April 12, 2024
FCC Form 481 Filing 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 for program year 2025 through the USAC E-file/Okta One Portal and begin the annual Form 481 filing process. FCC Form 481, which must be certified by July 1, 2024, collects financial and operations information used to validate carrier support, fulfilling the annual 54.313 reporting requirement for High Cost funding recipients.

Please join USAC for a webinar at 2 pm EDT on Thurs., May 23, 2024, to learn more about Form 481, including changes to the form for the current filing window. Register here.

Read the full announcement here.

March 21, 2024
Coming in 2024: Broadband Deployment Verification Reviews

Connect America Fund (CAF) deployment verification reviews are coming soon for funds with 2023 broadband deployment milestones.

Carriers participating in the Original Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM), Revised ACAMACAM IIConnect America Fund II Auction (CAF II Auction) and Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) funds may be subject to verification reviews now that the March 1, 2024, deadline for carriers to file their 2023 broadband deployment data in the High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal has passed.

These reviews, which confirm deployment to a random sample of locations certified in the HUBB, are intended to ensure that carriers receiving CAF payments are delivering high-speed Internet access that meets mandated performance standards to required location counts by relevant milestone deadlines in unserved and underserved communities eligible for support. Read the full announcement here.

March 21, 2024
USAC Publishes Latest Results of CAF Compliance Monitoring

As part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Broadband Accountability Plan, USAC has published the latest in a series of reports showing the results of the Connect America Fund (CAF) compliance process, an extensive oversight process that monitors carrier compliance with broadband deployment obligations to confirm that carriers receiving CAF support are using it to expand high-speed Internet access and close the digital divide in rural America.

USAC publishes these reports to support the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan , an FCC initiative launched in early 2022 to enhance oversight of carrier compliance with CAF deployment obligations and increase program transparency. Read the full announcement here.

February 14, 2024
Annual HUBB Filing Due March 1, 2024

The annual HUBB filing deadline is rapidly approaching. Carriers participating in modernized Connect America Fund (CAF) programs that subsidize fixed broadband have until March 1, 2024, to file and certify deployment data with USAC’s High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal showing where they built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service with CAF support in calendar year 2023 or certify that they have “no locations to upload.”

Carriers with 2023 deployment milestones must also complete additional milestone certifications as part of the annual HUBB filing – including separate milestone certifications for separate deployment obligations by speed tier. And all carriers must complete a new annual certification in the HUBB between Jan. 1, 2024, and March 1, 2024, to confirm that their filing activity for 2023 is complete. This new annual certification functionality is now live in the HUBB for all funds, including CAF BLS. See details below. Read the full announcement here.

January 26, 2024
USAC Updates CAF Map

USAC has released an updated version 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 bring advanced communications networks and reliable, affordable high-speed Internet access to rural communities that might otherwise go unserved by the private sector.  

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 fixed Internet service. The latest version of the map contains updated information to reflect all fixed broadband deployment reported to USAC as of Sept. 30, 2023.

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 levels. Read the full announcement here.

January 16, 2024
Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management Plans due by Feb. 12 for Enhanced ACAM Carriers

Carriers participating in the new Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Enhanced ACAM) program have until Feb. 12, 2024, to file and certify their required cybersecurity and supply chain risk management plans with USAC.

In a notice released on Jan. 11, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it has received the necessary Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval for the data collection from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and set a filing deadline of 11:59 p.m. ET on Mon., Feb. 12, 2024. Now that the FCC has received PRA approval, Enhanced ACAM carriers may submit and certify their cybersecurity and supply chain risk management plans through USAC’s E-File/Okta One Portal. Read the full announcement here.

All announcements can be found in the Announcements Archive.

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