the $400M annual cap during the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying funding requests will receive a pro-rated percentage of the total funds available during the second filing window period, based on the total amount of funding requested during the second filing window period.
  • Those qualifying requests filed prior to the second filing window period will receive 100% of the requested funding.


 Funding Year 2017 Initial Filing Window Period March 1 - June 30, 2017

The initial filing window period for Funding Year 2017 (FY2017) will be from March 1 – June 30, 2017, rather than February 1 – April 30, as previously stated. 

Why delay the filing window period start date and extend the close date?
The delay of the initial filing window period start date and extension of the close date will allow applicants additional time to conduct their competitive bidding processes. It will also grant more time for new applicants, including the newly eligible skilled nursing facilities(SNFs), to familiarize themselves with program requirements, obtain eligibility determinations for the RHC Program, and apply for RHC Program funding.


Do applicants have to wait until March to get started?
No. Applicants can start submitting other necessary forms for FY2017 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before the filing window period opens, and the RHC Program strongly recommends doing so. However, applicants must wait until the start of the initial filing window period for FY2017 on March 1 to submit their FCC Forms 462 (for the HCF Program) or FCC Forms 466 (for the Telecom Program).


Applicants that submitted an FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 but did not submit a corresponding FCC Form 462 or FCC Form 466 for FY2016 will need to submit a new FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 for FY2017 if they do not meet an HCF Program competitive bidding exemption.


What is the likelihood of additional filing window periods for FY2017?
At this time, USAC is opening an initial filing window period for FY2017 from March 1 – June 30, 2017. If the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received during the first filing window period for FY2017 does not exceed the cap, USAC will provide notice about any subsequent filing window periods for FY2017, based on its assessment of the total qualifying funding requested in the initial filing window period and the amount of available funding still remaining.


More Resources
Please visit our filing window period web page for more information about filing windows periods and pro-ration or contact RHC-Assist@usac.org with questions.

 

1/12/2017NLAD Release Version 3.1.0


NLAD version 3.1.0 has been released into the Production Environment today, January 12, 2017. The following system enhancement has been included in this release:

Addition of Filter to Detail Active Subscriber Report in User Interface (UI)
NLAD users can now filter the "Detail Active Subscriber Report" by Anniversary Month when viewing this report through the NLAD UI.

1/12/2017My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, January 13


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 AM through 7:30 AM ET on Friday, January 13, 2017 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/12/2017Service Disruption with Online FCC Form 497 (last updated 11:30 AM ET)


USAC is still working to resolve the service disruption with the online FCC Form 497.

Due to this extended system outage, we are again extending the deadline to file for the December data month to 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, January 11 Thursday, January 12.

We sincerely appreciate your continued patience and will provide another update at 3:00 PM ET today.

Update 1/10/17 3:00 PM ET: We are still testing an update to the system and will provide another update at 5:00 PM ET.

Update 1/10/17 5:00 PM ET:  USAC is still working to resolve the service disruption. We are again extending the filing deadline to 11:59 PM on Thursday, January 12. We will provide an update tomorrow, January 11, at 1:00 PM ET.

Update 1/11/17 1:00 PM ET: The online FCC Form 497 is still experiencing intermittent service disruptions. Some service providers were able to successfully file and certify their forms today; users are welcome to attempt filing their form but may still encounter problems. The online FCC Form 497 will be unavailable from 8:00 PM ET today until 8:00 AM ET tomorrow. The submission deadline remains 11:59 PM ET on January 12. We will provide an update tomorrow morning.

Update 1/12/17 11:30 AM ET: USAC made improvements to E-File overnight, and most users can submit their forms online. If you encounter a disruption while filing, please continue attempting to submit your filing throughout the day. If you are unable to complete your submission by the end of the day, contact us via email and we will provide assistance on an individual basis. 

1/6/2017How to File Successfully in HUBB


On January 5, 2017, USAC held a webinar "Successfully Filing Broadband Deployment Data with USAC". A recording of the webinar and a copy of the slide deck are now available on the website.

1/5/2017Service Disruption Identified with Form 555 Submission – USAC Working to Correct Issue


USAC is working to resolve an issue that is causing users to experience a service disruption when submitting the FCC Form 555. 

We apologize for any inconvenience and will communicate when the issue has been fully resolved.

1/5/2017Form 497 Certification Window for December Data Month Extended to Thursday, January 12


Update: The extended deadline for the FCC Form 497 December data month is now Thursday, January 12, 2017.

* * * * * * * * * *

Some users are continuing to experience issues filing their FCC Form 497 online through E-File.

We have isolated the problem and are working to implement a fix as soon as possible. The system will be fully functional by close of business on Thursday, January 5.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We recognize that this disruption may have caused an undue burden on your business processes and we assure you that we are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

In response to this event, forms submitted and certified through 11:59 pm on Tuesday, January 10 will be included in the January disbursement.

If you have any questions, please continue to contact us via email.

1/5/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, January 8


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 8 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/4/2017Issue Resolved: FCC Form 497 in E-File


Earlier today, E-File users reported a problem with the new version of FCC Form 497 for the December 2016 data month.

USAC has resolved the issue, and now the form is working properly in E-File. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you continue to experience issues, please contact us via email for assistance.

1/3/2017RESOLVED: NLAD Service Issue - Viewing Reports in NLAD


This issue has been resolved.

USAC is working to resolve an issue that is causing users to encounter a "Service Unavailable" response when attempting to view reports in NLAD. 

We apologize for any inconvenience and will communicate when the issue has been fully resolved.

1/1/2017Reminder! New FCC Form 497 Beginning January 1


Beginning in January 2017, service providers should use the new FCC Form 497 when filing for the December 2016 data month and later (original filings and revisions for November 2016 and all prior months should continue using the earlier version of the form).

Changes to the form include:

Service types added: "Voice," "Broadband" and "Bundled": To claim support for a bundled offering, the service offerings for both voice and broadband need to meet the applicable minimum service standards as outlined in 47 CFR section 54.408. If only one of the service offerings meets the appropriate minimum service standards, then the subscriber should be included as either voice or broadband based on the qualifying service offering. 

Fields removed: Filer 499 ID, Technology Type (Wireline, Wireless), ETC Designation Type (Lifeline Only, High Cost/Low Income), "Deferred Interest" under Tribal Link Up, and the TLS Data Field.

Please visit the Lifeline Program Forms page to download the updated version of the form. Newly-updated FCC Form 497 forms and resources include:

If you have any questions about the FCC Form 497, please contact us via email for assistance.