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News Archive

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.


  

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.

4/11/2017E-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.

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.

2/20/2017E-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.

2/6/2017FCC 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. 

2/2/2017Invitation 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. 

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


The next issue of LI Program News is now available.

1/19/2017USAC 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.

1/13/2017RESOLVED - 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.

1/12/2017NLAD 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.

1/12/2017Service 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. 

1/5/2017Service 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.

1/4/2017Issue 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.