In order to participate in any of the four universal service programs, companies must determine if they are eligible. Once they have determined their eligibility, companies must obtain a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) by submitting and certifying an FCC Form 498 (Service Provider Identification Number and General Contact Information Form. This form must be certified by a Company Officer.
To learn about the program eligibility requirements, review the information below.
All wireline and wireless telephone companies seeking High Cost Program support must offer certain services or functions in order to be eligible. Carriers also must be designated as either an incumbent eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) or a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) by their state regulatory commissions or, in some cases, by the FCC.
All ETCs must advertise the availability of Lifeline service, which is a component of the Lifeline Program.
Wireline or wireless telephone companies seeking reimbursement from the Lifeline Program must be designated as eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) by their state commissions or, in some cases, by the FCC.
All ETCs providing Lifeline support services must ensure consumers are eligible based on the applicable state or federal requirements.
All telecommunications carriers that provide eligible telecommunications services to eligible rural health care providers are permitted to seek support for those services.
Service providers providing telecommunications services (voice, video, or data transport) must provide such services on a common carrier basis in order to meet program requirements.
Service providers are eligible to seek Schools and Libraries support if they provide eligible services to eligible schools and libraries.