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Certification for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) is required for High Cost Program support. State regulatory commissions typically submit carrier certifications for rural, non-rural, and competitive carriers that are eligible to receive High Cost Program support in the form of a letter. Letters should also be submitted to the FCC. Where the state lacks jurisdiction, an authorized corporate officer of the ETC will file the certification. These are due annually on or before October 1.
The certification must state that all federal High Cost Program support provided to rural and/or non-rural carriers and competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs) within the state will be used only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended. The certification must also reference CC Docket No. 96-45.
If a state fails to certify a carrier, that carrier will not be eligible to receive support in the following calendar year. For states filing rural and non-rural use certifications.These certifications should also be filed with the FCC, and should list rural carriers separately from non-rural carriers.
If an ETC is subject to state jurisdiction, the certification must come from the appropriate state regulatory authority.
If an ETC is not subject to state jurisdiction, it may certify directly. ETCs should also file directly to the FCC. The certification may be in the form of a sworn affidavit executed by a corporate officer, attesting to the use of the support only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of the facilities and services for which the support is intended. ETCs are encouraged to work closely with their state commissions.
The certification should include each carrier's Study Area Code (SAC), the six-digit number we assigned to each carrier (or that the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) assigned). Because ETCs are designated at various times throughout the year, state commissions should update their non-rural use certifications so that new ETCs are included in the next eligible quarter for High Cost Program support as outlined in the table below.
In order to receive High Cost Program support for High Cost Loop (HCL), High Cost Model (HCM), Local Switching Support (LSS), Safety Net Additive (SNA), and Safety Valve Support (SVS), certifications must be submitted by state commissions and must be received as indicated in the table below. This table also reflects submission requirements of the FCC.
If a state fails to file the appropriate certification(s) on time, the following support eligibility schedule applies:
Certification Filed by:
ETC Eligible For Support:
All ETCs seeking support from the High Cost Model component of the High Cost Program are subject to this certification requirement. All rural carriers that are eligible to receive either forward-looking support under High Cost Model or hold harmless support, as well as all CETCs seeking support in the service area of such a rural carrier, are subject to the rural certification requirement contained in Section 54.313 of the FCC's rules.
Non-Rural Use Certifications must be filed via mail, email, or fax at the following addresses:
FCC mailing address:
Marlene H. Dortch
Office of the Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
USAC mailing address:
Vice President, High Cost and Low Income
2000 L Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: (866) 873-4666
Email: HC Filings
To find out if we have received your October 1 Use Certification, IAS Certification, or ICLS Certification, visit the certification checklist.