High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - August 2015

August 2015

In this issue...

Program Happenings   |   At the FCC   |   In the News

PROGRAM HAPPENINGS

FCC Forms 481 and 690 Submitted

FCC Forms 481 and 690 were due July 1, 2015. USAC received 1,752 FCC Forms 481, or 99.8% of High Cost Program carriers, and 566 FCC Forms 690, or 92% of carriers receiving Mobility support. We appreciate your effort to get forms and associated data submitted on time!

FCC Form 481 Focus Group Held

On July 7, 2015, USAC held a focus group of FCC Form 481 online filing system users to solicit feedback on user experience in the system, the upload templates, and other available resources, such as the user guide and customer service. We gathered great feedback and from it we have some ideas that will help us continue to refine and improve the user experience in future years. If you have any suggestions you'd like to share with us, please contact HC Questions.

First State Commissions Call Held

On July 22, 2015, USAC held the first of a series of regular calls with state regulatory commissions to seek comments and ideas on how USAC can better serve their needs. Topics covered included outreach, our website, the 54.314 online filing system, and our online tools. If you are a state regulatory commission employee who missed the call and have suggestions or would like to receive invitations to future calls, please contact us at HC Certifications.

 

QUESTIONS?

The High Cost Program team is here to help you! Visit the Contact Us page and let us know how we can help you.

 

RELINQUISHMENT REMINDER

If a carrier has relinquished its ETC designation, send a copy of the relinquishment order to HC Orders within one week. If USAC does not receive a copy of the relinquishment order within one week, USAC will invoice the carrier for any support paid following the relinquishment. 

AT THE FCC

FCC Releases List of Census Blocks Where Carriers Still Have Voice Obligations

On July 23, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-851) listing the census blocks where price cap carriers are obligated to provide voice service pursuant to Section 214(e)(1). The FCC is also seeking to refresh the record on pending issues related to eligible telecommunications carrier designations and obligations in areas served by price cap carriers. Read the Notice

FCC Internal Process Task Force Seeks Input

On July 21, 2015, Chairman Wheeler's Special Counsel published a blog post to provide an update on the recently formed task force that will consider ways to improve the effectiveness of the FCC's internal processes. Read the post

Chairman Wheeler Discusses Broadband

On June 26, 2015, Chairman Wheeler spoke at the Brookings Institution to discuss broadband. Read the remarks

FCC Seeks Comment on Request for Waiver

On July 15, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-818) seeking comment on the petition for waiver of the FCC Rules for modifying access rate bands and charges, imputation of the higher rate band, the 2011 switched access revenue requirement, and the 2011 base period revenue filed by Panora Communication Cooperative and Prairie Telephone Company. Comments are due August 14, 2015. Read the Notice 

FCC Seeks Comments on Revisions to FCC Forms

On July 15, 2015, the FCC issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking Paperwork Reduction Act comments on information collection methods. Revisions to currently approved information collection methods have been recommended for FCC Forms 481, 505, 507, 508, 509, and 525. Comments are due August 14, 2015. Read the article

FCC Seeks Nominations for USAC Board of Directors

On July 16, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-824) seeking nominations for the twelve board member positions set to expire, as indicated in the Notice. The nominations are due by August 17, 2015. Read the Notice

FCC Meeting: NTCA, WTA, ITTA, USTelecom Discuss Updates to Cost Recovery Mechanisms

On June 30, 2015, NTCA, WTA, ITTA, and USTelecom met with FCC staff to discuss their and other stakeholders' efforts to develop proposals for updating existing cost recovery mechanisms to address consumer demand for broadband services and potential voluntary optional paths toward model-based universal service support. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: TDS Supports Commissioner Pai's Plan for Rural Broadband Deployment and Voluntary Cost Model Participation

On June 30, 2015, TDS Telecom spoke with Commissioner Pai's Legal Advisor to express support for Commissioner Pai's June 29, 2015, statement concerning the promotion of broadband deployment in rural America. Read the summary 

FCC Meeting: ITTA, et al. Discuss RLEC Broadband Build-Out Requirements for A-CAM

On July 7, 2015, ITTA, Great Plains Communications, Parrino Strategic Consulting Group, and Consolidated Companies spoke with FCC staff to discuss a proposed build-out methodology for a voluntary, model-based universal service support plan for rate-of-return carriers. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: Home Telecom Discusses RLEC Stand-Alone Broadband Support and Cost Model Participation

On July 9, 2015, Home Telecom spoke with Commissioner Pai's legal advisor to discuss the mechanics of Commissioner Pai's recently released plan for universal service support for stand-alone broadband in rural areas. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: ITTA Discusses Transition Mechanism and Broadband Build-Out Requirements for A-CAM

On July 9, 2015, ITTA participated in a meeting with FCC staff to discuss the efforts of ITTA and other stakeholders to develop a voluntary, model-based universal service fund support plan for rate-of-return carriers, as well as efforts towards the updating of existing cost recovery mechanisms. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: CoBank Discusses Rural Broadband Experiments and Broadband Deployment

On July 9, 2015, CoBank met with FCC staff to provide an overview of CoBank and provided copies of their 2014 annual report and corporate social responsibility report, among other things. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: ACA Discusses Its Proposal for Connect America Fund Phase II Competitive Bidding

On July 9, 2015, the American Cable Association met with FCC staff to discuss ACA's proposed design of the Connect America Fund Phase II competitive bidding process. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: ATA Says Alaska Plan is Compatible with A-CAM

On July 13, 2015, the Alaska Telephone Association spoke with FCC staff to discuss the Alaska Plan and the recent plan to support broadband deployment in rural America proposed by Commissioner Pai. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: Rural Law Firm Discusses Commissioner Pai's Rural Local Exchange Carrier Universal Service Fund Reform Plan

On July 17, 2015, Anthony K. Veach of Bennet and Bennet met by telephone with FCC staff to discuss Commissioner Pai's proposed rate-of-return universal service fund reform plan. Read the summary

FCC Meeting: FairPoint Proposes Alternative Location Reporting for Connect America Fund Phase II

On July 20, 2015, FairPoint met with FCC staff to discuss Connect America Fund Phase II reporting requirements for recipients of model-based support under Section 54.313(e). Read the summary

FCC Filing: ITTA Files Transition Mechanism and Deployment Milestones for Cost Model Participation

On June 29, 2015, ITTA filed a letter, attaching documents related to the operation of a voluntary, model-based universal service support plan for rate-of-return carriers. Read the letter and attachments 

FCC Filing: WISPA Proposes Connect America Fund Phase II Competitive Bidding Process

On June 30, 2015, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) filed a letter proposing a competitive bidding process for Connect America Fund Phase II that builds on the letters submitted by USTelecom on April 10, 2015, and by ACA on June 1, 2015. Read the letter

FCC Filing: Vantage Point Details Results of Alternative Cost Model Study

On July 13, 2015, Vantage Point filed the results of their two studies comparing the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) to wire-center-specific data. Read the results

FCC Filing: ITTA Files Redacted Presentation on A-CAM Broadband Build-Out Requirements

On July 14, 2015, ITTA filed a confidential and redacted version of a presentation ITTA and others made to FCC staff on July 7, 2015, regarding a proposed build-out methodology for a voluntary, model-based universal service support plan for rate-of-return carriers. Read the summary

FCC Filing: USTelecom Responds to Proposals on Connect America Fund Phase II Competitive Bidding  

On July 13, 2015, USTelecom filed a letter in response to filings by ACA, WISPA, and the Utilities Telecom Council on alternative approaches to implementing the Connect America Fund Phase II competitive bidding process. Read the letter

FCC Filing: Chouteau Opposes Northeast Rural Service Waiver Request for Rural Broadband Experiments

On July 14, 2015, Chouteau Telephone filed an opposition to Northeast Rural Service's petition for a waiver and extension of the deadline to file proof of ETC designation. Read the opposition

Commissioner Proposes New Revisions to the Universal Service Fund

On June 30, 2015, Sean Buckley reported in Fierce Telecom that FCC Commissioner Pai has proposed new revisions to the universal service fund to give rural telecom companies a chance to take advantage of funds to deliver a broadband-only service. Read the article

Read more articles in the High Cost Program's Industry News section.

 

High Cost Program

Newsletter

August 2015