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Rural and non-rural incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) must submit certain cost data, as stated in Part 54 of the FCC's rules, and in some cases ILECs should submit to the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA), as stated in Part 36 of the FCC's rules; in order for the High Cost Program to calculate and disburse support amounts to carriers for each support component.
ILECs can use the Filing Requirements and Deadlines Tool for more information on filing requirements.
In FCC Report and Order 07-150,the Commission clarified document retention requirements for High Cost Program beneficiaries. Recipients of universal service support for high-cost providers and their agents are required to retain all records that demonstrate to auditors the support they received was consistent with the Commission's rules, assuming that audits are conducted within five years of disbursement of such support. These records should include without limitation, the following; data supporting line count filings, historical customer records, fixed asset property accounting records, general ledgers, invoice copies for the purchase and maintenance of equipment, maintenance contracts for the upgrade or equipment, and any other relevant documentation.
The Order states, "Beneficiaries must make available all such documents and records that pertain to them, including those of NECA, contractors, and consultants working on behalf of the beneficiaries to the Commission's OIG, to the USF Administrator, and to their auditors."
Please note that the Order also states, "[...] To the extent other rules or any other law require or necessitate documents be kept for longer periods of time (e.g., to support the account balances in the Part 32 Uniform System of Accounts, continuing property records, pole attachment calculations, plant equipment age, cost, or useful life, depreciation rates)," the Commission "[did] not alter, amend, or supplant such rule or law. High Cost Program recipients must keep documents for such longer periods of time as required or necessary under such other rules or law and make such documents available to the Commission and USAC."
This Report and Order became effective 30 days after it was published in the Federal Register, January 31, 2008, pp. 5843-5.