Announcements

September 22, 2022
FCC Releases Hurricane Fiona Relief Order

On September 22, 2022, the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order (DA 22-998) that waives certain E-Rate, Emergency Connectivity Fund, Rural Health Care, COVID-19 Telehealth, Lifeline, and Affordable Connectivity Program rules and deadlines to assist participants and service providers, including Universal Service Fund contributors, located in the areas affected by Hurricane Fiona, which struck Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022. For detailed information, please refer to the Order.

September 14, 2022
Webinar: Avoiding Common Audit Findings

Please join USAC on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 from 3:00 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET to learn how to avoid common findings of High Cost beneficiary audits. In this session, USAC’s High Cost and Internal Audit staff will discuss common carrier errors discovered during beneficiary audits. Register Here

September 14, 2022
FCC Extends Annual ETC Certification to Oct. 31

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended this year’s deadline for state utility commissions and carriers that self-certify to complete the annual certification of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) receiving High Cost support to October 31, 2022.

The ETC annual certification, mandated under 47 CFR Section 54.314, requires state utility commissions to certify that carriers under their jurisdiction are eligible to receive High Cost support in their states and used all support received in the proceeding calendar year only to provide, maintain and upgrade the facilities for which the support was intended and will do the same in the coming calendar year. Carriers that self-certify (ETCs not subject to state jurisdiction) must certify that they used all High Cost support received in the proceeding calendar year only to provide, maintain and upgrade the facilities for which the support was intended and will do the same in the coming calendar year.

The FCC has issued a limited waiver extending the annual ETC certification deadline from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31 this year after extending the deadline for eligible telecommunications carriers to file and certify FCC Form 481 with USAC from July 1 to July 29 last summer. The commission extended the Form 481 filing deadline while it awaited Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval for the annual data collection from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Read the full announcement here.

September 7, 2022
HUBB Now Open to Additional RDOF Carriers

Carriers authorized to receive Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support through the program’s first ten authorizations of funding by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may now submit and certify broadband deployment data in USAC’s High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal.

Carriers authorized for support in the ninth and tenth authorizations of RDOF funding – DA 22-523 and DA 22-634 – can now submit their deployment information in the HUBB. The HUBB opened earlier this year to accept deployment data from carriers authorized to receive funding in first eight FCC notices releasing support for the program. Read the full announcement here.

July 20, 2022
USAC Releases CAF Map 5.0

USAC has released version 5.0 of the Connect America Fund Broadband Map (CAF Map), an interactive online map that shows the impact of the Connect America Fund (CAF) on broadband expansion to close the digital divide in rural America. The Connect America Fund – a centerpiece of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) High Cost program – provides funding to telecommunications carriers to deliver voice and broadband service in rural areas where the market alone cannot support the high cost of deploying network infrastructure and supplying connectivity.

First launched in 2018, the CAF Map displays the geographic locations – by latitude and longitude – where carriers that receive CAF support have built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service. Version 5.0 of the map contains updated information to include deployment completed in 2021.

The CAF Map is a key source of information about CAF-supported broadband deployment for consumers, researchers and policy makers at the federal, state and local level. The dataset that serves as the foundation for the map can be found here. Read the full announcement here.

July 20, 2022
FCC Form 481 Due July 29, 2022

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established a deadline of July 29, 2022 for all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) participating in the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs to file and certify FCC Form 481 with USAC. The commission published the new deadline in a public notice released on July 11, 2022 after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) granted Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval for the annual data collection.

FCC Form 481, which collects financial and operations information used to validate carrier support, is accessible through the USAC E-file/Okta One Portal. Now that PRA approval has been granted, the certify button and bulk certification options are active in the system. Read the full announcement here.

April 19, 2022
HUBB Now Open to Additional RDOF Carriers

Carriers authorized to receive Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support through the program’s first six authorizations of funding by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may now submit and certify broadband deployment data in USAC’s High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal.

RDOF carriers authorized for support in DA 21-1420DA 21-1560, DA 22-38 and DA 22-151 can now submit their deployment information in the HUBB. While RDOF carriers have until March 1, 2023 to file and certify data with the HUBB showing where they have built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service since July 1, 2019, USAC encourages carriers to begin the filing process early. (Please note that carriers that have no locations to report must still log into the HUBB and certify “no locations to upload” by March 1, 2023.)

April 19, 2022
Webinar: Filing the FCC Form 481

All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) participating in the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs must file and certify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 481 on an annual basis. This form collects financial and operations information used to validate carrier support. It also includes a supply chain certification, which requires carriers to certify that no universal service support is being used to purchase equipment or services from any company designated by the FCC as a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain.

Please join USAC for a webinar at 2 PM ET on May 17, 2022 to learn more about the annual Form 481 filing process. Register here.

April 19, 2022
FCC Form 481 System Now Open

All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) participating in the High Cost and/or Lifeline programs may now access the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 481 through the USAC E-file/Okta One Portal and begin the annual Form 481 filing process.

The FCC has issued a limited waiver of the July 1 deadline for ETCs to file and certify this form, which collects financial and operations information used to validate carrier support, while it awaits Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval for the annual data collection by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The FCC will announce new filing deadline in a subsequent public notice, but USAC encourages carriers to begin the filing process.

Please note that carriers will not be able to certify the Form 481 filing until the form and instructions receive PRA approval. The certify button and bulk certify options will be disabled until PRA approval is granted. USAC will notify users when the certify buttons are active.

April 7, 2022
SAM.gov Transition to UEI

Yesterday, April 6, 2022, the FCC released Public Notice DA 22-371 which announces the transition from the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) effective April 4, 2022. For more information, read our latest bulletin.

All announcements can be found in the Announcements Archive.

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