USAC is required to net or withhold payment to entities in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA). All contributors, service providers, and applicants are subject to action pertaining to delinquency and the DCIA. Actions taken under the DCIA are also commonly called actions under the “Red Light Rule.”
If an entity is delinquent in its universal service obligation, by one day, and more than one penny, it is subject to the provisions of the Red Light Rule. In accordance with the Red Light Rule, USAC will, where possible, apply any disbursement support to the delinquent universal service fund (USF) obligation until such time as the delinquency is cured. This may cause a partial, full, or multiple disbursement payment(s) to be netted against the delinquent amount, depending on the amount of the disbursement as related to the amount owed. USAC will not apply any disbursement support to the delinquent universal service fund (USF) obligation if the disbursement support is in the form of a BEAR (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement) payment that is to be issued to an applicant in the Schools and Libraries Program. USAC does not net against BEAR payments.
In all cases, payments that are either netted or withheld due to delinquency do not alleviate the service provider’s obligation to pass or remit payments to applicants in accordance with the program rules. To check your current FCC Red Light status, please use the FCC Red Light Display (RLD) system.
In accordance with the Red Light Rule, providers who have received a notice of action may file a dispute, if they feel the action was caused in error. As a first step, entities may file a dispute with USAC. Please refer to the dispute procedures for more information.
Entities may also choose to file an appeal if they disagree with the dispute resolution, or may choose to file an appeal without filing a dispute. Please refer to the appeals procedure for more information.