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Urban Rate Survey Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why is the system giving the error “Cannot Log In” or “No Files Available with this FRN”?

A:  Many respondents try entering the FRN with leading zeros as required by Form 477.  For the Urban Rate Survey (URS), enter the FRN exactly as shown in the email informing you that you need to respond to the URS.  In most cases, this will exclude any leading zeros.

Q:  How can I see a list of questions in survey?

A. To see the URS questions without going through the survey, look at the Instructions, posted on the URS webpage.  These instructions show screenshots of the questions.  As a secondary measure you can look at the template in the 4/3/13 Public Notice.  However, note that the questions and instructions presented in the PN tend to look slightly different in the system.

Q:  What is a Study Area Code (SAC)?

A:  Many respondents do not have a SAC because they do not receive universal service funds.  This is an optional field that only those companies with a SAC should complete.

Q:  How were the Census tracts being surveyed determined? 

A:  The Census tracts surveyed were chosen through a random sampling of Form 477 submissions. 

Q:  I don’t offer telephone service in that Census tract.  Why are you asking about my rates there?

A:  Because of how Form 477 data is filed for telephone service (on the ZIP code level), there is an imperfect match with Census tracts.  In this case, if you do not provide service to the Census tracts listed, you will need to certify as such in the system.  Log in according to the instructions and then check the box indicating you do not provide service in the Census tract.  You will not enter any rates but will need to certify your submission.  The Instructions cover this situation.

Q:  In the template in the Public Notice, the entry for taxes and surcharges in section II.a.1 says “Total of all other surcharges, taxes, and TRS charges. (See instructions for a list of charges to be included.)”.  Can you point me to where I would find that list in the instructions? 

A:  When we issued the Public Notice, we expected that additional instructions might be needed.  However, we later decided this was unnecessary.  In this field, include TRS charges and any other taxes or surcharges you bill that are NOT already reported elsewhere. 

Q:  How do I delete a broadband service?

A:  Click on the link for the service you want to delete.  When the “Broadband Service Offered” page displays, you will see a “Delete” button at the bottom.  Click the “Delete” button.  You then will be asked to confirm that you want to delete that service.  Click OK and it will take you back to the survey list page and that service should be gone.

Q:  The fixed broadband survey asks for purchase and lease prices for modems (if required for service).  If there are multiple modem purchase/lease options available, (e.g. basic modem vs. wi-fi), should all options be shown on the survey?  If so, how is this accomplished?

A:  For non-recurring charges such as the modem, you only need to report the minimum non-discounted/non-promotional price.  That is, report the minimum price for the basic product a customer would need to use the broadband service.

Q:  If our broadband rates either includes all taxes, fees, et al. (i.e., not line itemized) or we don’t pass these costs through to the customers, do we have to break anything out for taxes, fees, et al. for this survey?

A:  Break out the un-itemized taxes and fees by subtraction.  Since you know what the taxes and fees are, please take the total amount charged to the customer and remove any taxes and fees to get the recurring monthly charge.  Then you can list taxes and fees separately in the appropriate parts of the survey. 

Q:  For local measured service, the taxes and surcharges could depend on the amount of usage.  Do the instructions provide guidance for how to handle that, e.g., an assumption about the amount of usage?

A:  Handle this issue as follows:  If there is a fixed component to the taxes or surcharges that does not vary with the quantity of calls or minutes, then report this amount.  Then, ignore any tax or surcharge portion that does vary with quantity of calls or minutes.  If there is no fixed component, then you will not report any amount for this service.

Q:  Do I have to respond to this survey if my company is not an ETC or my company does not receive high-cost universal service funds?

A:  The survey includes CLECs as well as ILECS.  This survey is not limited to ETC or high-cost loop recipients.


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