FAQs

Filing FCC Form 481

General

Q1: How do I file the FCC Form 481?
Q2: What is the filing deadline for the FCC Form 481?
Q3: Once I start filing, can I save and come back to finish the form later? If so, how?
Q4: Where are the FCC Form 481 templates, online user guide, FCC Form 481, and form instructions posted?
Q5: There are several statements pointing to new reporting requirements for High Cost and Lifeline Program participants in the FCC Form 481. Can you please provide the rule, order, or Public Notice for each of these new reporting requirements?
Q6: What does the term “program year” mean?
Q7: What are the various user designations in E-File and what do they mean?
Q8: Are there any issues with browser compatibility that I should know about when filing?
Q9: What is the contact information for E-File and FCC Form 481-related questions?

Filing and Certifications

Q10: Where in CFR Section 54.313 or Section 54.422 does it indicate that a Company Officer must make the certification?
Q11: If a revision to an FCC Form 481 were filed, would USAC consider ways to notify state commissions and the FCC of those revisions?
Q12: If you have an ETC who is a CLEC and does not receive HCL or Lifeline Program support are they required to file an annual FCC Form 481 report?
Q13: Is it true that only FCC designated ETCs need to complete CFR Section 54.422(b)(1)-(4)? Do these rules also apply to state designated ETCs that received only Lifeline Program support?
Q14: For Program Year 2020, is the reporting year, for purposes of answering questions on the form, considered to be 2018?

Section 100

Q15: Are carriers required to submit progress plans on their five-year reports this year?

Section 200

Q16: For outage reporting, should data be from the 2018 calendar year?
Q17: For 220c2, should the response be the total number of customers in the SAC or company-wide?

Section 300

Q19: On Line 320, if there were no unfilled service requests, do I need to upload an empty file in order for the line item to be considered complete?
Q20: Regarding broadband unfilled orders, if a customer calls and we do not offer service in their area at the time they call, is that considered an unfulfilled order?
Q21: For Line 320, for reporting unfulfilled broadband service requests, should we report counts of customers where their distance from our equipment makes it financially unreasonable to provide or build service to them?

Section 400

Q22: If we have no complaints to report, do we still need to populate a “0” in Line 420?
Q23: How do we define complaints (voice or broadband)?

Section 500

Section 900

Q25: What is the character limit in Line 910?
Q26: Are carriers expected to complete Tribal lands reporting in the FCC Form 481 filing?
Q27: Does the letter demonstrating coordination with the Tribal government need to be filed yearly?

Section 1000

Q28: Is the explanation for how you meet the 2 standard deviation requirement (Line 1010) optional?
Q29: Section 1000 asks for Voice Service Rate Comparability, to confirm that carriers do not charge more than two standard deviations above what the Wireline Competition Bureau claims is the national urban average service rate which it is supposed to be publishing annually. What is the current rate we should be comparing to?
Q30: For Line 1000, if the sum of the basic rate, federal subscriber line charge (SLC), and state SLC exceed the reasonable comparability benchmark provided by the FCC (response = no), what else should a carrier do to address this?
Q31: Did the broadband pricing self-certification to be within a specified reasonable range get approved? Did the voice pricing requirements get approved?

Section 1200

Q32: Is the Lifeline Program section deemed compliant if terms and conditions are an upload, and the rate/minutes are provided via the web link? Is the use of both the upload and web link an acceptable way to satisfy the requirements?

Section 3005

Q35: If a company sells mid-year, the new owners will ultimately only have an audit review done on the financials for the portion of the year they owned the company and not the entire “fiscal year end.” When it comes time to certify that the financials were audited, how should this be handled?
Q37: The Rule (CFR Section 54.313(f)(1)(ii)) tied to Line 3012 requires the, “Number, names, and addresses of community anchor institutions to which the ETC newly began providing access to broadband service in the preceding calendar year.” There is a question of the term “newly began providing access.” Does this include all anchor institutions to which the carrier has made broadband available, regardless of whether or not the institution subscribes to the service? Alternatively, is it just those institutions that are actually subscribing to the broadband service?
Q39: What should we do if our audited financials will not be available by the filing deadline, July 1, 2017?
Q40: Line 3012 – Community Anchor Institutions. What should be done if we do not have any new anchor institutions in the previous calendar year?
Q41: Line 3030: Is Telephone Plant in Service (TPIS) before depreciation, etc. or is that net plant? If a company is providing the RUS form on the balance sheet, would they provide the amount on Line 18 or Line 23?
Q43: Line 3012: What does "newly deployed" mean?
Q44: What documents must privately held rate-of-return carriers that are not RUS borrowers but are audited in the ordinary course of business provide (Lines 3018-3021)?
Q45: For Line 3034 (Dividends), should cooperatives report patronage capital credits which they deem comparable to dividends paid for a C-Corp?
Q46: For all financial reporting lines (3027-3034), should we report ILEC only numbers or will total company numbers be OK?
Q47: Do you have a specific definition for Anchor Institutions?