High Cost

Latest News rss-feed

News Archive

USAC's News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the High Cost Program as they were made throughout the years. The archives will be updated as new announcements are made.


  

12/20/2018Call Center Holiday Hours


In observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, the High Cost and Rural Health Care call center and the E-rate Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Monday, December 24, Tuesday, December 25, and Tuesday, January 1. Normal operating hours will resume following these dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

The Lifeline Support Center will be closed Tuesday, December 25 and Tuesday, January 1. Normal operating hours will resume following these dates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. 

10/8/2018Connect America Fund Map Now Available


USAC has published a new interactive online map that shows the impact of the Connect America Fund (CAF) program on broadband expansion across rural America. Now live, the Connect America Fund Broadband Map – or CAF Map – displays the locations where carriers that receive CAF support have built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service. The map can be accessed on the High Cost tools page.

9/17/2018Customer Service Operations Back to Normal


Thank you for your patience during Hurricane Florence. All of our customer service operations are back to normal. 

9/14/2018*UPDATE* Hurricane Florence Impact on Customer Service


Now that Hurricane Florence has made landfall, our call centers are feeling the effects of the weather event. If you try contacting the E-rate Client Service Bureau, the Rural Health Care Support Center, or the High Cost Support Center today, you might experience longer than normal wait times. We are working as quickly as possible to answer your calls. We appreciate your patience.


***

USAC’s customer service operations are located in the projected path of Hurricane Florence. In the coming days, we anticipate service disruptions to USAC’s phone and email support including the E-rate Client Service Bureau, the Rural Health Care Support Center and the High Cost Support Center. USAC is monitoring the storm and working to meet your customer service needs while ensuring the safety of our team.

As the storm moves inland, we are experiencing longer than normal wait times that may continue in the coming days. We appreciate your patience.

9/14/2018FCC Form 481 Non-confidential Data Now Available


USAC has published non-confidential FCC Form 481 data filed in July by carriers participating in the High Cost program. This data can be found on the tools page of the High Cost website.

 

Beginning with the 2018 filing year, USAC is providing public access to most FCC Form 481 data filed annually by carriers that receive High Cost support. Eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that participate in the High Cost program must file FCC Form 481 with USAC by July 1 every year. This form collects financial and operations information used to validate carrier support.  

The public data file contains a separate tab for each section of Form 481 being published, with individual lines in each section displayed by column. Cells that are blacked out in the data file indicate the exclusion of certain information subject to protective order or not routinely available for inspection, consistent with 47 C.F.R. § 0.457(d), as well as data subject to a carrier request for confidential treatment. We may make this information public, in accordance with any FCC review of confidentiality requests, in a subsequent publication of the data.

 

In addition, narrative attachments to the Form 481 filings, and detailed information filed by Alaska Plan participants about newly available back-haul capacity, are currently excluded from public release.

  

9/12/2018New HUBB Features Now Available


USAC has updated the High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal to allow certain revisions to broadband deployment data already certified in the system. Carriers can now edit the following information in the HUBB:        

  • Address, city and state  
  • Speed tier  
  • Multi-dwelling units (MDU)

In addition, carriers that have certified “no locations to upload” may now undo that certification and file new locations with the system while the filing window is open.    Other HUBB changes include an updated Manage Uploads page and an updated Milestone Certification page, as well as a new Notifications page to serve as a central location for HUBB announcements.  

These system updates are intended to help carriers more easily navigate the HUBB to file broadband deployment data with USAC and more easily track the status of their filings. The changes reflect the input of carriers that use the system, including feedback gathered during ongoing user testing.

 

8/23/2018Systems Down For Maintenance Starting Friday, August 24 at 9PM ET


All High Cost systems will be unavailable from Friday, August 24 at 9PM ET to Saturday, August 25 at 9AM for monthly system maintenance. This includes HUBB, MF II Challenge Process Portal and the state access tools for HUBB and 481 data.  During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the HUBB. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  

8/2/2018Budget Control Mechanism for the Fourth Quarter of 2018 Now Available


In order to remain within the $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 tariff year, USAC applied the FCC Budget Control Mechanism methodology to reduce support for each carrier. USAC now makes available these support calculations for October 2018 through December 2018. The support calculations can be found here.

7/3/2018RESOLVED - E-rate, High Cost, Rural Health Care Temporary Phone Outage


RESOLVED - The E-rate, High Cost, and Rural Health Care telephone lines are currently unavailable. This outage affects the following numbers:

  • (888) 203-8100
  • (844) 357-0408
  • (800) 453-1546

We are working on the issue and will provide an update once the issue is resolved. In the meantime, please submit any questions using the EPC ticketing system for E-rate and via email for High Cost and Rural Health Care. Thank you for your patience.

7/3/2018Carriers May Now Certify Form 481


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has granted Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval to FCC Form 481. The certify button and bulk certification options are now active in the system, and carriers can make their final certifications.

6/26/2018Alaska Plan Middle Mile Data Filing Deadline Extended to August 1


On June 26, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission released a public notice (DA 18-666) extending this year's middle mile filing deadline for Alaska Plan carriers to August 1, 2018 in order to ensure that carriers have enough time to submit their middle mile data to the HUBB portal and ensure that the HUBB is able to accept all required carrier data.

6/7/2018Rate Floor Data Due July 2, 2018


Incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) receiving High Cost support must file their annual rate floor data with USAC by July 2, 2018. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules require carriers to report all residential rates in their service areas that fall below a minimum amount called the "rate floor," along with the number of lines served at those rates. The rate floor is currently set at $18.

Carriers must submit rates that met this criteria as June 1, 2018 by Monday, July 2, 2018. Carriers should use the rate floor data collection report and certification form on the High Cost Forms page and submit it via email to USAC at hccerts@usac.org. Carriers must also file this information with the FCC, relevant state commissions and U.S. Territory or Tribal governments as appropriate.   

 

6/7/2018FCC Extends Form 481 Deadline to July 16, 2018


On June 6, 2018, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 18-585), allowing ETCs until July 16, 2018 to file the FCC Form 481 annual reports. Please note that affected carriers  must continue to report their rates pursuant to section 54.313(h) of the Commission’s rules on July 2, 2018.
  

5/1/2018Budget Control Mechanism for 2018-2019 Now Available


USAC announces support calculations for the budget control mechanism for July 2018 through June 2019, as required by the FCC’s Rate-of-Return Reform Order. Please see the Budget Control Mechanism for Rate of Return Carriers page for more information.

4/26/2018HUBB Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, April 27


The HUBB will be unavailable from Friday, April 27 at 6PM to Saturday, April 28 at 10AM for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the HUBB. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/31/20182017 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2017 Annual Report details operations, activities, and accomplishments for the prior year, including information about participation in each of the universal service programs and administrative action intended to ensure program integrity.

2/28/2018USAC Website Outage for Scheduled Maintenance on Friday, March 2


USAC’s website (www.USAC.org) will be unavailable due to scheduled website maintenance on Friday, March 2 from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET. During this outage, the entire site will be converted to Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).          

After the deployment, users will notice that all www.USAC.org web pages are preceded by “HTTPS” in their URLs. Existing bookmarks to non-HTTPS addresses will continue to work but will automatically be redirected to the HTTPS address.        

Please note, some USAC applications may not be available during the outage. We apologize for the inconvenience.        

Why are we making this change?

HTTPS protects the integrity of the website by preventing intruders from tampering with communications between the website and users. It guards both visitors and websites by encrypting and securing the information being sent and received while improving performance through faster load times.      

Questions?

If you have any questions about this, please contact us at Outreach@usac.org.

 

2/20/2018FCC Announces Availability of Challenge Process Access Request Form


On February 14, 2018, the FCC announced (DA 18-142) the availability of the web-based form that participants in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process must use to request access to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) challenge process portal.   The access request form is now available at www.fcc.gov/MF2-Challenge-Portal/form.

2/19/2018FCC to Hold Workshop on CAFII Auction


On March 14, 2018, the FCC will host a workshop on the application process for the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) auction. This workshop will include detailed information about the CAF II auction application system. For more details see DA 18-130.

1/10/2018HUBB User Guide Now Available


Carriers participating in modernized Connect America programs must file deployment data with USAC's HUBB (High Cost Universal Broadband) portal showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed internet service by precise location. This information includes latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available. Carriers can now access the HUBB User Guide on the HUBB Resources page. This user guide provides a step-by-step overview of the HUBB filing process.