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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.

9/15/2017News Brief Issued


The 09/15/2017 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.

9/15/20172017 E-rate Applicant Training Announced


The USAC Schools and Libraries Division will hold a training session for E-rate applicants on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. During the training you'll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from members of the USAC Schools and Libraries team on key topics important to successfully participating in the program.

Register Today!

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET

Location: National 4-H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase MD 20815

9/15/2017FCC Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Contribution Factor Increase to 18.8 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA17-884) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2017 will be 0.188 or 18.8 percent.

9/13/2017NLAD Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, September 22 - 23


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance beginning on Friday, September 22 at 8:00 PM through Saturday, September 23 at 2:00 AM ET. This maintenance window will begin two hours earlier than the normal maintenance window.


The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

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

9/13/2017E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Tuesday, September 19


USAC's E-File system, will be unavailable Tuesday, September 19, from 8:00-10:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/13/2017FCC Requests Comments on FCC Form 499-A and 499-Q by October 23, 2017


The Federal Communications Commission published a Notice in the Federal Register on August 23, 2017, seeking Paperwork Reduction Act comments on information collections relating to Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets and Related Collections, FCC Forms 499–A and 499–Q.

The general public is invited to comment on the information collection required in the FCC Form 499-A and/or the Form 499-Q.

These forms are requirements for contributors to the Federal Universal Service Fund, Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, and Numbering Administration to file a Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet on an annual basis (Form 499–A) and/or on a quarterly basis (Form 499–Q). 

Please visit the Federal Register website, to read the full notice or submit formal comments.

Comments are due by October 23, 2017.

9/8/2017News Brief Issued


The 09/08/2017 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.

9/7/2017FCC Extends Deadline for 54.314 Certification to November 17, 2017


On September 6, 2017, the FCC released an Order (DA 17-848) granting a brief, limited waiver of the filing deadline for states, or eligible telecommunication carriers (ETCs) not subject to the jurisdiction of a state, to certify to the proper use of federal high-cost universal service support under section 54.314(d) of the Commission’s rules. States or ETCs must file the section 54.314 certification with USAC by November 17, 2017.

9/7/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: Sunday, September 10


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC Training Site will be unavailable from 7:00-10:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 10 for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in, or to file, certify, and search for certain forms via the EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/5/2017RESOLVED - USAC Phone System Outage


RESOLVED - USAC is currently experiencing a phone system outage affecting our Customer Operations (Contributors, Lifeline, and High Cost)call center, the Rural Health Care Help Desk, and employee phones. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Please visit our Email USAC page to contact us. 

This outage does not affect the E-rate Program's Client Service Bureau (CSB). We apologize for any inconvenience.

8/31/2017Announcement: Initial States for the National Verifier


The National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) shifts the responsibility for determining a customer’s Lifeline eligibility from phone and internet service providers to the program’s administrator, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Once the National Verifier launches in a state, all consumers and service providers will use it to determine consumers’ Lifeline eligibility.

The National Verifier will establish whether a consumer is eligible for the Lifeline Program by electronically querying state and federal data sources and, if necessary, the Lifeline Support Center will conduct a manual review of supporting documents. 

USAC is pleased to announce that upon its initial launch on December 5, 2017, the National Verifier will verify eligibility for consumers in the following states. Visit the National Verifier section of our website for more details.

 State Qualifying Programs with Automated Data Sources
Colorado SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing
Mississippi SNAP, Federal Public Housing 
Montana Federal Public Housing 
New Mexico SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing 
 UtahSNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing 
 WyomingFederal Public Housing 
 

8/28/2017New for FCC Form 497: Claims Cannot Exceed the NLAD Subscriber Count


Effective with the August data month (September 1 snapshot), reimbursement claims for the Lifeline Program cannot exceed a service provider’s subscriber count in NLAD. 

FCC Forms 497 will not be processed if the number of subscribers claimed for reimbursement is greater than the subscriber count in NLAD on the snapshot date. If the form is not processed, payment may be delayed. USAC recommends comparing your FCC Form 497 to the NLAD subscriber snapshot report before submission, and keeping NLAD up-to-date (as is required in the rules).

8/25/2017News Brief Issued


The 08/25/2017 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.

8/24/2017FCC Form 472 (BEAR) Training Site Now Available


Applicants can now train on or practice filing and certifying an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form on the BEAR Training Site.

8/24/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* Outage Due to System Maintenance: August 24


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* will be unavailable from 3:00-4:30 PM ET, Thursday, August 24 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  

8/23/2017Lifeline Program Newsletter - August 2017


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

8/22/2017Special Edition News Brief - FY2018 FCC Form 470 Drop-down Options for Eligible Services


The 08/22/2017 Special Edition 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.

8/18/2017News Brief Issued


The 08/18/2017 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.

8/18/2017Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - August 18-19


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00 PM ET on Friday, August 18 through 10:00 AM ET Saturday, August 19 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.

8/14/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Service Restored


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) service is restored and available for use.

8/14/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is Currently Unavailable


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is not accessible at this time. This message will be updated when the system is available.

8/11/2017News Brief Issued


The 08/11/2017 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.

8/9/2017Webinar on August 9: Minimum Service Standards, New Reimbursement Claims Process


Join us for the next Lifeline Program Webinar to hear updates about the Lifeline Program, including the National Verifier, the Lifeline Modernization Order, and the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD).

Webinar Agenda

During the webinar, the Lifeline Program staff will discuss:

  • Announcements
  • Minimum service standards effective December 1, 2017
  • New process for reimbursement claims
  • Audience Q&A 

To foster a collaborative discussion with our audience, we will accept live questions during the event. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments!

8/8/2017Transfer of USF Funds to U.S. Treasury


In coordination with the FCC, USAC is formulating the plan to transfer the funds of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to the U.S. Department of Treasury. The USF funds are currently held at a third party banking institution. This transfer of funds to the U.S. Treasury will reduce risk and ensure continued strong financial management of the USF. USAC remains the independent, not-for-profit administrator of the USF programs under the guidance of the FCC.

While no action is required by any USF program participants at this time, USAC is committed to proactively communicating with all stakeholders through the course of this transition and will provide detailed transition information beginning in November of 2017. We anticipate the transfer to be complete during 2018.

Please email CustomerSupport@usac.org with any immediate questions, using the subject line “Treasury.”

8/4/2017News Brief Issued


The 08/04/2017 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.

8/2/2017Support Calculations for Budget Control Mechanism


USAC announces fourth quarter 2017 HCLS budget analysis updates for HCLS  as part of the budget control mechanism as required by the FCC’s Rate-of-Return Reform Order. Please see the Budget Control Mechanism for Rate of Return Carriers page for more information.

7/28/2017News Brief Issued


The 07/28/2017 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.  

7/27/2017Available Now - National Verifier Update Webinar Recording and Slides


The July 26 National Verifier Update Webinar recording and slides are available on the website.

7/25/2017New Videos Now Available in the Online Learning Library


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

FCC Form 470 Video Series

  • How to File an FCC Form 470
  • How to Search for FCC Forms 470

Program Rules and Requirements

Webinar Recordings

  • July 18, 2017 - How to File FCC Form 470
  

7/25/2017Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - July 28-29


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00 PM ET on Friday, July 28 through 10:00 AM ET Saturday, July 29 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. 

  

7/24/2017FCC Reminds Connect America Fund Recipients of Upcoming Deadlines


On July 20, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-701) reminding price cap carriers that accepted Connect America Fund Phase II model-based support of their upcoming deployment and reporting obligations and of the consequences for failing to meet those deadlines. These details may be viewed in the Public Notice.

7/21/2017News Brief Issued


The 07/21/2017 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.

7/21/2017Webinar on July 26: National Verifier Update


Join the Lifeline Program on Wednesday, July 26, for the National Verifier Update Webinar. During the webinar, we’ll make announcements about the National Verifier and discuss some of the decisions that are still under consideration.

7/20/2017Lifeline Program Newsletter - July 2017


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

7/20/2017NLAD Release Version 3.5.3


NLAD version 3.5.3 has been released into the Production environment today, July 20, 2017.

This release included a new “Port Freeze End Date” field on the Update Subscriber page. In the Detail Active Subscriber Report, a new “Port Freeze End Date" field was added and will be displayed between the "TPIV Flag" and "Anniversary Date" columns.  

A summary of this release is available in the http://www.usac.org/li/tools/nlad/outage-schedule.aspx

7/18/2017Report Revenues on FCC Form 499-Q by August 1, 2017


All telecommunications carriers and all interconnected VoIP providers that are not de minimis must file the 3rd Quarter FCC Form 499-Q with USAC by August 1, 2017.The FCC Form 499-Q is used to collect carrier revenue information and to determine the carrier's universal service contribution obligation for the upcoming quarter.

Contributors with access to the Internet must submit their FCC Form 499-Q using E-File.  

Revenue data you will provide on the August FCC Form 499-Q: 
- Actual billed revenue from April 1-June 30, 2017 on lines 115-118
- Projected billed and collected revenue from October 1-December 31, 2017 on lines 119-120 

August FCC Form 499-Q revision deadline: September 14, 2017 

Resulting USAC invoices: Invoices issued in October, November, December 2017* 
Payments due in November 2017, December 2017, and January 2018 

*Based on the October 1-December 31, 2017 projected revenue reported  

If you have questions about the revenue you are reporting on your form, or the dates listed here, call USAC's Customer Operations team at (888) 641-8722.

7/18/2017Recording of July 12 FCC Form 555 Webinar Now Available


A recording of the July 12 webinar, and a copy  of the slide deck, are now available.

In the webinar recording, the Lifeline Program team discusses changes to the FCC Form 555 in 2017, and shows a preview of the re-designed online form. This presentation also includes a refresher about the rolling recertification process and recordkeeping implications.

7/14/2017News Brief Issued


The 07/14/2017 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.

7/12/2017Webinar on July 12: Changes to FCC Form 555


Join us for the next Lifeline Program Webinar to hear updates about the Lifeline Program, including the National Verifier, the Lifeline Modernization Order, and the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD).

Webinar Agenda

During the webinar, the Lifeline Program staff will discuss:

  • Refresher: Rolling recertification
  • Changes to FCC Form 555
  • Walkthrough of the re-designed online FCC Form 555
  • Training & resources
  • Audience Q&A 

To foster a collaborative discussion with our audience, we will accept live questions during the event. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments!

7/7/2017News Brief Issued


The 07/07/2017 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.

7/7/2017NLAD Pre-production Release Version 3.5.1


NLAD Version 3.5.1 was released into the Pre-production environment, July 6, 2017.

This release included a new “Port Freeze End Date” field on the Update Subscriber page. In the Detail Active Subscriber Report, a new “Port Freeze End Date" field was added and will be displayed between the "TPIV Flag" and "Anniversary Date" columns.  

A summary of this release is available in the Pre-Production Release Notes.

7/5/2017Online Invoice Summaries Now Available for Contributors


Contributors can now view their invoice information online and receive email notifications when they become available.

Previously, contributors were only able to receive their invoices as paper copies. They now have the option to view the first page, also known as the summary page, of their invoice online. They can also opt-in to receive email notifications when invoice summaries become available online.  

Read the Online Invoices Tip Sheet to find out how to access online invoicing summaries and opt-in to email notifications. 

7/3/2017Incorrect Date on June 30 SL News Brief


The copy of the SL News Brief that went out by email last Friday was incorrectly dated April 28, 2017. The date should have been June 30, 2017.

If you would like to print or save a copy for your records, the version posted to the SL News Brief page and also in the News feed in your EPC account featured the correct date.

  

6/30/2017News Brief Issued


The 06/30/2017 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.

6/30/2017E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) System Maintenance: Friday, June 30


E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account users may experience system slowness from 9:00-11:00 PM ET, Friday, June 30 during planned system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.  

6/30/2017New User Guide: Filing Appeals in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC)


EPC User Guide: Appeals is now available to help you file appeals in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). If you wish to appeal a Schools and Libraries Program decision, you must file an appeal with USAC before you can file one with the FCC.    

6/27/2017System Maintenance Thursday, June 29


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable on Thursday, June 29th from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM EDT. The pre-production and production environments will unavailable during this time.

NLAD 3.5.0 release includes:

  • An optional query string (?rowsProcessed) for the Get/batch request

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

6/23/2017News Brief Issued


The 06/23/2017 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.

6/22/2017Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - June 23-24


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 8:00 PM ET on Friday, June 23 through 2:00 AM ET Saturday, June 24 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. 

  

6/22/2017FCC Issues Public Notice on Draft ESL for FY2018


On June 21, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 17-602) establishing the comment period for the Funding Year (FY) 2018 Eligible Services List (ESL).

Comments on the draft ESL, which is attached to the Public Notice, are due to the FCC on or before July 21, 2017. Reply comments are due to the FCC on or before August 7, 2017. For information on filing comments with the FCC, please refer to the Public Notice.

6/20/2017Scheduled System Maintenance Friday, June 23


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting on Friday, June 23 at 10:00 PM until Saturday, June 24 at 2:00 AM EDT.

The NLAD pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

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

6/19/2017FY2018 FCC Form 470 Now Available


Applicants can now complete and certify an FCC Form 470 for FY2018.

To start an FY2018 FCC Form 470, log in to EPC and click the FCC Form 470 link at the top of your landing page.

6/16/2017News Brief Issued


The 06/16/2017 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.

6/16/2017FCC Announces Third Quarter 2017 Contribution Factor Decrease to 17.1 Percent


The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice (DA 17-580) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter (July-September) of 2017 will be 0.171 or 17.1 percent.

6/15/2017NLAD Release Version 3.4.11


NLAD version 3.4.11 has been released into the Production environment today, June 15, 2017.

This release includes two new API error codes related to the Tribal Benefit Flag and the Tribal Address Flag. In certain areas that do not meet the definition of "Tribal lands" as defined in §54.400(e) of the Lifeline rules, the following error(s) will be displayed if either or both of the Tribal flags are checked: 

  • INVALID_LIFELINE_TRIBAL_BENEFIT_FLAG - Lifeline Tribal Benefit is unavailable for this location.
  • INVALID_PRIMARY_TRIBAL_FLAG - Tribal Address is unavailable for this location.

Please note, this does not mean any Tribal enrollment rules have changed, nor does it signify that subscribers whose enrollments do not receive this error necessarily live on Tribal land.

The API Specification document containing the new error codes is available in the “Reports and Tools” section of the Production environment

  

6/13/20172017 Service Provider Training Announced


USAC's Schools and Libraries Division will hold its annual training for E-rate Program service providers at a single site – on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. This training is exclusively for service providers who have direct involvement and day-to-day management of the E-rate program for their organizations.

During the training you'll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from members of the USAC Schools and Libraries team on key topics important to service providers from competitive bidding to invoicing. 

Space is limited.  Register Today!

Date and Time: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM CT

Location: The Westin Galleria Dallas
                   13340 Dallas Parkway
                   Dallas, TX 75240 

6/12/2017Webinar on June 14: National Verifier Stakeholder Feedback


Join us for the next Lifeline Program Webinar to hear updates about the Lifeline Program, including the National Verifier, the Lifeline Modernization Order, and the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). 

Webinar Agenda

During the webinar, the Lifeline Program staff will discuss:

  • Refresher: National Verifier
  • Review of Stakeholder Feedback
  • Audience Q&A 

To foster a collaborative discussion with our audience, we will accept live questions during the event.

We look forward to hearing your questions and comments!

6/9/2017News Brief Issued


The 06/09/2017 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.

6/5/2017Summer Webinar Schedule Announced


Join USAC for our live training webinars provided for E-rate Program participants. We will share program updates and essential guidance to help participants learn about and successfully navigate the program. During each webinar, the audience will have the opportunity to take part in a live question and answer session with members of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program team.

Register here: How to File FCC Form 486
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
3:00 PM ET

Register here: How to File FCC Form 470
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 
3:00 PM ET

Register here: E-rate Training for Beginners
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
3:00 PM ET

If you can't attend the live presentations, register for the webinars and we'll send you a link to the recording. The recordings will also be posted in the Online Learning Library

Equipment and Set-Up

To participate, you'll need:

-To meet the minimum system requirements, Click the "FAQs and System Test" button on the event's registration page to determine whether your computer meets the requirements to see and hear the webinar.
-A computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.
-Computer speakers or headset.

Need Help?

If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact USAC Outreach.  

6/2/2017News Brief Issued


The 06/02/2017 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.

5/26/2017News Brief Issued


The 05/26/2017 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.

3/17/2017News Brief Issued


The 03/17/2017 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.