High Cost

54.314 Certifications

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Q1: Are state commissions required to certify everything all at once or can certifications be done in batches?

A1: 54.314 state certifications may be done either all at once or in batches. Users need only select the check boxes for the SACs they wish to certify. A minimum of one SAC must be selected for a given certification, but there is no maximum SACs per certification. The "select all" check box allows all SACs to be certified in a single certification.

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Q2: Can the FCC be notified electronically?

A2: States and self-certifiers must submit certifications, separately, to both USAC and the FCC. Submission through USAC's online 54.314 certification system is a submission to USAC only. Filers may, however, print the certification PDF created from USAC's online 54.314 system to submit via mail to the FCC using this mailing address:

Marlene H. Dortch
Office of the Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington DC 20554

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Q3: For a state PUC certification, can the Chief of Staff be the representative?

A3: Any employee at a state PUC can be the state representative. Only one state representative should be authorized to use the system at any given time. Multiple user roles are not available.


If there is a change in the assignment of who should complete the 54.314 certification, the state commission should contact USAC to inform USAC that a change has occurred and to request a new On-Line Filing Request Form. The new state representative must submit the On-Line Filing Request Form containing details for the newly assigned contact. A new user ID and password will be issued upon change in personnel.

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Q4: Are there instructional videos for completing 54.314?

A4: Yes, there are step-by-step instructional videos on the Videos page. You can also find user guides on the Forms page for both state certification and self-use certification.

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Q5: When will state commission filers receive their user ID and password after sending in the request form?

A5: On-Line Filing Request Forms are addressed in one to three business days of submission. If you would like a copy of the On-Line Filing Request Form, please email us.

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Q6: Do MF-1 (Mobility Fund, Phase 1) SACs need to be certified individually?

A6: All active MF-1 SACs (except Tribal and MF-1 defaulted SACs) must be certified.

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Q7: Once the SACs are certified by states, are they recorded on the USAC certification search sections to verify they are recorded?

A7: Users will be able to verify that a SAC has been certified on the following business day using the Certification Search tool. If, after completing certification, a SAC does not appear as certified when using this tool, please email us.

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Q8: Our state has a SAC that is formally attached to a bordering state. However, the study area overlaps two states. Will the online system permit more than one state certification for the same SAC? If not, will we continue to need to file a hard-copy certification?

A8: In the case of SACs overlapping two states, both states will have the opportunity to certify the SAC. In the case of a cross-jurisdictional SAC, the Certification Search tool will only display a SAC as certified when the certification is performed by the home state.

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Q9: How do you change the name of an ILEC online if the name differs from what was reported last year?

A9: If a state wishes to make a change to the name of a carrier, they should contact the carrier and request that the carrier update their FCC Form 498. The USAC Customer Operations team is available to assist with these updates at (888) 641-8722.


If a change is made to a carrier's name, that carrier should email us to alert us to the adjustment. This will help ensure the name change is properly captured in all of USAC's systems.

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Q10: Are state commissions required to certify Lifeline Program-only carriers as well?

A10: Per 54.314(a), states that desire carriers to receive support pursuant to the High Cost Program must file an annual certification with USAC and the FCC stating that all High Cost Program support provided to such carriers within that state 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. The rules specify that states need to certify carriers receiving High Cost Program support but do not specify that states need to certify carriers receiving Lifeline Program-only support.

Q11: Using the online filing system (E-File), can you certify for just the preceding calendar year but not the next? For example, could I certify for 2014 but not 2016?

A11: According to the Order (FCC 11-161),the certification requirement must state that all federal High Cost Program support provided was used in the preceding calendar year and will be used in the coming calendar year for the reasons for which the support was and is intended.

Q13: Are usernames and passwords the same from year to year?

A13: Yes, they are. However, if you have forgotten your password or have been locked out, please contact HC Certifications to receive a temporary password.

Q14: If I file online, do I also have to send a certification by email or mail to USAC?

A14: No, if you file online, there is no need to send USAC a copy by email or mail.