USAC's E-File system (including My Portal) will be unavailable for all users on Thursday, February 23, from 9:00-11:00 PM ET, for system maintenance. All online FCC forms for contributors, service providers, eligible telecommunications carriers, and health care providers will not be accessible. During this time, users will be unable to file, certify, and search for FCC Forms 460, 461, 462, 463, 465, 466, 467, 473, 481, 497, 498, 499, 555, 690, or Telecommunications Program invoices online.
NLAD and EPC will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal will soon be live and ready to accept broadband deployment data from carriers participating in the modernized Connect America programs.
Carriers can take steps now to prepare for the HUBB launch and be ready to file data showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service.
USAC is committed to helping carriers file successfully with the HUBB. Below are some resources from USAC and the FCC to help carriers collect geolocated broadband deployment data, check its accuracy, and upload it to the portal:
Carriers have until 5:30 PM EST on Thursday, January 19, 2017, to notify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they elect to receive High Cost Program support based on the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM). Carriers can make this election on a state-by-state basis.
No action is required if carriers wish to continue to receive support from reformed legacy mechanisms, including Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) and High Cost Loop Support (HCLS), if applicable. If a carrier fails to submit any final election letter by the January 19, 2017 deadline, it will remain on legacy support.
To Select A-CAM Support
To elect A-CAM support, carriers must email the FCC at ConnectAmerica@fcc.gov and indicate their A-CAM election in the email, along with specific state elections (if applicable). Elections will be considered timely if the FCC receives them by 5:30 PM EST on January 19, 2017. (Note: please see 47 CFR Section 0.403, 1.7). Carriers should not mail a hard copy of their election letter to the FCC.
Carriers submitting election letter emails will receive an e-mail confirmation receipt from the FCC. Should carriers not receive this receipt, they should contact the FCC, via email or via phone at (202) 418-7400, no later than 4:00 PM EST on January 19, 2017. Confirmation of receipt does not constitute authorization to receive A-CAM support.
Background on A-CAM
The Rate-of-Return Order allows carriers to elect the new A-CAM model, which provides a set amount of monthly support over 10 years, or remain with a reformed version of legacy support mechanisms, including CAF-BLS and HCLS. After receiving initial carrier elections by November 1, the FCC took a number of steps to address high demand for A-CAM support.
Those steps include allocating an additional $50 million annually to the A-CAM budget and making revised offers to 191 carriers that previously elected A-CAM. The methodology used to calculate the revised offers reduces support by varying percentages based on how many locations in a carrier’s eligible service territory still lack access to broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream. Carriers that accept the revised offer of support must agree to meet the terms of the original A-CAM offer if additional support becomes available in 2017 to fund the original offers.
Join USAC for a webinar on Thursday, January 5 at 2:00 PM, to prepare for the upcoming launch of the HUBB (High Cost Universal Broadband) portal.
Webinar: How to Be Successful with the HUBB Portal
January 5, 2017 at 2:00 PM
Please note: USAC will not discuss or answer policy questions.
Who should attend
Carriers participating in modernized Connect America programs should attend this webinar.
Reporting Geolocated Data in the HUBB
Starting in 2017, carriers participating in modernized Connect America programs must file deployment data with USAC’s HUBB portal showing where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service by precise location. This information will include latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available, and will eventually be displayed on a public-facing map showing the impact of Connect America funding on broadband expansion throughout rural America. HUBB will be available and ready to accept geolocated deployment data in early 2017, in time for a March 1 filing deadline.
If you have any questions about the event or the HUBB portal, please contact HC Questions.
Beginning December 2, 2016, recipients of High Cost Program support will be obligated to offer Lifeline broadband service as outlined in the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.
Most Providers Must Offer Lifeline-Supported Broadband Starting December 2
Service providers that receive high-cost support through the Universal Service Fund and commercially offer service that meets the Lifeline minimum service standards are required to offer Lifeline-supported broadband internet access service (BIAS) starting on December 2, 2016. This change is part of the FCC's 2016 Lifeline Modernization order.
Once you begin offering Lifeline-supported broadband service to customers in your area, file FCC Form 497 to receive reimbursement. Please ensure the Lifeline blocks of FCC Form 498 (blocks 7&8) are completed and submit a Lifeline SAC Request Update before submitting FCC Form 497. Visit USAC's website to learn more.
Details about Broadband Obligations
A recipient of high-cost support is required to offer Lifeline BIAS starting December 2, 2016, if it:
An ETC is that receives high-cost support is not required to offer Lifeline BIAS if it meets one of these conditions and files for forbearance:
About the Lifeline Program
The federal Lifeline Program provides a monthly benefit of $9.25 ($34.25 for subscribers living on Tribal lands) to help eligible low income consumers access phone and, beginning in December 2016, broadband service. The benefit is paid directly to service providers who then pass the cost reduction along to subscribers.
Join the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau Staff and USAC for a webinar on October 6 to discuss the status of implementation of the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order.
Rate-of-Return Reform Order Q&A
The session will begin with a short presentation, but most of the time will be dedicated to Q&A with the FCC. The agenda includes:
Register Now: 2016 Rate-of-Return Order Q&A
Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM ET
Carriers are encouraged to submit questions in advance using the "Questions and Comments" section of the registration form.
This session will be recorded and posted to USAC's Online Learning Library for later viewing. A recording of the Rate-of-Return Reform Order webinar presented in April 2016 is also available on that page, along with the slide deck and Q&A.
If you have any questions about the event, please contact HC Questions.