High Cost

Trainings & Outreach

HC Reporter - September 2016

September 2016

In this issue...

Program Happenings   |   At the FCC   


54.314 Certification Due October 1, 2016

To receive support in 2017, you must certify according to Section 54.314 by October 1, 2016. Most carriers are certified by their state; however, if your company is not subject to state jurisdiction, you must file on your own behalf.  
On Section 54.314, you certify that all federal High Cost Program support your company received was used in the preceding calendar year -- and will be used in the coming calendar year -- only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended. 
We urge carriers and states to file in E-File. If you represent a state who would like to certify online for the first time or have questions about your login, please contact us at hccerts@usac.org. User guides detailing how to certify using E-file and sample certifications can be found on the Forms page, or in our training videos

New Tool - Coming Soon

The new High Cost Universal Broadband tool, or HUBB, will be up and running - and ready to accept location-based deployment data - early next year, in time for the March 1, 2017, filing deadline. To help you prepare, we're developing a data validator tool that will enable you to check the accuracy of your geospatial deployment data before submitting it to the HUBB. This tool will be ready to use by early November. Stay tuned!

OpEx Limits Determined

In the Rate of Return Reform Order (released March 30, 2016), the FCC adopted limits on operating expenses (OpEx) eligible for support under the HCLS and CAF-BLS High Cost Program support mechanisms. USAC has completed the determination of OpEx limits on a carrier basis.

File Forecasted Cost and Revenue Data by Oct. 1


You must separate your regulated and non-regulated activities for universal service reporting purposes if you receive support based on your individual cost studies. 
Find a list of common audit findings and ways to avoid the findings on our website. Also view a checklist of relevant documentation for audits. 




If a carrier has relinquished its ETC designation, send a copy of the relinquishment order to HC Orders within one week. If USAC does not receive a copy of the relinquishment order within one week, USAC will invoice the carrier for any support paid following the relinquishment. 




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

On September 19, 2016, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that to implement Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) all carriers are required to file with USAC forecasted cost and revenue data for the first six months of 2017 by October 1, 2016.


The forecasted cost and revenue data associated with consumer broadband-only loops, in addition to the previously collected common line data, will be collected on a revised version of FCC Form 508.


The updated FCC Forms 507, 508 and 509 and their instructions can now be accessed on the Forms page.


If you have questions, please contact us at HC Questions


FCC Releases Alaska Plan Order

On August 31, 2016, the FCC released an Order, adopting an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas in Alaska, building on a proposal submitted by the Alaska Telephone Association. In February 2015, the Alaska Telephone Association proposed a consensus plan designed to maintain, extend, and upgrade broadband service across all areas of Alaska served by rate-of-return carriers and their wireless affiliates. Given the unique climate and geographic conditions of Alaska, the FCC found that it is in the public interest to provide Alaskan carriers with the option of receiving fixed amounts of support over the next ten years to deploy and maintain their fixed and mobile networks. If each of the Alaskan carriers elects this option, we expect this plan to bring broadband to as many as 111,302 fixed locations and 133,788 mobile consumers at the end of this 10-year term.

Deadline for Providers to Notify Frontier Communications

On September 7, 2016, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 16-1013) regarding the

notification Frontier Communications Corp  made on August 26, 2016, that it intends to modify its Connect America Phase I Round 2 (Phase I) incremental broadband deployment plans. Frontier submitted a list of 3,146 census blocks that it had not previously identified with its initial election where it now intends to serve locations using Phase I incremental support. 


Under the requirements for Phase I incremental support, other providers now have 45 days to indicate that they already serve the identified blocks, and Frontier must certify that to the best of its knowledge the locations it plans to serve are in fact unserved before it may commence construction. Existing providers, therefore, have until Monday, October 24, 2016, to notify Frontier that they currently offer Internet service at speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream or higher in the newly identified census blocks.


Download a machine readable list of the census blocks Frontier intends to serve


High Cost Program


September 2016