Service Providers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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Q1: Where do people commonly make mistakes completing the FCC Form 498?

A1:

  • Block 2, Line 17 & Block 15 - Contact Email Addresses: Must be specific to the individual. Generic email addresses are not accepted for security purposes.
  • Block 3, Line 20 - DUNS: A nine-digit Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) Number is required. It cannot be the same as the Federal Tax ID number.
  • Pages 2-4 - High Cost and Low Income (HCLI) support mechanisms: Only those companies providing telecommunications can participate in these programs.
  • Pages 2-6 - Automated Clearing House (ACH) information: Financial institution information is required. Electronic payment of universal service support payments is mandated by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

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Q2: How do I, as a service provider, change information on my FCC Form 498?

A2: First, log in to E-File. Click on the 498 ID (formerly known as SPIN) that you want to revise. An electronic version of the form will appear. Make any changes necessary and click "next page" at the bottom of each page. Follow all instructions until you reach the last page and then follow instructions there for previewing and certifying the changes made.

Here are some things to consider in making specific changes:

  • Company Name Changes (Page 1, Block 1, Line 1): If the company legal name is different than the one on file with USAC, companies must provide legal documentation or state certification of the business name.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) Changes (Block 3, Line 18): If the FEIN is different than the one that is on file with USAC, a W-9 must be attached to the revised FCC Form 498.
  • Company Officer Changes (Block 15): Only the first and last pages (the signature pages) of the FCC Form 498, indicating the new "Company Officer" must be submitted to USAC, via fax, email, or mail.

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Q3: How do I, as a service provider, handle mergers and consolidations?

A3: To merge or consolidate multiple 498 IDs, the following information is required:

  • A complete FCC Form 498 for the 498 ID that will be the replacement/surviving 498 ID.
  • Only the first and last pages (signature pages) of the FCC Form 498 are required for each of the 498 IDs that will be impacted by a merger/consolidation request.
  • Copies of sale, acquisition, or merger documentation must be submitted, indicating the date of sale, clearly demonstrating the surviving organization's unfettered right to all 498 ID data and activity.

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Q4: Who is able to assign authorized user accounts in E-File?

A4: Only the General Contact or Company Officer listed on FCC Form 498 may set up authorized users, who may then prepare and certify FCC Forms 472, 497, and 525 on the company's behalf. On FCC Form 499-A or FCC Form 499-Q, only the Company Officer listed on the form may set up authorized users to prepare the forms. Only a Company Officer may certify FCC Form 498 and FCC Forms 499-A/Q.

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Q5: I lost my password to E-File. What do I do?

A5: If you are the General Contact or Company Officer listed on FCC Form 498 or the preparer for FCC Form 499 and you have lost your password, you can go to E-File and select the link for "Forgot Password." You can now reset your password online.

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Q6: Why am I locked out of E-File?

A6: After three attempts to log in to E-File, you will be locked out of the system for security reasons. The General Contact or Company Officer listed on FCC Form 498 or FCC Forms 499-A/Q will need to call USAC at (888) 641-8722 to get a new temporary password. If you are an authorized user or agent, the General Contact or Company Officer will need to reset your password in E-File.

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Q7: How do I reset a password in E-File for my users?

A7: The Company Officer or General Contact can reset the passwords of authorized users in the E-File Information Center by clicking on "Reset Password" for that individual.

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Q8: What can a delegated user do for FCC Form 498?

A8: An authorized user (also called an authorized user or SPU) can prepare and certify the following forms: FCC Form 497 (Lifeline) and FCC Form 525 (High Cost).

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Q9: What permissions does an FCC Form 498 General Contact have in the E-File system?

A9: The General Contact can prepare FCC Form 498 but cannot certify the form – only the Company Officer can certify FCC Form 498. A General Contact, with permission to access FCC Form 498, can enter data on and view, revise, and certify the FCC Form 497 and FCC Form 525. The General Contact can request remittance copies, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) notifications, and other information related to FCC Form 498 and/or disbursements.

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Q10: What permissions does an FCC Form 498 Company Officer have in the E-File system?

A10: The Company Officer can enter data on and view, revise, and certify the FCC Form 497, FCC Form 525, and FCC Form 498.

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Q11: Who has access to FCC Form 498 through the E-File system?

A11: The General Contact and/or Company Officer listed on FCC Form 498 on file with USAC can access the form online using E-File. These users can then establish authorized users who can view and prepare certain forms on their behalf but not FCC Form 498. The General Contact or Company Officer can access and prepare only those FCC Forms 498 that they file and not FCC Forms 498 for any other companies.

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