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498/499 Spotlight - Third Quarter 2019

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498/499 Spotlight 

Third Quarter 2019

Report Revenues on FCC Form 499-Q by August 1, 2019

Each quarter, all telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers that are not de minimis are required to contribute directly to the Universal Service Fund and must file the FCC Form 499-Q (Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) with USAC. De minimis carriers should notify USAC that the filer remains de minimis for the quarter.  Send the notification email to Form499@usac.org.

The FCC Form 499-Q is used to collect filer revenue information and to determine the filer's universal service contribution obligation for the upcoming quarter. 

Revenue data is reported on the August FCC Form 499-Q.  Revisions to this form are due by September 16, 2019. 

  • Actual billed revenue (lines 115-118): April 1 – June 30, 2019
  • Projected end-user revenue (lines 119 & 120): October 1 – December 31, 2019
    • Line 119 is used to estimate the company’s gross billed, end user interstate and international telecommunications revenues
    • Line 120 is used to report how much of the revenue reported on Line 119 the company actually expects to collect.
    • Remember! This revenue represents only end user telecommunications revenues.  Do not estimate any non-telecommunications revenues on these line numbers

Watch this FCC Form 499-Q Basic Training video to learn how to review reported revenue data prior to submitting to USAC to ensure accurate invoices are generated.

For questions about the revenue you are reporting on your form, call USAC's Customer Operations team at (888) 641-8722, Option 4.

Bottom Line: Annual Contributor True Up Process

USAC will email the 2019 FCC Form 499-A true up letters shortly after the July invoices are created.  The annual true up is the contribution reconciliation of the previous calendar year.  The 2019 FCC Form 499-A filing is used to reconcile contributions from calendar year 2018.

USAC will email the true up letter to the billing contact on record for your filer ID and the letter will include the following:

  • Outline the true up calculation specific to your filer ID.
  • State the variance of the contribution paid and the resulting monthly adjustment for the third quarter invoices (if the true up results in a variance).
  • Address de minimis contributors, LIRE, sales and mergers (if applicable).

If you file a revision to your FCC Form 499-A after July 2019, another true up calculation will be performed the following month.  You can request a true up letter via email by contacting customersupport@usac.org.

For more information about the true up process, visit the Annual True Up web page.

Quarterly Training Announcement 

The Contributor Operations team will be hosting two webinars at the beginning of the 3rd quarter.  Register for these webinars on our Trainings and Outreach page found here.

  • FCC Form 499-Q Basics  - July 10, 2019 at 2pm
    • We will cover the quarterly reporting worksheet and how to complete it online.
  • 498/499 ID Basics for Service Providers - July 16, 2019 at 2pm
    • We will cover the differences between the 498 ID and the 499 ID.

Reporting Admin Fees, Setup Fees, and Surcharges 

Revenues associated with administration fees, setup fees or surcharges related to a specific service are reported as part of the total revenue for that service on its appropriate line number on the FCC Form 499-A.  Generally, these are charges associated with the service itself and generate revenue for the company.  Any fee that is collected with the service but is sent to a federal or state government organization is not reported as revenue on the FCC Form 499-A, with the exception of a universal service fee (USF).  The federal USF is reported on Line 403 column (d).

Reporting RHC Disbursements Revenues

The Rural Health Care Program (RHC) provides reduced rates to rural health care providers for telecommunications services related to the use of telemedicine and telehealth.  There are two arms of the USAC RHC Program:  Healthcare Connect Fund and the Telecommunications Program.  Service providers receiving funding in the RHC Telecommunications Program are reminded to report the revenue received from USAC for these services on the FCC Form 499-A.  Typically, these disbursement revenues received for services would be reported as end user revenue in Block 4 and as telecommunications services.  These services typically are NOT reported on Line 418, which is reserved for non-telecommunications services such as internet access service provided under the RHC Healthcare Connect Fund.

Estimating Revenues on the FCC Form 499-Q

Contributors are reminded that their projected quarterly revenues reported on the FCC Form 499-Q are directly correlated to their monthly invoices from USAC.  We offer the following tips to filling out an accurate FCC Form 499-Q:

  • USAC only uses the projected revenues reported on Line 120 to determine a filer’s contribution.
  • Do NOT include revenue projections for non-telecommunications services in Lines 119 and 120.
  • Unless your company is expecting a large increase or decrease in sales, the projected revenues on Line 119 and 120 should be comparable to the actual revenue reported on Line 116 column (d) and (e).
  • Make sure your email system allows messages from ‘Form499@usac.org’.  Once you’ve submitted your 499-Q, USAC will check it for substantial increases or decreases and notify you via email of the variation, giving you a chance to correct the form before the revision deadline.

E-File Changes

In early June 2019, USAC implemented some changes in E-File to give a new look and feel to provide consistency across all of USAC’s platforms.  The most notable change was to the format of the Information Center page and the addition of USAC’s new logo.  None of the functionality or links from this page changed.  Additionally, the look and feel of the ‘Reset Password’ and ‘Terms and Conditions’ pages were updated. 

More significant changes involving updated navigation for filing FCC Forms 499 is upcoming in late 2019 or early 2020.  Stay tuned for more information to follow prior to those changes being implemented.  Feel free to contact us with any feedback you might have as we work to improve E-File’s online experience.

3rd Quarter Contribution Factor Increases to 24.4%

The FCC released a Public Notice (DA 19-559) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter (July – September) of 2019 will be .244, or 24.4 percent.

Need Help? Contact Us!
Call us at 888-641-8722 or email CustomerSupport@usac.org.