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Universal Service

NEW REQUIREMENT FOR REVIEW OF USAC DECISIONS: Any party (including, but not limited to entities filing an FCC Form 499, federal universal service program applicants, and service providers) that wishes to file an appeal of a USAC decision must first seek review of that decision by appealing directly to USAC before filing an appeal with the Commission. Parties seeking a waiver of Commission rules should submit waiver requests directly to the Commission instead of filing such requests with USAC (See 47 C.F.R. § 1.3). A party that has filed an appeal with USAC and received an adverse decision may, if it chooses, appeal USAC’s decision to the Commission. See Sections 54.719-54.725 of the Commission’s rules for further information regarding review of USAC decisions.

Universal service is the principle that all Americans should have access to communications services. Universal service is also the name of a fund and the category of FCC programs and policies to implement this principle.  Universal service is a cornerstone of the law that established the FCC, the Communications Act of 1934. Since that time, universal service policies have helped make telephone service ubiquitous, even in remote rural areas. Today, the FCC recognizes high-speed Internet as the 21st Century’s essential communications technology, and is working to make broadband as ubiquitous as voice, while continuing to support voice service.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 expanded the traditional goal of universal service to include increased access to both telecommunications and advanced services – such as high-speed Internet – for all consumers at just, reasonable and affordable rates. The Act established principles for universal service that specifically focused on increasing access to evolving services for consumers living in rural and insular areas, and for consumers with low-incomes.  Additional principles called for increased access to high-speed Internet in the nation’s schools, libraries and rural health care facilities.  The FCC established four programs within the Universal Service Fund to implement the statute.  The four programs are:

The Universal Service Fund is paid for by contributions from providers of telecommunications based of an assessment on their interstate and internation end-user revenues. Examples of entities that contribute to the Fund are telecommunications carriers, including wireline and wireless companies, and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, including cable companies that provide voice service. The Universal Service Administrative Company, or USAC, administers the four programs and collects monies for the Universal Service Fund under the direction of the FCC.  The FCC’s annual monitoring report tracks contributions and disbursements.

The FCC is reforming, streamlining, and modernizing all of its universal service programs to drive further investment in and access to 21st century broadband and voice services. These efforts are focused on targeting support for broadband expansion and adoption as well as improving efficiency and eliminating waste in the programs.

HISTORY OF UNIVERSAL SERVICE AND THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND

The Federal Communications Commission was created by the Communications Act of 1934. Universal service was one of the core mandates of that legislation, the purpose of which included making “available…to all the people of the United States…a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."

In 1934, telephone service was considered to be a “natural monopoly,” a service best delivered by one company rather than two or more competitors.  The U.S. government allowed AT&T, then the monopoly provider, to operate in a non-competitive environment in most areas of the country in exchange for the federal and state government regulation of price and service quality. In areas that AT&T did not provide service, small companies, including cooperatives owned by residents of the local community, provided phone service. The concept of universal service evolved over the decades to mean the development of an infrastructure that provides telephone service to all consumers at a reasonable price. Funding for universal service came from a series of access charges that long distance carriers paid as intercarrier compensation (ICC) to local exchange companies for originating and terminating the long distance calls. Even after the breakup of AT&T in 1982, only interstate long distance companies were required to contribute funds towards universal service.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major re-write of the Communications Act of 1934. It opened up local markets to competition, which changed the dynamics of the existing system of funding universal service. The 1996 Act explicitly adopted principles to guide universal service policy. These principles include:

  • Promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers
  • Increase nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services
  • Advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas, at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas
  • Increase access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools, libraries and rural health care facilities
  • Provide equitable and non-discriminatory contributions from all providers of telecommunications services for the fund supporting universal service programs

In addition, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directed the FCC to formalize what services a company must provide in order to receive support from the Universal Service Fund. For example, an eligible telecommunications company must be able to demonstrate its ability to remain functional in emergency situations. The Act also expanded the universe of companies required to pay into the fund from only interstate long-distance carriers to include all telecommunications carriers (regardless of whether they are wireline, wireless or satellite companies). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 led to the creation of the Universal Service Administrative Company, or USAC, an independent, not-for-profit corporation designated as the administrator of the federal Universal Service Fund by the FCC. The Act also called for the creation of a Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to make recommendations to implement the universal service provisions of the Act. This Joint Board is comprised of FCC Commissioners, State Utility Commissioners, and a consumer advocate representative.

The Universal Service Fund provides support through four programs:

  • High-Cost Support (now known as the Connect America Fund) provides support to certain qualifying telephone companies that serve high-cost areas, thereby ensuring that the residents of these regions have access to reasonably comparable service at rates reasonably comparable to urban areas
  • Low-Income Support, also called the Lifeline program, assists low-income customers by helping to pay for monthly telephone charges so that telephone service is more affordable
  • Schools and Libraries Support, also known as the "E-Rate," provides telecommunication services (e.g., local and long-distance calling, both fixed and mobile, high-speed data transmission lines), Internet access, and internal connections (the equipment that delivers these services to particular locations) to eligible schools and libraries
  • Rural Health Care Support allows rural health care providers to pay rates for telecommunications services similar to those of their urban counterparts, making telehealth services affordable, and also subsidizes Internet access

In early 2009, Congress directed the FCC to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure every American has “access to broadband capability. The plan was released in March of 2010. The plan highlighted ways that the government could influence the broadband ecosystem including to “reform current universal service mechanisms to support the deployment of broadband and voice in high-cost areas; and ensure that low-income Americans can afford broadband; and in addition, support efforts to boost adoption and utilization.”

Consistent with the National Broadband Plan, in February 2011, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to comprehensively reform and modernize the universal service High-Cost program and intercarrier compensation systems to ensure that robust affordable voice and broadband service, both fixed and mobile, are available to Americans throughout the nation. The rulemaking process was guided by four principles rooted in the Communications Act of 1934and the Telecommunications Act of 1996:

  • Modernize USF and ICC for Broadband.  Modernize and refocus USF and ICC to make affordable broadband available to all Americans and accelerate the transition from circuit-switched to IP networks, with voice ultimately one of many applications running over fixed and mobile broadband networks
  • Fiscal Responsibility.  Control the size of USF as it transitions to support broadband, including by reducing waste and inefficiency
  • Accountability. Require accountability from companies receiving support to ensure that public investments are used wisely to deliver intended results. Government must also be accountable for the administration of USF, including through clear goals and performance metrics for the program
  • Incentive-Based Policies. Transition to incentive-based policies that encourage technologies and services that maximize the value of scarce program resources and the benefits to all consumers

In October 2011, the Commission adopted its first rulemaking decision to implement these principles informally called the “USF/ICC Transformation Order.” The Commission established the following goals:

  • Preserve and advance voice service
  • Ensure universal availability of voice and broadband to homes, businesses and community anchor institutions
  • Ensure the availability of mobile voice, and broadband where Americans live, work or travel
  • Ensure reasonably comparable rates for broadband and voice service
  • Minimize universal contribution burden on consumers and businesses

One of the key elements of the Order was to expand the public interest obligations for eligible telecommunication carriers to deploy infrastructure that can provide broadband service in addition to voice service. In addition, the Order created the “Connect America Fund” to replace all existing high-cost support mechanisms. One of the goals of the Connect America Fund is to extend broadband to those Americans that lack service today, while preserving voice service. Another one of the goals of the Connect America Fund is to help make advanced mobile services – including mobile voice and broadband – available in areas that would not otherwise have those services. Implementation of this goal will be through incentive-based, market driven policies such as phase one of the Mobility Fund which uses a competitive bidding process to help expand 3G and 4 G mobile wireless networks in areas where it would be cost effective to develop with a one-time investment from the Connect America Fund.

2014 Universal Service Headlines

December

  • 12/23/2014
    2015 Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Releases the 2015 Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets and Accompanying Instructions.
    Word PDF
    2015 FCC Form 499-A Redline
    2015 FCC Form 499-A Instructions Redline
    2015 FCC Form 499-Q Redline
    2015 FCC Form 499-Q Instructions Redline
  • 12/23/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Funding Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Additional Rural Broadband Experiments Funding and Seeks Comment on Petitions for Waiver.
    Word PDF
  • 12/22/2014
    CAM Version 4.2 Alternative Cost Model Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Availability of Version 4.2 of the Connect America Phase II Cost Model and the First Version of an Alternative Cost Model Being Developed for Potential Use In Rate-of-Return Areas.
    Word PDF
  • 12/22/2014
    Rural Associations and USTelecom Dismissal Order: Dismissed petitions for reconsideration of the April 2014 Connect America Order/FNPRM filed by the NECA, NTCA, Eastern Rural Telecom Association, and WTA (Rural Associations) and USTelecom.
    Word PDF
  • 12/19/2014
    Second E-rate Modernization Order: FCC closes the school and library connectivity gap by adjusting program rules and support levels in order to meet long-term program goals for high-speed connectivity to and within all eligible schools and libraries.
    Word PDF
  • 12/19/2014
    Streamlined USF Appeals Disposition Public Notice: Streamlined Resolution of Requests Related to Actions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
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  • 12/18/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Interested Bidders Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Deadline for Bidders Interested in Remaining Under Consideration for Rural Broadband Experiments Support to File Additional Information.
    Word PDF
  • 12/16/2014
    2015 NECA Average Schedule HCLS Formula Order: Approved the annual average schedule company high-cost loop support (HCLS) formula modifications submitted by the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.
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  • 12/5/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Selected Bidders Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Entities Provisionally Selected for Rural Broadband Experiments; Sets Deadlines For Submission Of Additional Information.
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  • 12/2/2014
    Puerto Rico Department of Education, San Juan, PR: Granted in part and dismissed in part a waiver request filed by the Puerto Rico Department of Education of the Commission’s rules requiring applicants to have a signed contract in place prior to filing an application for support, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 12/2/2014
    FCC Form 555 Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Opens New Docket for the Filing of Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certifications, FCC Form 555.
    Word PDF
  • 12/2/2014
    Panora and Prairie Study Area Waiver Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a joint petition filed by Panora Communications Cooperative and Prairie Telephone Co., Inc. for waiver of the definition of “study area.
    Word PDF

November

  • 11/26/2014
    Conexions Compliance Plan Denial Order: Declines to approve the compliance plan filed by Conexions, LLC d/b/a Conexion Wireless for failure to demonstrate that it will provide service in compliance with the Commission’s rules, under the Lifeline program.
    Word PDF
  • 11/26/2014
    Blue Wireless & SI Wireless Lifeline Designation Order: Conditionally designates Buffalo-Lake Erie Wireless Systems Co., L.L.C. d/b/a Blue Wireless and SI Wireless, LLC, as limited ETCs under the Lifeline program.
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  • 11/26/2014
    Streamlined USF Appeals Disposition Public Notice: Streamlined Resolution of Requests Related to Actions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 11/25/2014
    AT&T ETC Relinquishment Order: Approved request by AT&T Services, Inc. to relinquish its affiliatess eligible telecommunications carrier designation in Virginia, in study area code 199009.
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  • 11/25/2014
    T-Mobile ETC Relinquishment Order: Approved request by T-Mobile USA, Inc. to relinquish its eligible telecommunications carrier designations in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
    Word PDF
  • 11/25/2014
    Lifeline Petitions for Waiver and Reconsideration Order: Granted four petitions for waiver of the Commission's rules, and dismissed as moot one petition for reconsideration of the deadline for broadband pilot applications, related to the universal service Lifeline program.
    Word PDF
  • 11/25/2014
    AT&T Cricket ETC Relinquishment Order: Approved request by AT&T Services, Inc. to relinquish its affiliate's eligible telecommunications carrier designations in New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
    Word PDF
  • 11/24/2014
    Ozark Gidance Center, Springdale, AZ: Grants a request from Ozark Guidance Center seeking review of decisions made by USAC to deny funding under the rural health care universal service support mechanism.
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  • 11/20/2014
    CenturyLink and Willard Study-Area Waiver Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a joint petition filed by Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink QC and Willard Telephone Company, Inc. for waiver of the definition of “study area.”
    Word PDF
  • 11/18/2014
    USTelecom URS Extension Order: Granting United States Telecom Association’s request for extension of time of the due date of the Urban Rates Survey to December 17, 2014.
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  • 11/17/2014
    Appeals Requirements Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Parties of Requirements for Requests for Review of Decisions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 11/10/2014
    Madison Telephone Company Order: Denied a petition filed by Madison Telephone Company for a waiver of the Commission’s rules, which require an ETC that opts to establish a calendar quarter index year expense adjustment for Safety Valve Support to make filings on a quarterly basis.
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  • 11/7/2014
    TracFone 911 Fee Public Notice: Seeks comment on TracFone Wireless, Inc. emergency petition for declaratory ruling confirming that state laws and regulations that impose 911 taxes and fees on low-income Lifeline customers who receive no-charge wireless Lifeline service funded exclusively by the federal Universal Service Fund violate federal law.
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  • 11/5/2014
    Accelerated Charter, Los Angeles, CA et al.: Granted two and denied three requests for review and/or waiver of USAC decisions to deny requests for an extension of the service implementation deadline under the E-rate program.
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  • 11/3/2014
    TracFone Texting Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on TracFone’s Petition for Rulemaking and Interim Relief to Amend the Lifeline Usage Rules.
    Word PDF

October

  • 10/28/2014
    Broadband Comparability Order: Adopted a methodology that will be used annually to develop reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed broadband services offered to residential and small business customers, using the data from the annual urban rate survey.
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  • 10/28/2014
    E-Rate ESL Order: Released the eligible services list for funding year 2015 for the schools and libraries universal service support program (E-rate program) and authorized USAC to open the annual application filing window no earlier than December 29, 2014.
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  • 10/22/2014
    October Streamlined USF Appeals Disposition Public Notice: Streamlined Resolution of Requests Related to Actions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 10/17/2014
    Brise USF Joint Board Appointment Order: FCC appoints the Honorable Ronald A. Brisé, Commissioner, Florida Public Service Commission, to serve on the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.
    Word PDF
  • 10/16/2014
    CAF Performance Measures Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology Seek Comment on Proposed Methodology for CAF Recipients to Measure and Report Speed and Latency Performance to Fixed Locations.
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  • 10/16/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Filing Window Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Date for Opening of Rural Broadband Experiments Application Filing Window and Final Deadline for Applications.
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  • 10/7/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Usage Allowance Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Provides Information Regarding Usage Allowance and Pricing to Assist Applicants for Rural Broadband Experiments.
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  • 10/6/2014
    Le Jardin Academy, Kailua, HI: Denied a request from Le Jardin Academy seeking review of a decision of USAC denying funding under the E-rate program on the grounds that Le Jardin had cancelled the funding request at issue.
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  • 10/3/2014
    Nemont USAC Audit Appeal Order: Denied a request filed by Nemont Telephone Cooperative, Inc. and its subsidiary Project Telephone Company seeking review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company to recover federal universal service fund high-cost support.
    Word PDF
  • 10/3/2014
    Consolidated Enventis Order: Addressed several universal service issues associated with the pending acquisition by Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. of Eventis Corporation.
    Word PDF
  • 10/2/2014
    Franciscan Skemp Waukon Clinic Order: Denied a request from Franciscan Skemp Waukon Clinic seeking review of a decision made by the Universal Service Administrative Company to deny funding under the rural health care universal service support mechanism.
    Word PDF

September

  • 9/26/2014
    Challenge Process Replies Public Notice: Replies Sought in Connect America Phase II Challenge Process.
    Word PDF
  • 9/26/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Forms Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Further Details Regarding The Rural Broadband Experiments.
    Word PDF
  • 9/25/2014
    Lifeline NLAD Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Eligible Telecommunications Carriers of NLAD Processes Regarding Benefit Transfers, Exceptions Management and Dispute Resolution.
    Word PDF
  • 9/25/2014
    Latitude Longitude Due Date Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Deadlines for Connect America Phase I Round Two.
    Word PDF
  • 9/22/2014
    ETS Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by ETS Telephone Company, Inc. (ETS) for waiver of the definition of the study area boundary rules codified in part 36 of the Commission’s rules.
    Word PDF
  • 9/19/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Application Webinar Public Notice:Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Date For Rural Broadband Experiments Application Webinar.
    Word PDF
  • 9/15/2014
    Universal Service Fund Appeals Disposition Public Notice: Streamlined Process for Resolving Requests for Review of Decisions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 9/4/2014
    Henrico County School District, Richmond, VA: Denied an application for review filed by Henrico County School District seeking review of a decision by the Wireline Competition Bureau, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 9/3/2014
    Denial of Motion by Competitive Carriers Association Order: Denied a request for an extension of time to file reply comments in the Commission’s universal service and intercarrier compensation rulemaking proceeding, filed by the Competitive Carriers Association.
    Word PDF
  • 9/2/2014
    2015 High-Cost Loop Formula Modification Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on the 2015 Modification of the Average Schedule Company HCLS Formula filed by NECA.
    Word PDF

August

  • 8/29/2014
    CAF Map Update Public Notice: Commission publishes additional resources regarding areas potentially eligible for Connect America Funding.
    Word PDF
  • 8/28/2014
    Allan Shivers Library, Woodville, TX: Granted requests for waivers from 5 applicants to the E-rate program whose FCC Form 471 applications were filed after the close of the programs filing window deadline and denied such requests from 13 other applicants and 4 petitions for reconsideration.
    Word PDF
  • 8/25/2014
    NLAD Track 2 Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Takes Additional Steps To Eliminate Duplicative Claims For Lifeline Support.
    Word PDF
  • 8/25/2014
    Yakutat School District, Yakutat, AK:Denied in part and dismissed in part an application for review filed by Yakutat School District seeking review of a decision by the Wireline Competition Bureau, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 8/25/2014
    Kennebec Telephone Company, Inc. Order: Denied a petition filed by Kennebec Telephone Company, Inc. for a waiver of the Commission’s high-cost benchmarks for 2014.
    Word PDF
  • 8/20/2014
    High-Cost Backlog Dismissal Order: Dismissed as moot numerous petitions where the issues raised therein were addressed in the USF/ICC Transformation Order and FNPRM, or the relief requested is no longer relevant in light of the regulatory changes included in that order.
    Word PDF
  • 8/19/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Application Public Notice: The Wireline Competition Bureau outlines the process that will be used to award up to $100 million in rural broadband experiment support to bring next-generation voice and broadband service to high-cost areas of the country.
    Word PDF
  • 8/12/2014
    Spokane School District 81, Spokane, WA: Granted Spokane School District 81’s petition for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau order that affirmed funding denials by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the schools and libraries universal service support program.
    Word PDF
  • 8/12/2014
    Peak Communications, Inc. Order: Emergency Request for Review by Peak Communications, Inc. of a Decision of the Universal Service Administrator and Request for Waiver of Deadline for Filing Revisions to FCC Form 499-Q.
    Word PDF
  • 8/12/2014
    Adak Interrogatory Letter: Windy City Cellular, LLC Petition for Waiver of Section 54.302 of the Commission's Rules, WC Docket No. 10-90 and WT Docket No. 10-208 and Adak Eagle Enterprises, LLC Petition for Waiver of Section 54.302 of the Commission's Rules, WC Docket No. 10-90 and WT Docket No. 10-208.
    Word PDF
  • 8/12/2014
    E-Rate Staff Report Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau releases E-Rate Modernization staff report and online maps of school and library fiver connectivity data.
    Word PDF Staff Report
  • 8/11/2014
    ACA-NCTA Order: Dismissed and, as separate and independent grounds, denied a petition filed by ACA and NCTA requesting reconsideration of the Wireline Competition Bureau’s Phase II Challenge Process Guidance Public Notice.
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  • 8/11/2014
    Aventure Order: Denied Aventure request for review because the free conference service carrier lines are not eligible for support under section 54.307.
    Word PDF
  • 8/7/2014
    USF Joint Board Contributions Referral Order: FCC requests the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to provide recommendations on how the Commission should modify the universal service contribution methodology.
    Word PDF
  • 8/4/2014
    Eligible Services List Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment On Draft Eligible Services List For Schools And Libraries Universal Service Program.
    Word PDF

July

  • 7/30/2014
    Green Tree School, Philadelphia, PA: Denied three requests for review by petitioners whose funding year 2013 priority two funding requests were denied by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 7/30/2014
    Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL: Dismissed petition for reconsideration filed by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) of a decision by the Wireline Competition Bureau finding that CPS violated the Commission’s competitive bidding rules for the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 7/30/2014
    Atlantic City Schools, Atlantic City, NJ et al.: Granted six requests for review by petitioners whose requested discount rates were denied by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the E-rate program; remanded to USAC for further processing.
    Word PDF
  • 7/30/2014
    USF Joint Board Appointment Order: FCC appoints Elin Swanson Katz, Connecticut Consumer Counsel, on behalf of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, to serve on the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.
    Word PDF
  • 7/30/2014
    ComSouth Order: Granted request by ComSouth seeking a limited waiver of the conditions of the RICA Declaratory Ruling and Order to allow ComSouth to benefit from the relief granted in that order regarding federal USF contributions.
    Word PDF
  • 7/28/2014
    ETC Billing Address Order: Resolving appeals of eight petitioners related to the requirement that competitive eligible telecommunications carriers provide a customer billing address in order to receive support under section 54.307 of the Commission’s rules.
    Word PDF
  • 7/25/2014
    Census Blocks List Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Releases List of Census Blocks Eligible For Rural Broadband Experiments and Announces Enhancements to Map Depicting Initial Phase II Eligible Areas.
    Word PDF
  • 7/25/2014
    XO Wholesaler-Reseller Order on Reconsideration: FCC releases Order on Reconsideration granting in part a Petition for Clarification and Partial Reconsideration by XO Communications.
    Word PDF
  • 7/24/2014
    Compliance Plan Transfer Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Carriers of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designation and Compliance Plan Approval Requirements for Receipt of Federal Lifeline Universal Service Support.
    Word PDF
  • 7/23/2014
    E-Rate Modernization Order: FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program To Expand Robust Wi-Fi Networks In The Nation's Schools and Libraries. Reforms to Expand Wi-Fi to 10 Million More Students, Thousands of Libraries Nationwide Next Year.
    Word PDF
  • 7/23/2014
    RHC Rural Areas Update Order: Updating the list of rural areas used to determine eligibility in the Rural Health Care universal service support mechanism and providing a limited waiver for participants transitioning from rural to non-rural status.
    Word PDF
  • 7/22/2014
    FairPoint-Steelville Order: Granting petitions filed by FairPoint Communications Missouri, Inc. and Steelville Telephone Exchange, Inc. for a waiver of section 54.313(h) of the Commission’s rules.
    Word PDF
  • 7/17/2014
    Community Partnership of Madera, Madera, CA et al.: Granting five requests from petitioners seeking review of decisions made by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 7/15/2014
    ETS Skyline Extension Order: Granting a 60-day extension of the deadline for ETS to file a study area waiver request.
    Word PDF
  • 7/14/2014
    Rural Broadband Experiments Order: Launches Rural Broadband Expansion Experiments; Applicants Will Compete to Deploy High-Performing Service at Lower Cost
    Word PDF
    Wheeler Statement
    Clyburn Statement
    Rosenworcel Statement
    Pai Statement
    O’Rielly Statement
  • 7/7/2014
    Premio Computer, Inc., Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA: Denied Premio Computer, Inc.’s request for review or waiver of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 7/7/2014
    RECtec Technology and Communications, Colcord Public Schools, Colcord, OK: Denied RECtec Technology and Communications’ request for review or waiver of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 7/2/2014
    DOW Management Public Notice: Seeks review of portions of an April 29, 2014 audit report of the Universal Service Administrative Company concerning DOW’s calendar year 2011 Universal Service Fund contribution obligations.
    Word PDF
  • 7/2/2014
    Contributions Default Cycle Public Notice: Effective immediately, the default comment cycle will apply to requests for review of USAC contribution decisions, unless extended by WCB by public notice. Comments are due 10 days from filing and replies are due 5 days thereafter.
    Word PDF

June

  • 6/30/2014
    Alamogordo Public School District, Alamogordo, NM:Denied Alamogordo Public School District’s request for review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 6/30/2014
    Alex Pilibos Armenian School, Los Angeles, CA et al.:Granted 15 and denied 13 requests for waiver from applicants who filed after the close of the filing window deadline, and dismissed 1 petition for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau Order, under the E-rate universal service support program.
    Word PDF
  • 6/30/2014
    Challenge Process Commencement Public Notice:Begins the Connect America Phase II challenge process to determine what areas are served by an unsubsidized competitor, giving parties until August 14, 2014, to file challenges.
    Word PDF
  • 6/25/2014
    SBI Public Notice: Seeking comment on Smith Bagley, Inc. petition for a partial-waiver from the sampling procedures contained within the Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan.
    Word PDF
  • 6/25/2014
    Camnet, Inc. (Camelback Academy), Glendale AZ et al.: Granted 10 and denied 7 requests for review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions, and dismissed 1 petition for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau Order, under the E-rate universal service support program.
    Word PDF
  • 6/23/2014
    Peerless Contributions Order: Granted Peerless petition for waiver of 45-day revision deadline for quarterly form required to establish contribution obligations to the universal service fund, and directed USAC to accept the revised form.
    Word PDF
  • 6/23/2014
    American Cyber Contributions Order on Reconsideration: Granted petition for reconsideration, concluding that Inmark, Lotel, and Protel were not required to contribute to the Fund for the time period at issue; dismissed the petition with respect to American Cyber and Coleman Enterprises.
    Word PDF
  • 6/20/14
    Challenge Process Clarification Public Notice: Providing guidance regarding upcoming Connect America Phase II challenge process.
    Word PDF
  • 6/19/14
    Consortium Annual Reports Waiver Order: Granted a limited, one-year waiver of the requirement that consortium lead entities in both the Healthcare Connect Fund and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program file an annual report.
    Word PDF
  • 6/19/14
    Consortium Annual Reports Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Healthcare Connect Fund Annual Reports.
    Word PDF
  • 6/17/14
    CAM 10Mbps Illustrative Results Public Notice: Announcing the release of the Connect America Cost Model Sample Results Using Higher Speed Benchmark.
    Word PDF
  • 6/12/14
    West Oso Independent School District, Corpus Christi, TX: Denied a request from West Oso Independent School District seeking review of a decision made by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 6/10/2014
    CAF Omnibus FNPRM and Order: Released Omnibus Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to continue the implementation of the landmark Connect America reforms unanimously adopted by the Commission in 2011 to modernize universal service for the 21st century.
    Word PDF
    Wheeler Statement
    Clyburn Statement
    Rosenworcel Statement
    O'Rielly Statement
  • 6/10/2014
    ComSouth Telenet Public Notice: Seeks comment on ComSouth’s request for limited waiver of RICA Declaratory Ruling and Order, and review of a USAC decision that denied ComSouth the relief established for RICA members.
    Word PDF
  • 6/6/2014
    Cablevision Systems Corporation Public Notice: Seeks comment on a March 2014 decision by the Universal Service Administrative Company holding Cablevision responsible for outstanding Universal Service Fund contributions related to the 2003 revenue of Clevand PCS.
    Word PDF
  • 6/6/2014
    USTelecom Lifeline Waiver Order: Granted a petition for waiver filed by the United States Telecom Association, as well as petitions for waiver from individual state commissions and a state carrier association, regarding certain rules of the Lifeline universal service support program.
    Word PDF
  • 6/4/2014
    Penasco Valley & Mescalero Apache Study Area Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a joint petition filed by Penasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. and Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc. for waiver of the Commission’s study area boundary freeze.
    Word PDF
  • 6/3/2014
    ETS Telephone Company (formerly Kingsgate Telephone) Study Area Order: Granted in part and denied in part a petition filed by ETS Telephone Company, Inc.
    Word PDF

May

  • 5/29/2014
    A Special Place, Santa Rosa, CA et al.: Granted 66 and denied 30 requests for waiver and review of decisions made by the Universal Service Administrative Company, and dismissed a petition for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau order, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 5/29/2014
    Bound Brook School District, Bound Brook, NJ et al: Denied 28 requests for waiver or review of decisions made by the Universal Service Administrative Company, and dismissed a petition for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau order, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 5/29/2014
    Academy Charter School et al., Pittsburgh, PA: Granted 11 requests seeking review of decisions made by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 5/23/2014
    Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism Order: WCB revised its guidance for the E-rate program with respect to the requirement that applicants deduct from their E-rate funding requests the values of ineligible services bundled with services eligible for E-rate support.
    Word PDF
  • 5/2/2014
    USAC Record Retention Letter: Letter providing guidance on Universal Service Administrative Company’s outstanding policy questions related to the universal service high-cost support mechanism, regarding document retention requirements and income taxes attributable to S corporations.
    Word PDF
  • 5/2/2014
    Carry-Forward of Unused E-rate Funds for Funding Year 2014 Public Notice: Announced that $200 million in unused E-rate funds will be carried forward to ensure funding is available for all eligible priority one funding requests in Funding Year 2014 in excess of the annual cap.
    Word PDF
  • 5/1/2014
    5-Year Plan Filing Waiver Order: Waived the requirement that price cap eligible telecommunications carriers receiving frozen or incremental support file new five-year build-out plans by July 1, 2014.
    Word PDF

April

  • 4/30/2014
    E-Rate Workshop Agenda Public Notice: FCC Announces Agenda for May 6 E-rate Modernization Workshop.
    Word PDF
  • 4/25/2014
    Connect America Cost Model Results Public Notice: Released results for the adopted Connect America Cost Model, as well as a list of census blocks that would be eligible for the offer of model-base support, subject to the outcome of the Phase II challenge process.
    Word PDF
  • 4/25/2014
    Sundale Elementary School District, Tulare, California: Granted Sundale Elementary School District’s request for review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 4/22/2014
    Connect America Cost Model Order: Finalized decisions regarding the engineering assumptions in the Connect America Cost Model (CAM) and adopted inputs necessary for the model to calculate the cost of serving census blocks in price cap areas.
    Word PDF
  • 4/18/2014
    FCC Form 471 Public Notice: Provides notice of request to access information submitted by E-rate applicants in FCC Form 471 Item 21, as well as FRN-level data created by USAC PIA review classifications based on predominant service or product requested; establishes opposition date.
    Word PDF
  • 4/17/2014
    Connect America Fund Public Notice: Announced availability of version 4.1.1 of the Connect America Cost Model.
    Word PDF
  • 4/14/2014
    E-Rate Workshop Public Notice: FCC Announces May 6 E-rate Modernization Workshop.
    Word PDF
  • 4/8/2014
    CenturyLink Public Notice: Seeks comment on a January 2014 decision by the Universal Service Administrative Company denying CPCI’s request to offset additional contribution obligations resulting from an audit of CPCI’s 2012 FCC Form 499-A.
    Word PDF
  • 4/2/2014
    Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan Public Notice: Announces release of the final Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan, as directed in the Lifeline Reform Order.
    Word PDF Table 1 Table 2 Table 3

March

  • 3/28/2014
    2014 E-Rate Funding Cap Public Notice: : Announced that the E-rate program funding cap for funding year 2014 is $2,413,817,693, representing a 1.4% inflation-adjusted increase from the funding year 2013 cap.
    Word PDF
  • 3/27/2014
    Cordova Wireless Communications and MTA Wireless/Matanuska-Kenai Order: : Granted petitions filed by Cordova Wireless Communications, LLC and MTA Communications, LLC d/b/a MTA Wireless/Matanuska-Kenai, Inc. for waiver of certain rules pertaining to the high-cost universal service support program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/24/2014
    Beaufort County School District, Beaufort, SC, et al: : Granted four requests for review of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/24/2014
    Dulce School District, Dulce, NM, et al: : Granted two requests for review of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/21/2014
    Connect America Model v.4.1 Public Notice: : Announced availability of version 4.1 of the Connect America Cost Model.
    Word PDF
  • 3/21/2014
    Connect America Phase I Round 2 Reconsideration Order: : Granted a petition for partial reconsideration filed by Farmers Telephone Company of a determination in the Connect America Phase I challenge process.
    Word PDF
  • 3/20/2014
    Urban Rates Survey Public Notice: Announced the results of the urban rate survey for fixed voice services, and sought comment on a petition to extend the deadline for compliance with the 2014 rate floor.
    Word PDF
  • 3/19/2014
    Glendale School District, Flinton, PA: Granted an appeal filed by Last Mile, Inc., d/b/a Sting Communications, of, and denied a request by Glendale School District for waiver of the filing deadline to appeal, decisions of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/18/2014
    Rural Broadband Workshop Final Agenda Public Notice: Final agenda for March 19, 2014 Rural Broadband workshop at FCC Headquarters.
    Word PDF
  • 3/14/2014
    AT&T/Windstream Phase I Modifications Authorization Public Notice: Authorizes over $16.7 million in additional Phase I second round incremental support in response to the modified elections of AT&T and Windstream.
    Word PDF
  • 3/12/2014
    Boulevard Nursery School, Brooklyn, NY, et al.: Granted three and denied nine requests for waiver and review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/12/2014
    Central Islip Union Free School District, Central Islip, NY/Jennings School District, Jennings, MO: Granted two requests for review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/12/2014
    Coaxial Cable Television Public Notice: Seeks comment on a January 2014 decision by the Universal Service Administrative Company rejecting revisions to Coaxial’s 2011 and 2012 Forms 499-A.
    Word PDF
  • 3/11/2014
    IHS/White Swan Appeal Order: Denied IHS/White Swan’s request for review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the Rural Health Care Program.
    Word PDF
  • 3/7/2014
    Rural Broadband Workshop Agenda Public Notice: Announces agenda for March 19 Rural Broadband Workshop.
    Word PDF
  • 3/7/2014
    FY 2014 PIA Approval Letter to USAC: Wireline Competition Bureau approves the E-rate Funding Year 2014 PIA FCC Form 471 Review Procedures, subject to further Commission modification of application prioritization.
    Word PDF
  • 3/6/2014
    E-Rate Modernization Focused Comment Public Notice: Seeks focused comment on three issues raised in the E-rate Modernization NPRM that merit further inquiry as the Commission moves towards modernizing the E-rate program to meet schools’ and libraries’ broadband connectivity needs.
    Word PDF
  • 3/5/2014
    USAC Recertification Public Notice: Provides guidance to ETCs regarding the process to elect the Universal Service Administrative Company to perform the recertification of ETCs’ lifeline subscribers in 2014.
    Word PDF

February

  • 2/28/2014
    Adak Eagle Enterprises, LLC and Windy City Cellular, LLC Further Extension Order: The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Wireline Competition Bureau extend further limited, interim fixed support in the amount of $33,276 for AEE and $40,104 for WCC monthly, beginning February 2014, for, whichever comes first, a period of no longer than six months or until the Bureaus and/or the Commission complete review of the companies’ Petition for Reconsideration and/or Application for Review.
    Word PDF
  • 2/27/2014
    Rural Broadband Workshop Public Notice: Announced, per the Technology Transitions Order, a Rural Broadband Workshop to be held on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 in the Commission Meeting Room.
    Word PDF
  • 2/24/2014
    Boston Renaissance School, Boston, MA et al.: Granted requests of 17 applicants, and denied requests of 17 applicants, seeking review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions, and dismissed two petitions for reconsideration of Wireline Competition Bureau orders, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 2/24/2014
    Dismissing Waiver Deadline Petitions Public Notice: Dismissed four petitions for waiver of various high-cost universal service filing deadline, where petitioners did not, in response to a Public Notice, express to the Commission continuing intent to pursue their petitions.
    Word PDF
  • 2/21/2014
    Ben Gamla Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, FL et al.: Granted 9 requests for review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 2/20/2014
    Annunciation Elementary School, Denver, CO et al.: Denied 15 requests for review or waiver of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions, and dismissed two petitions for reconsideration of a Wireline Competition Bureau order, under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 2/20/2014
    Skilled Nursing Facility Program Public Notice: Deferral of the Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program pending the Commission’s consideration of healthcare related proposals in WC Docket No. 10-90.
    Word PDF
  • 2/18/2014
    NTUA Wireless, Inc. ETC Designation Order: : Conditionally designated NTUA Wireless as an ETC on the Navajo Nation for areas in which eligible for support in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I (TMF I); otherwise designated it as eligible for Lifeline-only support on Navajo Nation where not receiving TMF I.
    Word PDF
  • 2/7/2014
    Joint Board Appointments Order: Appointed the Honorable Stephen Michael Bloom and the Honorable Chris Nelson to serve on the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, and the Honorable Sally Talberg to serve on the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations.
    Word PDF
  • 2/6/2014
    Census Tracts Public Notice: Released a list of census tracts in price cap areas potentially suitable for targeted technology transitions experiments, with associated potential support amounts, based on Connect America Cost Model v4.0..
    Word PDF
  • 2/6/2014
    Connect America Model v4.0 Illustrative Maps Public Notice: Released maps of illustrative results for Connect America Cost Model Version 4.0.
    Word PDF

January

  • 1/31/2014
    2014 Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets Public Notice: Release of 2014 FCC Forms 499 and accompanying instructions.
    Word PDF 2014 FCC Form 499-A 2014 FCC Form 499-Q
  • 1/31/2014
    TracFone Petition for Waiver Public Notice: Seeks comment on TracFone’s petition for waiver of certain Lifeline rules prohibiting the retention of eligibility documentation.
    Word PDF
  • 1/31/2014
    Grande Contributions Order: Granted in part Grande’s request for review of a 2009 audit decision of Grande’s 2005, 2006 and 2007 FCC Forms 499-A by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 1/23/2014
    E-Rate Second Level Protective Order: Adopted procedures to provide more limited access to certain particularly competitively sensitive information that may be filed in the E-rate Modernization proceeding.
    Word PDF
  • 1/23/2014
    E-Rate First Level Protective Order: Adopted procedures to limit access to proprietary or confidential information that may be filed in the E-rate Modernization proceeding.
    Word PDF
  • 1/17/2014
    Windstream Extension Order: Grants Windstream an extension of 7 days to complete and submit Urban Rates Survey.
    Word PDF
  • 1/17/2014
    California Telehealth Network Public Notice: Seeks comment on a California Telehealth Network request for review of a Universal Service Administrative Company Rural Health Care program decision.
    Word PDF
  • 1/16/2014
    Frontier Extension Order: Grants Frontier an extension of 7 days to complete and submit Urban Rates Survey.
    Word PDF
  • 1/16/2014
    Montgomery County School District, Rockville, MD: Granted Montgomery County School District’s request for review of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions under the E-rate program.
    Word PDF
  • 1/15/2014
    2014 Benchmarks Public Notice: Released the 2014 HCLS benchmarks.
    Word PDF Benchmarks
  • 1/14/2014
    National Lifeline Accountability Database Public Notice: The Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Duty to Query the National Lifeline Accountability Database.
    Word PDF
  • 1/10/2014
    Adak-Windy City Interim Support Extension Order: Approved limited, interim relief for Adak and Windy City from certain Commission rules governing high-cost universal service support, to provide the companies with limited additional interim support.
    Word PDF
  • 1/10/2014
    Connect America Phase I Challenge Resolution Order: Resolved challenges in the Connect America Phase I challenge process and authorized distribution of approximately $18.7 million in Phase I support.
    Word PDF
  • 1/9/2014
    Study Area Boundary Extension Order: Order extending the deadline to file revised study area boundary data from January 13, 2014 to March 17, 2014.
    Word PDF
 
Updated: December 23, 2014
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