High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - June 2016

June 2016

In this issue...

Program Happenings   |   At the FCC 


Tariff Review Plans Are Due June 16, 2016

On March 16, 2016, the FCC released an Order (DA 16-274) establishing the procedures for the 2016 filing of annual access charge tariffs and Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), subject to price cap regulation, as well as rate-of-return ILECs subject to sections 61.38 and 61.39 of the FCC's rules. In this Order, the FCC announced that these carriers must make their annual tariff filings on June 16, 2016. Incumbent LECs must use the Commission's Electronic Tariff Filing System (ETFS) to file all of their tariff material. A separate submission must also be made to USAC via email.  
*New* This Year
In addition, in an effort to streamline the CAF-ICC annual data collection and support calculation process, USAC developed separate templates for price cap and rate-of-return carriers to summarize their TRP data before submitting it to USAC. This will help eliminate much of the administrative burden in calculating CAF-ICC support and ensure the integrity of the data used for calculation.  
These summary templates need only be submitted to USAC along with annual 2016 TRP filings. Download the summary templates.
If you have any questions regarding the TRP filing requirement or USAC's summary templates, please contact Kristen Farole at hcquestions@usac.org. 

Rate Floor Data Due July 1, 2016

The FCC announced (DA 16-362) that the Rate Floor reporting benchmark for 2016 is $21.93.* All incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) receiving High Cost Program support must report all of their rates for residential local service for all portions of their service area, to the extent the sum of those rates and fees are below the rate floor, and the number of lines for each rate specified. You should report lines and rates in effect as of June 1, 2016. 
Report your rates by using the Rate Floor Data Collection Report and Certification form, located on the Forms page and submit it via email to USAC at hccerts@usac.org. You must also file your report with the FCC and with the relevant state commissions, or relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate.
* Please note that the reduction amounts are determined on a separate benchmark reduction schedule. The Rate Floor Reduction Benchmark for 2016 is $18.00.


When preparing your filings, you should ensure that you do not include expenses listed in the Public Notice (FCC 15-133). High Cost Program support - whether legacy support or Connect America Fund support - should only be used for its intended purposes of maintaining and extending communications service to rural, high-cost areas of the nation.



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.



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

Eight Tips for Successful Filing
  1. Double check data for accuracy. Filings submitted after the due date will not be accepted as revisions if the revised data does not reduce a carrier's support. 
  2. Use the Excel Rate Floor Form provided on our website to ensure a complete submission.
  3. Send your report in Excel and PDF format. Large files may be zipped.
  4. Use "Rate Floor" in the subject line when you email your report.
  5. Indicate with each filing submission whether rate floor data should be treated as confidential.
  6. Do not fax the Data Collection Form.
  7. Do not handwrite the data on the Data Collection Form.
  8. List rates which apply to the Lifeline Program on a separate row as these lines are excluded from rate floor reduction amounts.
If you have any questions about this filing, please contact us at hccerts@usac.org.

FCC Forms 481 and 690 Are Due by July 1, 2016

FCC Forms 481 and 690 are due by July 1, 2016. If your company participates in either the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs, you must file FCC Form 481 (with the exception of participants in Mobility Fund Phase I [Section 54.313(k)]). If your company participates in Mobility Fund Phase I, however, you must file FCC Form 690. Both forms for 2016 are available in our online filing system, E-File.
OMB has approved FCC Form 481 and instructions for 2016 so it is now possible to certify and submit the form.
A variety of resources to aid carriers in the submission of these forms, including templates, instructions and instructional videos, can be found on our Forms page, or watch a recording of the webinar about this year's FCC Form 481 submission. 
Please note that we updated the Price Cap Line 2017 Upload Template and RBE Line 4004A - Deployed Locations Upload Template the week of May 23. Make sure you are using the correct versions of these templates. The rest of the templates remain unchanged since last month.
If you have any questions, please contact us at hcquestions@usac.org

Rural Broadband Experiment Support Authorized

On May 4, 2016, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 16-489) authorizing rural broadband experiment support for New Lisbon Broadband and Communications, LLC (New Lisbon). The $37,695.60 in support will bring new broadband service to seven census blocks in rural Indiana.


FCC Establishes Rules of the Road for Connect America Fund Phase II Competitive Bidding Process 

On May 26, 2016, the FCC released an Order (FCC 16-64) adopting the rules of the road for an auction to allocate over $2 billion in Connect America Fund Phase II support through competitive bidding that will harness market forces to expand broadband in targeted rural areas.  
The announcement also seeks comment on a number of issues surrounding the auction so that it can deliver support to unserved communities as equitably and efficiently as possible, including:
  • How to apply weights to the different levels of performance adopted in the Order, 
  • Measures to achieve the public interest objective of ensuring appropriate support for all of the states, and 
  • Measures to achieve the public interest objective of expanding broadband on Tribal lands.  
A forthcoming Auction Comment Public Notice will seek comment on other auction procedures that must be resolved to conduct the auction.

FCC Releases Density Data for Rate-of-Return Study Areas

On May 3, 2016, the FCC released a Public Notice (FCC 16-478) announcing the release of rate-of-return study area density data. Density will be used in implementing various reforms adopted by the Commission in the Rate-of-Return Reform Order (FCC 16-33). The FCC used the study area boundaries submitted as of March 10, 2016, and overlaid 2010 census blocks to determine the land area for each study area.

FCC Releases Erratum to Rate-of-Return Reform Order

On May 4, 2016, the FCC released an erratum to amend the Rate-of-Return Reform Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM) (FCC 16-33). The erratum makes corrections to content, footnotes, and charts.


High Cost Program


June 2016