High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - December 2015

December 2015

In this issue...

Program Happenings   l   Did You Know?   l   At the FCC   l   In the News


Universal Service Fund for 1Q 2016

USAC filed Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms Fund Size Projections for the first quarter 2016 on November 2, 2015. See the appendices for more detail.

"SPIN" Replaced by "498 ID"

The term SPIN (Service Provider Identification Number) has been changed to "498 ID." On our public website and in E-File, wherever the term SPIN had been used, it now reads "498 ID." Your ID number itself has not changed. The change is only to the terminology used to reference it. This change came with updates to the FCC Form 498, which included a change to the form name. Other than the terminology change, the December 2015 changes to the form itself will only affect Schools and Libraries Program participants. View the Changes to SPIN page for more information.

High Cost Program Web Pages Updated

We've updated our website with the goal of easier, more intuitive access to the information you need. We always want to keep improving our site so please let us know what you think of what we've done so far, and what else would improve your experience, by sharing your thoughts using our Website Feedback form. 


What's changed?

The previous Legacy High Cost Program and Connect America Fund sections have been combined to create one High Cost Program section. The scrolling banners at the top of the page provide quick links to pertinent program information and will change regularly to highlight things you may need to know throughout the year. Our two drop-down menu options have changed to put more focus on your participation experience. The Join the Program menu provides you with program information about how to begin participation in the High Cost Program. The Program Requirements menu outlines the information you need to know throughout the year to remain compliant with participation, filing, and certification requirements. The File According to Fund page is especially helpful in accessing quick how-tos for the particular fund in which you participate. 
As we mentioned before, let us know if our updates have hit the mark, or if there is still more work you'd like to see done to the High Cost Program section of the website using our Website Feedback form. We look forward to hearing from you! 


Carriers receiving Mobility Phase 1 support who have reached the milestone(s) necessary to be eligible for subsequent rounds of support must complete FCC Form 690 to receive Payment 2 or 3.   



A common audit finding is that billing system reports and/or subscriber listings do not agree with the line counts reported to NECA/USAC. Be sure that all data on various forms and source documentation match.




The High Cost Program team is here to help you! Visit the Contact Us page and let us know how we can help you.


Updated High Cost Loop Formula Approved

On October 23, 2015, the FCC released an order approving NECA's annual average schedule company high-cost loop support (HCLS) formula modifications. Read the order

Rural Broadband Experiment Support Authorized

On November 12, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-1306) authorizing rural broadband experiment support for Skybeam, Daktel Communications, Federated Telephone Cooperative (Federated), and Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative for the winning bids identified in the Attachment to the Public Notice. The $16,138,691.71 in authorized support will bring new broadband to 2,451 census blocks in five states. Read the Public Notice

Timeline for Completion of 2016 Urban Rate Survey  

On October 30, 2015, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-1234) announcing that it will be initiating the urban rate survey for 2016 shortly. The information collected in this survey will be used, among other things, to develop voice and broadband reasonable comparability benchmarks that will be in place in 2016. Read the Public Notice

Comment Period for Special Access Proceeding Extended

On November 2, 2015, the FCC released an order (DA 15-1239) granting, in part, a request jointly filed by USTelecom and the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance seeking an extension of time to submit comments and reply comments in the special access (also referred to as business data services) rulemaking proceeding. The FCC extended the deadline to submit comments to January 6, 2016, and reply comments to February 5, 2016. Read the order

Allband Files Notice of Intent to Respond to USAC Audit Findings

On October 27, 2015, Allband Communications filed a notice of its intent to file a response to the Memorandum filed by USAC's Internal Audit Division resulting from the FCC directing USAC to undertake certain factual inquiries and report its observations to the FCC. Read the notice

NECA Submits Latest Universal Service Fund Data

On November 12, 2015, NECA filed a letter providing the latest view of universal service fund data for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 periods. This data was requested by FCC staff in connection with analyses related to universal service fund reforms. Read the letter

Industry News

Find pertinent news items to help you keep abreast of information related to the High Cost Program on the Industry News page. 

FCC Chairman Wheeler's Top 7 Priorities

On November 12, 2015, Kaylee Hultgren reported in Cablefax on what Chairman Wheeler is focused on for the remainder of his term, including IP transition and Lifeline Program reform and modernization. Read article

Congress Considers "Dig Once" Bill for Broadband Connections

On November 6, 2015, the Herald Palladium reported that, under a proposal being discussed by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, the nation's highways would become a conduit for the information superhighway. "House Resolution 3805 would require any highway construction project receiving federal dollars to include conduits for broadband access, should federal authorities deem that necessary." Read article

House Approves FCC Process Reform Act

On November 16, 2015, the House of Representatives approved legislation to increase transparency, efficiency, and accountability at the FCC. The bill aims to create "more transparent and predictable rulemakings at the FCC," according to Rep. Greg Walden (OR).


High Cost Program


December 2015