Lifeline

Report Data Annually (FCC Form 481)

All carriers receiving Lifeline Program support are required to file the FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, by July 1 each year. The form must be filed online using the E-File system.

The 2015 Program Year version of FCC Form 481 is currently available. When you go to file, review the Online User Guide for specific filing guidance and instructions. For a guided tutorial on filing the FCC Form 481, watch the Walkthrough of the FCC Form 481 Webinar, which is available in the Online Learning Library.

Reporting Requirements

For carriers receiving Lifeline Program support, the following reporting requirements apply.

  • Carriers with a Study Area Code (SAC) assignment from USAC must submit an FCC Form 481 online. If you are a carrier with a SAC that has not yet sought reimbursement from the Lifeline Program via FCC Form 497, you will not be able to file online. You must first contact USAC to make specific arrangements to complete the form via email.
  • Carriers must complete certain sections of the FCC Form 481 based on the governing body which designated the carrier as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC), as outlined below.

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

      • (200) Service Outage Reporting (voice);
      • (400) Number of Complaints (voice);
      • (500) Service Quality Standards and Consumer Protection Rules Compliance;
      • (600) Functionality in Emergency Situations;
      • (800) Operating Companies and Affiliates;
      • (1200) Lifeline Terms and Conditions;
      • 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) Lifeline Terms and Conditions;
    • Accuracy certification;
    • Validate the filing; and
    • Certify the filing.
  • 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.

A filing will be deemed not compliant if:

  • The website link is inactive or page cannot be found,
  • The ETC’s "Home Page" is not specific to the Lifeline Program,
  • The web page does not provide information on minutes or usage parameters associated with Lifeline Program plans,
  • The web page discusses Lifeline Program eligibility and sign-up, but not terms and conditions or available Lifeline Program service plan price(s), or
  • Does not provide information on charges incurred for toll calls and additional services.