To participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, a service provider must:
- Register with SAM.gov (to register, follow this SAM.gov guide)*
- Obtain a Federal Communications Commission Registration Number (FRN)*
- Submit an application for FCC approval to participate in the program (only applicable to non-ETCs; ETCs can submit their ETC designation directly to USAC with their election)
- Obtain FCC approval to use an alternative eligibility verification process (only applicable to service providers that will not use the National Verifier)
- Submit an election notice to USAC
*Service providers only need to register with SAM.gov and obtain an FRN once – if these steps were previously completed, service providers do not need to repeat them for the EBB Program.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Approval Request Process (Opened March 8)
Non-ETC service providers that want to participate in the EBB Program must receive FCC approval. Existing ETCs can use their ETC designation order to qualify and do not need to submit a separate FCC approval request in the states in which the provider has an ETC designation.
Service providers should visit the FCC website and click on Provider Application Approvals for detailed application requirements and instructions.
The priority application window, by which non-ETC providers seeking approval to participate in the EBB Program will have the opportunity to obtain that approval prior to commencement of household enrollments, closed March 22, 2021. Applications received after the priority application deadline will be expeditiously reviewed on a rolling basis.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Election Notice (Opened March 11)
All service providers interested in participating in the EBB Program must file an election notice with USAC by sending an email to EBBElection@usac.org that contains the Election Form and all required documentation. This information will allow USAC to register your company to participate in the EBB Program and create system access, as needed, for the National Verifier (NV), the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), the Lifeline Claims System (LCS), and the Representative Accountability Database (RAD).
Processing for emails that are missing information or that do not include the necessary attachments may be delayed.
USAC has published a list of service providers that elected to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
How to File an Election Notice(s) for Multiple Entities
Election notices should be submitted by the provider who will receive EBB Program reimbursements.
Elections are processed at the state/territory level. Providers that are an ETC or affiliated with an ETC in the state or territory only need to file elections with USAC to participate throughout that entire state or territory. Thus, the ETC will elect for the entire state and be able to seek reimbursement for both the ETC and non-ETC service areas. (The provider must indicate all states/territories it plans to participate in on the election form.)
If a provider wishes to participate in states where they are not an ETC, they need to seek FCC approval for those states before they submit the election notice. The electing entity should then include the ETC designations and FCC approval with the election notice to demonstrate approval to participate in each state it is electing.
If a provider would like a subsidiary entity to receive payment directly, that subsidiary entity needs to file a separate election notice and must register with SAM.gov in order to receive reimbursement.
Acceptable Documentation of Service Offerings
With their election notice, providers must submit documentation for the Internet service offerings they will offer through the EBB Program. The participating provider should submit information detailing each service offering for which it plans to seek reimbursement from the EBB Program.
For each service offering, please include the following information for each jurisdiction:
- Speed and data caps,
- Standard rate for this offering,
- Associated equipment costs,
- Jurisdiction(s) where it is offered, and
- Documentation establishing the rate was available on December 1, 2020.
Providers must submit reliable proof of that service offerings the provider plans to offer for EBB Program reimbursement include the same terms and conditions as those services offered on December 1, 2020, or if the offerings have increased in quality since December 1, 2020, that the standard rate remains the same as it was on December 1, 2020. A description of offerings created for the purposes of the election notice will not suffice. Proof MUST include evidence of the offerings for the EBB Program as well as evidence that the same or subsequently improved offerings were available at the same standard rate on December 1, 2020. Proof must clearly show the date in order for USAC to validate December 1, 2020 requirement. USAC will accept documents dated up to three months before the December 1, 2020 date (e.g., dated September 1 – December 1, 2020).
- Customer bills
- Price lists, rack rates, rate cards, or similar documentation
- Screenshots of public or internal webpages dated October 1 – December 1, 2020
- Publicly available advertisements dated October 1 – December 1, 2020
Service providers can submit aggregated summaries of service offerings and standard rates made available to eligible households, if those offerings and rates are the same for multiple jurisdictions. Please note that FCC Form 477 is not acceptable documentation that the service plan was available on 12/1/2020.
Acceptable Documentation for Connected Devices.
If your company intends to distribute connected devices, attach documentation detailing the equipment, rates, and applicable costs of the laptop, desktop or tablet for which you intend to seek reimbursement. To the extent your company will offer connected devices that are also generally available to the public, it may provide summary information regarding the devices, rates, and costs, such as a link to a public website or screenshots.
After receiving a company’s completed election notice, USAC will assign the service provider an EBB Program Study Area Code (SAC). A SAC is a unique number that USAC assigns to a service provider that uniquely identifies that company based on its service area.
USAC will also assign a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) to any provider who does not have one.
When service providers have completed the election process and received their EBB Program SACs, they can begin to access USAC’s IT systems. USAC will offer trainings to help service providers use the USAC systems.
Companies Near Me Tool
USAC will use the information submitted with the election notice to add all participating service providers to the Companies Near Me tool. To increase the tool’s accuracy, service providers should submit the zip codes where they plan to offer EBB Program service using this form. Please email the completed form to EBBElection@usac.org.
Please do not alter the form or submit additional information – it will slow down the processing of the form.
All zip code information that providers submit by April 16, 2021 will be included in the Companies Near Me tool when it goes live with EBB Program service providers. Information submitted after that date will be updated on a rolling basis.
API Access to USAC Systems
If your company intends to utilize an Application Programming Interface (API) to access either the National Verifier or the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) for the EBB Program, and you have not previously signed an Interconnection Security Agreement (ISA) with USAC, please complete and sign the ISA and include it with your election notice for the EBB Program. Returning the signed ISA will ensure that your company can, at a minimum, access the staging environments to test the National Verifier and NLAD APIs as they exist for Lifeline (as needed) while USAC completes necessary system development to put EBB Program workflows in place.
ETCs that already use APIs to access the National Verifier or NLAD do not need to sign another ISA at this time. However, USAC may require ANY participating provider to execute a new or modified ISA or an addendum to an existing ISA to utilize APIs to access EBB Program workflows in either pre-production (staging) or production environments once those functionalities are available. You will be notified if additional action is necessary.