USAC's News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the Lifeline Program as they were made throughout the years. The archives will be updated as new announcements are made.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
During the webinar, the Lifeline Program staff will discuss:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Update: The extended deadline for the FCC Form 497 December data month is now Thursday, January 12, 2017.
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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.
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.
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.
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.