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 (paras. 309-319), 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 via email to TelcoLifeline@usac.org (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.
For more information, please 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.