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USAC's Latest News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the universal service programs as they were made throughout the years.

2/20/2018FCC Announces Availability of Challenge Process Access Request Form


On February 14, 2018, the FCC announced (DA 18-142) the availability of the webbased form that participants in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process must use to request access to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) challenge process portal.   The access request form is now available at www.fcc.gov/MF2-Challenge-Portal/form.

2/20/2018Universal Forms for the Lifeline Program Beginning July 1, 2018


On February 20, 2018, the FCC released Public Notice DA 18-161, which provides guidance about using univesal forms for the Lifeline Program. Lifeline service providers are required to use the universal forms beginning July 1, 2018.

The universal forms, FCC Form 5629 (Lifeline application form), FCC Form 5630 (Lifeline annual recertifiction form), and FCC Form 5631 (Lifeline one-per-household worksheet) are available on the Lifeline Program Forms page. 

2/19/2018FCC to Hold Workshop on CAFII Auction


On March 14, 2018, the FCC will host a workshop on the application process for the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) auction. This workshop will include detailed information about the CAF II auction application system. For more details see DA 18-130.

2/16/2018News Brief Issued


The 2/16/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/16/2018System Maintenance Rescheduled to Friday, February 23


System maintenance will not occur as scheduled tonight (February 16, 2018). The system maintenance is rescheduled to Friday, February 23 at 10 p.m. until Saturday, February 24 at 2 a.m. ET.

For full calendar list of scheduled maintenance, visit the Maintenance Schedule page on the Lifeline Program website.

Questions about NLAD?

If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

2/15/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - February 2018


The February 2018 issue of Lifeline Program News is now available. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email in the Subscription Center.

2/9/2018RESOLVED: E-rate CSB Temporary Phone Outage


RESOLVED - The E-rate Client Service Bureau's (CSB) telephone line (888-203-8100) is currently unavailable. We are working on the issue and will provide an update once the issue is resolved. Thank you for your patience.

2/8/2018News Brief Issued


The 2/9/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/8/2018NLAD 3.12.0 Pre-Production Release


NLAD version 3.12.0 has been released into the pre-production environment todayThursday, February 8, 2018.

In this release, NLAD users are no longer able to provide Benefit Qualifying Person (BQP) information when the subscriber personally qualifies for Lifeline. Users will receive an error if data entered into the BQP fields exactly matches the information entered into the subscriber fields.        

New API Error Code Added  

  • SUBSCRIBER_BQP_MATCH: The subscriber, and the BQP cannot be the same.

Questions about NLAD?

If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

   

2/7/2018Same-Month Reimbursement Payment Deadline Extended to February 12


The early payment deadline for filing Lifeline reimbursement claims has been extended to Monday, February 12 (deadline is usually the 8th of the month) for the January 2018 data month (February 1 snapshot).

Service providers cannot use FCC Form 497 for the January 2018 data month or later.

2/7/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outages Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, February 11


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be unavailable from 3:00-7:00 a.m. and from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 11 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/6/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, February 22, 2018


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 9:00 PM through 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience

2/5/2018Hurricane Relief Waiver Extended for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands


The FCC extended its temporary waiver of the Lifeline Program’s recertification rules in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) through April 30, 2018 in Order DA 18-102 (release February 2, 2018).

2/2/2018News Brief Issued


The 2/2/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/1/2018Newsletter for February 2018


Update on FY2017 Commitments

FY2017 funding commitment decisions and letters have not yet been released; funding requests are still in review. This page will be updated when more information is available. Note: Any applicants seeking funding in FY2018 must submit funding requests. Be sure to submit during the FY2018 filing window (February 1 - May 31, 2018). 

 

FY2018 Filing Window Open Now!

The FY2018 filing window opens today, February 1, 2018. To be considered eligible for funding, you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Forms 466 in the Telecom Program) by the close of the window on May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funding requests submitted after May 31, 2018 will be automatically denied. View our latest how-to guides and tip sheets to assist you during the submission process:

Were these resources helpful? Let us know what you think by completing this short survey.

Read more about funding requests:

Important Reminders for FY2018

 

Rural Rate Documentation in the Telecom Program

We have received some questions surrounding who can provide documentation to USAC regarding the rural rate calculation. Please keep in mind, HCPs are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all required information in support of their applications is included in the funding request submission. USAC strongly advises that all required documentation, including information in support of the rural rate calculation, accompany an application when filed to USAC. However, if the service provider deems such information proprietary or confidential, and therefore cannot provide this required documentation to the HCP for filing with USAC, the service provider can submit those documents directly to USAC. Please see further down for instructions.

If the HCP does not submit the rural rate documentation to USAC, USAC will issue an Information Request to the HCP. More details on Information Requests are below in the next section. The HCP then has the responsibility to forward that Information Request to their service provider, at which point the service provider can then reply to the Information Request directly to USAC with the relevant documents, making sure to include the funding request number (FRN) for which they are submitting.

When submitting Information Request responses to USAC, the service provider must

  • Inform the HCP and USAC that they are submitting on behalf of the applicant,
  • Clearly communicate which FRN the submitted documentation corresponds to, and
  • Ensure the submitted documentation addresses all portions of the rural rate question.

Information Requests

As we move into FY2018, the RHC Program staff wants to provide you with the resources and information necessary to submit complete and accurate forms successfully. An important reminder as you submit your FCC Form 462 or 466, please upload all required documentation with your forms. Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation cannot be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to account holders with a request for additional information (an “Information Request”). RHC will also reach out with Information Requests to clarify specific items related to an application. 

If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. An acceptable response is either (1) the information requested or (2) a request for an extension. If the information requested is submitted to USAC by the service provider please follow the previously stated guidance above. Once you respond, the reviewers will be happy to work with you to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond in some fashion within the 14 calendar day timeframe results in an automatic denial, so be sure to respond in a timely manner! Note: If the service provider submits the information requested to USAC, please follow the previuosly stated guidance above.)

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date

In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2018, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through a minimum of Funding Year 2018. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, a consortium leader, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium leader. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date.

FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.

Have an expired TPA and have questions on what to do?

Have an expired LOA and have questions on what to do?

  • Please upload the updated LOA within My Portal. Please see this submission guide for instructions. 

 

FY2018 Contracts

For either the HCF or Telecom programs--as you go through the competitive bidding process and select your service provider, make sure that you are meeting the appropriate contract requirements for the type of funding you are seeking (i.e., single year, multi-year, evergreen contract), and that the contract is signed by both the HCP/consortium and service provider.

FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making Comment Period Ends February 2

The FCC published their proposed rule in the Federal Register on January 3, 2018. Anyone can submit a comment to the FCC on this proposed rule. The comment period ends February 2, 2018, with reply comments due March 5, 2018. Please see this link for more information.

Contract & Consortia Resources Coming Soon!

The RHC Program team is working to create helpful guides regarding the contract submission process and how-to sheets for HCF Program consortia. Do you have a particular topic you’d like more information on? Let us know!

2/1/2018Lifeline Claims System (LCS) Now Available!


The Lifeline Claims System (LCS) is now available in the NLAD production environment. Service providers can log in to submit their reimbursement claims for the January 2018 data month (February 1, 2018 snapshot).

Service providers cannot use FCC Form 497 for the January 2018 data month or later.

For help with the LCS, join us for Office Hours (Feb. 2 or Feb. 6), review the LCS User Guide, visit the Claim Reimbursement page, or review the frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1/30/2018Lifeline Claims System (LCS) Production Release Version 2.0.0


The Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon ET.        

LCS version 2.0.0 will be released into the NLAD Production environment during this outage. The available snapshot test data for the November 2017 and December 2017 months will also be discarded during this time.        

The Lifeline Claims System will be available at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, February 1, 2018.        

Starting with the January 2018 data month (February 1, 2018 snapshot), all service providers must use the new Lifeline Claims System (LCS) to file for reimbursement online.        

For the December 2017 data month (January 1, 2018 snapshot) and earlier, service providers should use the FCC Form 497 for reimbursement claims and revisions.        

LCS includes the following functionalities for NLAD states and NLAD opt-out states:        

1. File "Original Claim" and "Revise Claim" functionality (applicable to the 497 Officer and the 497 User)        

  • Download the claims input template  
  • Upload a subscriber data file  
  • Download a detailed summary report  
  • Ability to set "Original" Filings as "Ready to Certify" for the 497 Officer to certify    

2. "Certify Claim" functionality for NLAD Opt-Out States (applicable to the 497 Officer)        

  • Ability to certify "Original" and "Revised" filings         

LCS users that have both NLAD and NLAD opt-out states' SACs will need to submit original filings and revisions for each data set in LCS.         

Please refer to the instructions, which are also available in the Lifeline Claims System, and the LCS Upload Field Description document (found in the bulletin sent on 1/30/18) for details on how to complete the input template.                

How to Log In to the Lifeline Claims System          

LCS users will log in through the NLAD Production environment to access the Lifeline Claims System. The LCS landing page will differ depending on a user's E-File entitlements.         

E-File Entitlements        

497 Officer: 497 Officer home page - National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD)    

497 User: File or Revise Claim page - Lifeline Claims System (LCS)

Questions about LCS?

If you have questions about LCS, please contact us at Form497@usac.org.

  

1/29/2018FCC Form 555 Due January 31


The 2017 FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due Wednesday, January 31, 2018 to USAC, the FCC (Docket 14-171), and state regulatory commissions.            

     Log in now: Online FCC Form 555 (USAC recommends using Chrome or Firefox)        
     Need help? See the resources below or contact us      
     E-File login help: customersupport@usac.org or (888) 641-8722    
                                           
FCC Form 555 Resources              

Visit the Lifeline Program website to find these FCC Form 555 resources:  

Changes This Year              

The 2017 filing (due January 31, 2018) has several notable changes since last year's filing:   

  • Report recertification results by month, based on the subscriber's anniversary date. The form is re-designed to match the new rolling recertification process. Fields that are not required (recertification for anniversary dates in January to June) will be grayed out.  
  • File online only: Service providers must use the E-File system to submit their filing; other submission types (mail, email, fax) will not be accepted.  
  • New look and feel: The online form includes "tool tips" to guide users through the filing, and user-friendly navigation.  
  • Accounting for hurricane relief: Affected disaster areas in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, and Georgia should follow the hurricane relief guidance: submit their filing by the deadline, and submit a revision once their recertification efforts are complete.  
  • Note for filers in California: The requirements to file FCC Form 555 have not changed. It is the service providers' responsibility to file, and not the state administrators'. We have communicated with the CPUC; it is our understanding that service providers have the information they need.   
  • Note for filers in Texas: If you don't have the data you need from the state administrator, please submit your filing by the January 31 deadline with whatever data you have. Then, submit a revision once the state administrator provides the data you need.     

Need Help? Contact Us!

For questions about FCC Form 555, please contact us at Form555@usac.org.  

  

1/26/2018News Brief Issued


The 1/26/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/26/2018FCC Form 555 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


FCC Form 555 is due January 31 to USAC, the FCC, and state regulatory commissions. 

A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is available to assist with your filing. Additional resources are available as well:

1/25/2018FCC Form 555 Data for California and Texas Filers


California service providers: We have communicated with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the requirement to file FCC Form 555 has not changed. It is the service provider's responsibility to file FCC Form 555, and not the state administrators'.

It is our understanding from the CPUC that service providers have the information they need to file FCC Form 555. Please stay tuned for more information from the CPUC.

Texas service providers: If you don't have the data you need from the state administrator, please submit your filing by the January 31 deadline with whatever data you have. Then, submit a revision once the state administrator provides the data you need.

1/25/2018Funding Request Guides Available Now!


Did you know that the funding request filing window for Funding Year 2018 opens February 1, 2018? Submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Forms 466 in the Telecom Program) by the close of the window on May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Here are some how-to guides and tip sheets that can assist you during the submission process:

  • Funding requests summary two pager: What is a funding request? How do I submit it? (Also includes a submission checklist.)
  • Funding Request Best Practices Webinar (held Jan. 10th): webinar recording, slides, and FAQs.
  • Quick guide for FY2017 applicants: Did you apply for funding in FY2017 but are unsure which forms to submit for FY2018? Our quick look-up chart tells you what forms you need to submit based on your situation. Applicable for both HCF and Telecom programs.
  • Your urban/rural rate: a guide on aceptable supporting documentaiton (for Telecom Program only). 

Read more about funding requests, which applicants must submit to USAC between February 1 and May 31, 2018 in order to be considered eligible for funding:


1/22/2018New Videos Now Available in the Online Learning Library


The following videos have been added to the Online Learning Library:

 

1/19/2018News Brief Issued


The 1/19/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/19/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - January 19-20


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00 PM ET on Friday, January 19 through 10:00 AM ET Saturday, January 20 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. We apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

1/17/2018Lifeline Claims System (LCS) Pre-Production Release Version 0.6.0


LCS version 0.6.0 was released into the NLAD Pre-production environment today, January 17.  

In this release, the features below were included:  

PDF link that shows filing support details for all SAC(s) with status types, "Ready to Certify" and "Certified"

  • Applicable to both NLAD states and NLAD opt-out state' filings for original and revisions 
  • PDF document is accessible from the "Support Summary" page and "Certify Claim" tab 

LCS users that have both NLAD and NLAD opt-out states' SACs will need to submit original filings and revisions for each data set in LCS.  

Please refer to the instructions in the Lifeline Claims System for guidance on how to use the NLAD opt-out state filing features.  

How to Log In to the Lifeline Claims System

LCS users will log in through the NLAD Pre-production environment to access the Lifeline Claims System. The LCS landing page will differ depending on a user's E-File entitlements. 

Please see the related bulletin sent on Jan. 18 to view a chart of the E-File entitlements and accompanying landing page.  

Questions about LCS?    

If you have any questions about this system, please contact us at Form497@usac.org.  

 

1/17/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - January 2018


The January 2018 issue of Lifeline Program News is now available. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email in the Subscription Center.

1/12/2018News Brief Issued


The 1/12/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/12/2018Watch the FY2018 Funding Request Best Practices Webinar now!


Did you know that the funding request filing window period for FY2018 opens February 1, 2018? Prepare to submit your funding request by the close of the filing window period (11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2018) by watching our one hour training where we discussed helpful tips, resources, what you can expect from USAC’s review process, and best practices when submitting these forms.

Download the slides and watch now

1/11/2018FCC Releases Public Notice: Guidance on the Lifeline Reimbursement Payments Based on NLAD Data


On January 10, 2018, the FCC released Public Notice DA 18-30, providing guidance on the Lifeline reimbursement payment process based on National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) data.

The Public Notices describes the process for making reimbursement claims for the January 2018 data month (and going forward) using the new Lifeline Claims System (log in using USAC's E-File system). 

1/10/2018HUBB User Guide Now Available


Carriers participating in modernized Connect America programs must file deployment data with USAC's HUBB (High Cost Universal Broadband) portal showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed internet service by precise location. This information includes latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available. Carriers can now access the HUBB User Guide on the HUBB Resources page. This user guide provides a step-by-step overview of the HUBB filing process.

1/9/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, January 14


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be unavailable from 7:00-11:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 14 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/8/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - January 10


The following Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-10:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 10 for system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  • Category Two Budget Tool
  • Urban/Rural Lookup Tool
  • FCC Form 471 Display Tool (FY2015) 

NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this maintenance.

1/8/2018Newsletter for January 2018


FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making Published January 3, 2018
The FCC published their proposed rule in the Federal Register on January 3, 2018. Anyone can submit a comment to the FCC on this proposed rule. The comment period ends February 2, 2018. Please see this link for more information. 

Update on FY2017 Commitments
FY2017 funding commitment decisions and letters have not yet been released; funding requests are still in review. This page will be updated when more information is available. Note: Any applicants seeking funding in FY2018 must submit funding requests. Be sure to submit during the FY2018 filing window (February 1 – May 31, 2018).

FY2018 Filing Window Period Update
The filing window period for FY2018 has been extended one month. The filing window period will now last February 1, 2018 through May 31, 2018, giving applicants more time to submit their FY2018 funding request forms. For more information please see our FY2018 Filing Window page here.

Submit FY2018 Request for Services Forms Now!
Applicants applying for funding for FY2018 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Form 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now! The first day to submit these forms is January 1, 2018-- six months before the start of the funding year, which begins July 1, 2018.

Prepare to submit your Request for Services form with the following resources:
      • December 2017 Request for Services Best Practices Webinar recording and slides 
      • RFP Checklist (HCF Program only)
      • Network Plan Checklist (HCF Program only)
      • Search Posted Services tool: HCF Program and Telecom Program 

Rollover of FY2017 HCF Program FCC Forms 461
This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services process, but did not meet the deadline to submit Funding Request forms. 

This is a one-time courtesy that, as of now, has not been extended for future funding years. To take advantage of this, those requesting the FCC Form 461 from FY2017 rollover functionality must meet the below requirements. The FCC Form 461 must meet both criteria:
      • HAVE been submitted for FY2017, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2017, and
      • NOT have been used to generate an FCC Form 462 in FY2017

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, and not the FCC Form 462. If applying for HCF Program funding in FY2018, applicants will need to submit a new FCC Form 462 and will have to go through the RHC Program review process.

How to submit your request:
      • Send email to: rhc-assist@usac.org 
      • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
      • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
      • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.
      • If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.

Upcoming Trainings
We highly recommend attending the next installment of our online training series, specifically designed to prepare applicants for the FY2018 filing window. These trainings are filled with resources, useful information, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process.
• Funding Request Webinar: Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Did you know that the first day to submit FY2018 funding request forms is February 1, 2018? Join us in preparation for the FY2018 filing window period. This webinar will focus on the FCC Forms 462 and 466: Register here.

1/5/2018News Brief Issued


The 1/5/2018 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

1/4/2018Possible NLAD Outage - Friday, January 5


Possible NLAD Outage on Friday

The National Accountability Lifeline Database (NLAD) may be temporarily unavailable for 2-3 minutes tomorrow, January 5 between 8 to 8:30 p.m. ET due to system maintenance.

Both the pre-production and production environments could be affected.

Questions about NLAD?  

If you have any questions, contact us at NLADSupport@usac.org or (877) 524-1325.

  

12/28/2017FCC Announces Eligible Census Blocks for CAFII Auction


On December 19, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-1219)  announcing the release of the final list of census blocks eligible for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction (Auction 903), a list of the census block groups and associated reserve prices, and a map showing the eligible blocks within the census block groups. Links to these items can be found in the Public Notice  

12/22/2017News Brief Issued


The 12/22/2017 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/21/2017Lifeline Program Newsletter - December 2017


The December 2017 issue of Lifeline Program News is now available. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email in the Subscription Center.

12/18/2017My Portal Outage Due To System Maintenance December 19, 2017


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 9:00 PM through 10:00 PM ET on Tuesday, December  19, 2017 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/18/2017FCC Announces 1st Quarter 2018 Contribution Factor Increase to 19.5 Percent


The FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-1203) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter (January-March) of 2018 will be 0.195, or 19.5 percent.

12/14/2017Special Edition News Brief - FY2018 Application Filing Window Opens January 11, 2018


A Special Edition issue of the News Brief (12/14/2017) is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

12/14/2017Lifeline Claims System (LCS) Pre-Production Release Version 0.4.0


LCS version 0.4.0 has been released into the NLAD Pre-production environment today, December 14.

In this release, the features below were included:

1. Complete LCS "File Original Claim" functionality for NLAD Opt-Out States - (Applicable to 497 Office and 497 User)  

  • Download Claims Input Template
  • Upload a Subscriber Data file
  • Download a detailed summary report
  • Ability to set original filings as "Ready to Certify" for the 497 Officer to certify 

2. "Certify Claim" functionality for NLAD Opt-Out States - (Applicable to 497 Officer)

  • Ability to certify original filings

LCS users that have both NLAD and NLAD opt-out state SACs will need to submit original filings for each data set in the LCS.

Please refer to the instructions available in the Lifeline Claims System for guidance on how to use the new NLAD opt-out state filing features.

How to Log In to the Lifeline Claims System  

LCS users will log in through the NLAD Pre-production environment to access the Lifeline Claims System. The LCS landing page will differ depending on a user's E-File entitlements.

Please see the related bulletin sent on Dec. 14 to view a chart of the E-File entitlements and accompanying landing page. 

Questions about LCS?

If you have any questions about this system, please contact us at Form497@usac.org.  

 

12/13/2017Press Release: USAC Names Radha Sekar As CEO


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Radha Sekar as Chief Executive Officer.  Radha will assume her new position in January 2018. 

Ms. Sekar began her career in 1989, at Electronic Data Systems (now a part of HP) on the IT side of finance.  She was then hired by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998, where she actively worked with government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, to reconfigure and improve the processes across departments.  

After almost a decade at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ms. Sekar moved to IBM, where she continued working with government clients, until 2007.  From 2007 to 2010 Ms. Sekar served as a senior advisor and assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).  In 2010, Ms. Sekar moved to Department of Homeland Security as the Chief Financial Officer for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  In 2012, Ms. Sekar became Executive Associate Director for Management and Administration of ICE.  Since 2015, Ms. Sekar served as the CFO for both the Farm Service Administration and the Commodity Credit Corporation of US Department of Agriculture, where she oversees a $30 Billion budget in borrowing authority and another credit portfolio of $40 Billion.

Dr. Brian Talbott, Chair of the USAC Board of Directors, stated, “Radha is what USAC needs now as we are in a period of growth and transition.  She brings the operational experience, people engagement and IT focus that is critical to our success.  She has experience dealing with complex environments, and is ready for the challenge ahead.  We are delighted to welcome Radha as USAC’s new CEO and as a member of the USAC Board of Directors." 

Ms. Sekar’s selection comes after the USAC Board of Directors conducted a nation-wide search.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai approved the USAC Board's unanimous nomination of Radha Sekar as USAC CEO on December 13, 2017. 

#  #  # 


The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is a not-for-profit corporation designated by the Federal Communications Commission as the permanent administrator of the federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms, which help consumers, schools, libraries and rural health care providers across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services. 

12/13/2017Press Release: Departure of Vickie Robinson, Acting CEO, Vice President and General Council


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Universal Service Administrative Company accepted the resignation of Vickie Robinson, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Vice President and General Counsel, effective December 31, 2017.  

Ms. Robinson served as USAC’s Vice President and General Counsel since February 2016.  The USAC Board of Directors appointed Ms. Robinson to serve as Acting CEO in May 2017 until such time as a permanent replacement was found.  Before coming to USAC, Ms. Robinson served in various leadership roles at the FCC, primarily focused on universal service policy and enforcement matters.

Ms. Robinson has accepted a leadership role with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative Team.  

USAC, the Board of Directors, and the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Brian Talbott, would like to thank Ms. Robinson for her leadership, guidance and dedication to fulfilling the USAC’s universal service mission. 

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Ernesto Beckford, USAC Deputy General Counsel, at (202) 772-6266

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The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is a not-for-profit corporation designated by the Federal Communications Commission as the permanent administrator of the federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms, which help consumers, schools, libraries and rural health care providers across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services.
 

12/8/2017Newsletter for December 2017


FY2018 Filing Window Period Update
The Filing Window Period for FY2018 has been extended one month. The filing window period will now last February 1, 2018 through May 31, 2018, giving applicants more time to submit their FY2018 funding request forms. For more information please see our FY2018 Filing Window page.

HCF Program Invoicing:
Please keep in mind that 11:59 p.m. ET December 31, 2017 is the last day to submit the FCC Form 463 to USAC if you had a funding commitment end date of June 30, 2017.

Don’t know when your HCF Program invoicing deadline is? We provide a helpful look-up tool on our website! Download the Invoicing Deadline Spreadsheet.

- Watch the latest in our online training series! The HCF Program Invoicing Best Practices recording is up on our website now! This webinar covered how to submit the FCC Form 463 for healthcare providers and service providers. It contains helpful tips, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process, and more!
- Watch our step-by-step invoicing guide video series. These videos go over the submission process of the FCC Form 463, and we highly recommend viewing these if you are submitting your FCC Form 463 for the first time or just simply need a refresher in anticipation of an upcoming deadline: Individual HCPs, Consortia

Rollover of FY2017 HCF Program FCC Forms 461:
USAC is accepting previously approved FY2017 FCC Form(s) 461 to be used for FY2018. This process will allow applicants that meet the below criteria to “rollover” a previously approved FCC Form 461 from FY2017, for use in FY2018. This functionality can be applied to both individual and consortia applicants within the HCF program. 

In order to be able to take advantage of this, the FCC Form 461 MUST:
- HAVE been submitted for FY2017, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2017
- NOT have been used to generate an FCC Form 462 in FY2017

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, and not the FCC Form 462. All applicants will need to submit a new FCC Form 462 and will have to go through RHC’s review process if applying for HCF Program funding in FY2018.

How to submit your request:
Send email to: rhc-assist@usac.org
Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #

FY2017 Funding Commitment Letter Update
USAC is working towards finalizing all funding decisions for FY2017 and will notify applicants prior to any funding commitment letters going out. We will provide an update in January.

Upcoming Trainings
We highly recommend attending our upcoming online training series, specifically designed to prepare applicants for the FY2018 filing window. These trainings are filled with resources, useful information, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process and more! Attending these trainings is the best way to prepare for the FY2018 filing window.

- Request for Services Webinar: Wednesday December 20, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET. Get ready for the start of the FY2018 filing window period by joining our Request for Services Best Practices webinar. We will focus on the FCC Forms 461 and 465 process and participants will be able to ask questions: Register here    
- Funding Request Webinar: Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Did you know that the first day to submit FY2018 funding request forms is February 1, 2018?  Join us in preparation for the FY2018 filing window period. This webinar will focus on the FCC Forms 462 and 466: Register here

Recent FCC Releases
- Carrying Over Unused RHC Program Funds for FY2017
- Allowing Voluntary Price Reductions by Service Providers






12/1/2017National Verifier Soft Launch Postponed


USAC is strongly committed to the success of the Lifeline National Verifier. This is a complex project and it is important to get it right.

The National Verifier system is subject to compliance with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). To allow time to complete all FISMA requirements, the FCC has announced that the National Verifier’s soft launch will be postponed to early 2018, per the Public Notice issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

USAC will host a webinar on Monday, December 4 at 1 PM ET to discuss the National Verifier launch timeline and answer questions. Register Here.

12/1/2017FCC Releases Fourth Report and Order: Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers


On December 1, 2017, the FCC released Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers, the Lifeline Program's Fourth Report and Order.

11/28/2017My Portal Outage Due To System Maintenance Wednesday, November 29


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 AM through 8:00 AM ET on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience

11/22/2017Look up your HCF Program invoicing deadline now!


The Healthcare Connect Fund Program's invoicing deadline is six (6) months from the funding commitment end date. The invoicing deadline is included in the funding commitment letter (FCL), which USAC sends via email after processing the FCC Form 462 (Funding Request Form). As a result, many FY2016 funding commitments which end on June 30 have an invoicing deadline of December 31. Unsure of your invoicing deadline? Use the Invoicing Deadline Lookup Tool to see when your FCC Form 463 is due.

Please note that the invoice must be submitted by the health care provider and approved by the service provider before this deadline. The invoicing process can take several days of collaboration between the HCP and the service provider, so we recommend that you initiate invoicing as soon as possible!

   

11/20/2017Lifeline Claims System (LCS) Pre-Production Release Version 0.3.0


LCS version 0.3.0 has been released into the NLAD Pre-production environment today, November 20, 2017.    

The features below were included in this LCS Pre-production release:    

Complete LCS Filing Functionality for NLAD states  

1. "File Original Claim" and "Revise Claim functionality - Applicable to 497 Officer and 497 User   

  • Download Claims Input Template  
  • Upload a Subscriber Data file  
  • Download a detailed summary report  
  • Ability to set filings as "ready to certify" for the 497 Officer to certify     

2. Certify Original Claim functionality - Applicable to 497 Officer  

  • Ability to certify original and revised filings    

3. Reason Code list - For all unclaimed subscribers (where Rate = $0), ETCs must provide a reason code (chart is in the bulletin sent out on Nov. 20) 

Please refer to the instructions available in the Lifeline Claims System for guidance on how to use the new system features.

How to Login to the Lifeline Claims System  

LCS users will log in through the NLAD Pre-production environment to access the Lifeline Claims System. The LCS landing page will differ depending on a user's E-File entitlements.    

Please see the related bulletin sent on Nov. 20 to view a chart of the E-File entitlements and accompanying landing page.    

Questions about LCS?  

If you have any questions about this system, please contact us at Form497@usac.org.

 

11/17/2017Lifeline Program Newsletter - November 2017


The November 2017 issue of Lifeline Program News is now available. Sign up to receive the newsletter via email in the Subscription Center.

11/14/2017Register for Upcoming Webinars


The RHC Program will be hosting three training webinars in the upcoming months. For more information about what topics will be covered in each webinar, click "Register" below: 

  • November 28, 2017, 2 p.m. ET - HCF Program Invoicing Best Practices - Register
  • December 20, 2017, 2 p.m. ET - FY2018 Prep: Request for Services Best Practices - Register
  • January 10, 2018 2 p.m. ET - FY2018 Prep: Funding Request Best Practices - Register

 

11/9/2017Special Edition News Brief - E-rate Hurricane Relief


A Special Edition issue of the News Brief (11/9/2017) is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

11/3/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Supported Web Browsers


On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be down for scheduled maintenance. After this update is complete, EPC will not be accessible with certain web browsers. Please refer to the list of supported browsers

11/1/2017My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Friday, November 3


USAC's My Portal system, will be unavailable Friday, November 3, from 8:00-10:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

10/31/2017Filing Window Update Webinar - Watch Now!


Watch the recording and download the slides and webinar summary document from the Oct. 24, 2017 Filing Window Update here.

10/27/2017FCC Announces Proposed Lifeline Order, NPRM, and NOI


On October 26, 2017, the FCC announced "Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers," its proposed Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) for the Lifeline Program.

10/26/2017498/499 Spotlight Newsletter 4Q2017 Issued


The Fourth Quarter 2017 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is now available. The 498/499 Spotlight newsletter is designed to provide important, up-to-date information about the FCC Form 498 and FCC Form 499 including news, deadlines, and filing best practices for service providers. 

To sign up to receive the 498/499 Spotlight newsletter via email, visit the subscription center.

10/24/2017No Additional Filing Window Periods for Funding Year 2017


Due to an extraordinarily high demand for Rural Health Care (RHC) Program funds in Funding Year 2017 (FY2017), there will not be a third filing window period and no more funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) will be accepted for FY2017.

While FY2017 is closed to new funding requests, My Portal continues to accept Telecom Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2017.

Funding Year 2018 Initial Filing Window Period

The initial filing window period for Funding Year 2018 (FY2018) will be from February 1 – April 30, 2018. 

More Resources

Please visit our filing window period web page for more information about filing windows periods and pro-ration or contact RHC-Assist@usac.org with questions.