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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.

1/18/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/18/2019 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.

1/18/2019Watch the Funding Request Best Practices Webinar Now!


On January 16, the RHC Program team hosted a Funding Request Best Practices webinar. This webinar covered how to submit the FCC Forms 462 and 466 in My Portal as well as some helpful tips for FY2019. Watch the webinar and download the slides here!

1/17/2019HUBB Outage Due to System Maintenance


Monthly systems maintenance will occur between Friday, January 18 at 6PM and Saturday, January 19 at 10AM. During this time, the HUBB portal will be unavailable.

1/17/2019January 2019 Contributor Invoice Summary Now Available Online


The January 2019 invoice summary for contributors is now online and available for filers to view in E-File. Watch this quick video to learn how to access your online invoice summary

1/16/2019Upcoming System Maintenance, January 18


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable due to January's monthly maintenance starting Friday, January 18 from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. ET.

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

1/16/2019HUBB Resources Page Updated for 2019


The HUBB Resources page has been updated to reflect requirements for the filing due 3/1/2019.

1/15/2019My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Tuesday, January 22


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 7:30 a.m. on tuesday, January 22, 2019 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/15/2019Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - January 15


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 15 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

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

1/15/2019National Verifier Hard Launches in Second Launch States and Territory


Today, Tuesday, January 15, the Lifeline National Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) hard launched in Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Service providers in these states and territory must use the National Verifier to check the eligibility of all Lifeline applicants before enrolling them in the program. Consumers in these states and territory can apply for Lifeline directly through the National Verifier online consumer portal at www.CheckLifeline.org or by mailing a paper application to the Lifeline Support Center.

The full launch of the National Verifier in these states and territory is an important step towards improving the Lifeline consumer experience and program integrity. USAC is working diligently with states, territories, federal and tribal partners to bring more consumers into the National Verifier.

To learn more about Lifeline and the National Verifier, visit USAC's National Verifier page. 

1/11/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/11/2019 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.

1/11/2019January Scheduled System Maintenance


January Scheduled System Maintenance

The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable due to January's monthly maintenance starting Friday, January 18 from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. ET.

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

The 2019 monthly maintenance schedule is now available on the NLAD Maintenance Schedule page.

Scheduled System Maintenance Monday, January 28

NLAD and National Verifier pre-production environments will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Monday, January 28 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET.

NLAD and National Verifier production environments will be available for use during this time.

Scheduled System Maintenance Thursday, January 31

NLAD and National Verifier production environments will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Thursday, January 31 from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m. ET.

NLAD and National Verifier pre-production environments will be available for use during this time.

1/11/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: January 14-15


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Monday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m ET through Tuesday, January 15 at 1:00 a.m. ET for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/9/2019E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: January 13-14


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, January 14 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. 

We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/8/2019New Webinar! FCC Form 499-Q Basics


Register here for the January 15, 2019 webinar designed to walk 499 filers through the basics of filling out an FCC Form 499-Q.

This is a new training class for 2019, lead by a senior USAC contributions analyst.   The next quarterly filing is due on February 1, 2019.  If you are a new 499 ID holder, this training is a great opportunity to learn about this FCC Form.

1/8/2019National Verifier System Maintenance, January 13


Users may be unable to complete applications in the National Verifier pre-production and production environments on Sunday, January 13 at 8 p.m. ET due to a system restart. This potential service disruption is expected to last no longer than 15 to 30 minutes. 

After the 30 minute window, users should be able to access National Verifier functionalities as normal.

1/7/2019USAC Is Open for Business As Usual; All Deadlines Remain in Effect


During the government shutdown, USAC will remain open for business as usual and all universal service deadlines remain in effect. Disbursements will continue to be issued by USAC. USAC events such as conference calls and webinars will take place as scheduled.

1/4/2019News Brief Issued


The 1/4/2019 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.

1/3/2019Newsletter for January 2019


FY2019 Filing Window Opens February 1, 2019

The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) between February 1 and 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for funding consideration. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as early as possible in the filing window period. You can begin the application process and submit all other application forms for FY2019 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before February 1.

If the total amount of qualifying funding requests received during the initial filing window period for FY2019 does not exceed available RHC Program funding, we will determine if there will be additional filing windows.

Prepare to submit your funding request by attending the Funding Request Best Practices Webinar! This webinar will go through both the FCC Form 462 and 466 in My Portal and cover important tips for submitting a compliant funding request by the initial filing window close on May 31, 2019. Register here

Submit FY2019 Request for Services Forms Now!

Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 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 was January 1, 2019-- six months before the start of the funding year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Prepare to submit your Request for Services Form with the following resources:

 

FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover 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.

FY2018 and FY2017 Information

 

Update on FY2018

RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. 

FY2017 FCC Forms

My Portal continues to accept Telecommunications (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. 

 

Important Reminders

 

Register for RHC 101 - Wednesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Are you or a colleague interested in learning more about the RHC Program? On February 20, 2019, we will be hosting a webinar for beginners called “RHC Program 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program.” This webinar will cover the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Register today!

Watch the RHC Program Eligibility Best Practices Webinar

On November 29, 2018, the RHC Program Team hosted an RHC Program Eligibility webinar. This webinar covered best practices for submitting the first form in the RHC Program process: the FCC Form 460 (HCF Program) and the FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program). If you are a new applicant ready to get started, watch the recording and download the slides here!

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline.

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 FY2018, at a minimum. 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.

 

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

1/3/2019Submit FY2019 Request for Services Now!


Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 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 was January 1, 2019-- six months before the start of the funding year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Prepare to submit your Request for Services Form with the following resources:

12/22/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/22/2018 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.

12/21/2018Special Edition News Brief - FY2019 Application Filing Window Opens January 16, 2019


A Special Edition issue of the News Brief (12/21/2018) 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.

12/21/2018Online Applicant Training Series Now Available


Today, we launched the first of a new online training series which provides an online, self-paced learning option for those program participants who were unable to attend our fall training events or who want a refresher. 

The online applicant training series is now available in our Online Learning Library. A service provider training series will be available in 2019. We encourage you to view the offerings in this series and let us know what you think by using the evaluation at the end of each training module.

12/21/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - December 2018


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

December headlines:

  • FCC and USAC Announce National Verifier Full Launch Date for Launch 2 States and Territory
  • National Verifier Live in Four Additional States
  • National Verifier Outreach Lists - Sign up for Future Launch Information
  • FCC Form 555 Updates and Reminders
  • 2019 Webinar Schedule Now Available


12/20/2018E-rate Client Service Bureau Closed: December 24-25


In observance of the Christmas holiday, the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program’s Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Monday, December 24, 2018 and Tuesday, December 25, 2018. CSB will reopen Wednesday, December 26, 2018 for the regular hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

12/20/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - December 20


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-11:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 20 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

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

12/20/2018Call Center Holiday Hours


In observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, the High Cost and Rural Health Care call center and the E-rate Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Monday, December 24, Tuesday, December 25, and Tuesday, January 1. Normal operating hours will resume following these dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

The Lifeline Support Center will be closed Tuesday, December 25 and Tuesday, January 1. Normal operating hours will resume following these dates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. 

12/18/2018December 2018 Contributor Invoice Summary Now Available Online


The December 2018 invoice summary for contributors is now online and available for filers to view in E-File. 

Watch this quick video to learn how to access your online invoice summary

12/17/2018Preparing for FY2019 - Webinar Recording Now Available


If you missed the Preparing for Funding Year (FY) 2019 webinar on December 12, 2018, you can use this link to register and watch a recording. This webinar was designed to help applicants and service providers prepare for the Funding Year 2019 application filing window. 

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-rate Experience Level: All levels

12/14/2018Focus on Participant Experience


USAC is continuing its ongoing efforts to better serve E-rate participants by adding extra applicant and service provider support and implementing enhancements to improve the experience for the E-rate community. As the end of the calendar year approaches, while we are committed to addressing as many open participant issues as possible before 2019, we appreciate the E-rate community’s patience and cooperation as we work open cases.

 

Some of these open cases may require a change in reviewers once USAC transitions to its new vendor for E-rate business process operations later this month. All review activities, including program integrity assurance (PIA), appeals, funding commitment waves and payments, will continue during the transition.

 

USAC will reach out to E-rate participants that have active applications, invoices or post-commitment requests, to share additional information about any changes related to the transition to the new vendor. We will continue to share information with affected participants by email, especially if the transition to the new vendor will impact those participants’ open E-rate activities. For example, beginning in January, all open forms and requests (including invoices, appeals and post-commitment requests) will be assigned to new reviewers.

 

USAC is aware that some E-rate participants have open, inactive forms and requests pending with the program. These items will also transition to the new team and participants will receive outreach at a later time.

 

We appreciate the support and cooperation of the E-rate community as we work with our new vendor on these adjustments.

12/14/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/14/2018 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.

12/14/2018FCC Announces 1st Quarter 2019 Contribution Factor Decrease to 20.0 Percent


The FCC released a Public Notice (DA 18-1100   ) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter (January - March) of 2019 will be .200 or 20.0 percent

12/14/2018498 ID Status Tool - ISSUE RESOLVED


The 498 Status Tool is now operational.

Visit this webpage to use the 498 Status Tool.


12/13/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - December 13


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

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

12/13/2018Hard Launch Date for Second Launch States


Today, Thursday, December 13 the FCC and USAC announced that the Lifeline National Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) will fully launch in the second launch states and territory on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Beginning on that date, service providers in Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota must use the National Verifier to check the eligibility of all Lifeline applicants before enrolling them in the program.

At full launch of the National Verifier, consumers in those five states and one territory who wish to apply for Lifeline directly through the National Verifier can use the consumer portal or submit a paper application directly to the Lifeline Support Center.

To learn more about Lifeline and the National Verifier, visit USAC's National Verifier page. 

12/12/2018Focus on Participant Experience


In 2018, USAC improved the E-rate Program's operational efficiency by refining EPC to process applications more quickly and adjust to large volumes. As we look toward 2019, we will build on those advances with a steady focus on strengthening the E-rate participant experience.

 

We will serve participants better by adding extra applicant and service provider support, transitioning our E-rate business process operations and implementing enhancements to create a better experience for the E-rate community. USAC has expanded our participant support teams to ensure a smooth and orderly transition process with minimal impacts on the E-rate community.

 

E-rate participants with open applications, invoices or post-commitment requests will receive additional information to help guide them through the transition. USAC is working hard to address as many open participant issues as we can before the end of the year, and we appreciate the E-rate community's patience as we analyze and work open cases.

 

Most participants will not notice any changes in their E-rate experience during the transition and will see customer service improvements when it is complete.

12/12/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: December 16-17


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, December 17 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/11/2018NLAD December Monthly Maintenance Canceled


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) December maintenance was canceled. Users will be able to access NLAD pre-production and production environments on Friday, December 14 as usual.

12/10/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Wednesday, December 12


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12/7/2018News Brief Issued


The 12/7/2018 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.

12/7/2018Newsletter for December 2018


FY2019 Filing Window Dates Announced!

The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 and/or 466) between February 1 and 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for funding consideration. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as early as possible in the filing window period. You can begin the application process and submit all other application forms for FY2019 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before February 1.

If the total amount of qualifying funding requests received during the initial filing window period for FY2019 does not exceed available RHC Program funding, we will determine if there will be additional filing windows.

Update on FY2018

RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration.

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. 

HCF Program Invoicing Deadline Approaching

Please keep in mind that 11:59 p.m. ET December 31, 2018 is the last day to submit the FCC Form 463 to USAC if you had a funding commitment end date of June 30, 2018. Don't know when your HCF Program invoicing deadline is? Use the look-up tool on our website! Download the Invoicing Deadline Spreadsheet.

Watch the latest HCF Program Invoicing Webinar! This webinar covered how to submit the FCC Form 463 for healthcare providers (HCPs) and service providers. Watch the webinar and download the slides here. 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 them 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.

FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019.

 

Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with competitive bidding rules.

Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of competitive bidding rules.

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, and not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover 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 My Portal Updates for FY2017 Invoices (HCF Program)

A mid-December deployment will show true-up payments* in the “FCC Form 463” tab for HCPs and the “USAC Review” tab for service providers. For HCPs, true-up payments are indicated by an invoice number starting with “2017” with the date they were distributed in the “Last Edited” column. For service providers, the true-up invoice number begins with “2017” and in the “Vendor/Applicant Invoice Number” column, any true-up payments will read “True up + the original vendor invoice number.” For screenshots and a verbal explanation, please watch our FY2017 Invoicing Best Practices webinar.

*True-up payments were off- cycle payments issued when the FCC released their most recent RHC Program Order raising the cap for FY2017, which fully funded all previously pro-rated qualifying funding requests. The true-up payments covered the difference between payments already made and the adjusted amounts without the proration. True-up payments only applied to applicants who received a commitment for FY2017.

PQA Requests for Information Are Going Out

The 2018 Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) assessment program is underway. PQA is a program that assesses RHC Program payments made on invoices submitted during the past 12 months to verify that the payments were properly made – in other words, that all program rules were followed correctly when the payment was authorized and disbursed.

For disbursements made each month, a certain number of payments will be chosen, and applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation – for example, customer bills that support invoices submitted to USAC to verify that those payments were made correctly. It is important that you maintain proper documentation in order to be able to respond correctly and completely to PQA requests.

The email notifying applicants whose payments have been selected for PQA were sent in December from the domain name usac.i-sight.com. Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive an email request from USAC's PQA Program. Also check your spam folder or junk email folder to see if it contains an email from this domain. This will help expedite your review.

  • Do not hesitate to contact your reviewer if you have questions. Contact information is provided in the email.
  • Also, contact your PQA reviewer if you are unable to respond by the deadline. 

 

Winter Training Series Dates Announced!

We highly recommend attending our upcoming online training series, specifically designed to prepare applicants for the FY2019 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 FY2019 filing window.

 

  • Request for Services Webinar: Wednesday December 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Get ready for the start of the FY2019 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: Date January 16, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET Join us to prepare for FY2019. This webinar will focus on the FCC Forms 462 and 466: Register here.

 

Important Reminders

Program Eligibility Best Practices Webinar

On November 29, 2018, the RHC Program Team hosted an RHC Program Eligibility webinar. This webinar covered best practices for submitting the first form in the RHC Program process: the FCC Form 460 (for the HCF Program) and the FCC Form 465 (for the Telecom Program). The webinar recording and slides will be posted to our Online Learning Library soon!

Watch RHC 101

On September 26, 2018 the RHC Program Team hosted RHC 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program webinar. This webinar covered the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Were you unable to make it? The recording and slides are posted on our website here.

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

Applicants must upload all required documentation with the submission of their FCC Forms 462 or 466. FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline! 

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 FY2018. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

12/3/2018FUSF Reseller Certification Template Now Available


USAC has developed a template for wholesale carriers to obtain information from their resale customers regarding the status of their contributions to the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) on the revenue associated with the specific service(s) provided to resellers.

You can find the template on our Handouts and Reference page

This template is provided as a voluntary resource only.  Companies can develop their own template for documentation purposes related to revenue reported in Block 300 of the FCC Form 499-A. 

12/3/2018PQA Requests for Information Are Going Out


The 2018 Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) assessment program is underway. PQA is a program that assesses RHC Program payments made on invoices submitted during the past 12 months to verify that the payments were properly made – in other words, that all program rules were followed correctly when the payment was authorized and disbursed.

For disbursements made each month, a certain number of payments will be chosen, and applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation – for example, customer bills that support invoices submitted to USAC – to verify that those payments were made correctly. It is important that you maintain proper documentation in order to be able to respond correctly and completely to PQA requests.

The email request notifying applicants whose payments have been selected for PQA are being sent in December from the domain name usac.i-sight.com. Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive an email from USAC's PQA Program. Also check your spam folder or junk email folder to see if it contains an email from this domain. This will help expedite your review.

  • Do not hesitate to contact your reviewer if you have questions. Contact information is provided in the email.
  • Also, contact your PQA reviewer if you are unable to respond by the deadline.  

11/30/2018News Brief Issued


The 11/30/2018 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.

11/29/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - November 29


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 29 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

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

11/28/20182018 E-rate Service Provider Training - December 3-5


USAC’s annual service provider trainings will take place at USAC’s office located at 700 12th Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005 on December 3-5, 2018. For those of you joining us at USAC next week, here are a few tips and reminders to help you prepare for the training.

December 3 and December 5 are identical full-day trainings designed for participants of all proficiency levels; attendees should be registered for only one of these two trainings. December 4 is a half-day afternoon training specifically for beginner participants who want the very basics of the program. Attendees must attend the session(s) for which they are confirmed as registered. To reiterate, training dates and times are:

  • Monday, December 3: 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (general session for all proficiency levels)
  • Tuesday, December 4: 12:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. (beginner session covering program basics)
  • Wednesday, December 5: 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (repeat of general session for all proficiency levels)

Registration: Registration opens 30 minutes before the day’s training as noted above. Please bring a photo ID. The name on USAC’s registration records must match the name of the person who attends the training. We are at full capacity and will not be able to accommodate walk-in registrations.

Check-in Process:

  1. Enter the 12th Street lobby at 700 12th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.
  2. Go to USAC’s registration desk in the lobby to check in and receive your name badge and training agenda. 
  3. Then, go to the security desk in the lobby to receive your security pass.
  4. A USAC representative by the elevators will guide you to the training event.

NOTE: If you are attending two days of training, you will need to check in with USAC and receive a security pass at the beginning of each day.

Download the Training Materials: Training materials are available on our website. We will be going paperless this year, and will not have printouts. Please plan accordingly.

Food: Attendees should make their own arrangements for meals. USAC will provide recommendations for nearby breakfast and lunch options within short walking distance, of which there are many.

We look forward to seeing you next week. For more information on our fall training events, please reference our 2018 Applicant & Service Provider Trainings page.

 

11/26/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* Outage Due to System Maintenance: November 26


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* will be unavailable on Monday, November 26 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

11/20/2018Updating Applicant Profiles - Webinar Recording Now Available


If you missed the Updating Applicant Profiles webinar on November 20, 2018, you can use this link to register and watch a recording.This webinar was designed to help applicants update their E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) profiles in preparation for the Funding Year 2019 application filing window. The presentation provides an introduction to entity profiles, including information about what profile data should be updated during the administrative window.

Recommended for: New applicants and applicants that want to review the basic elements of entity profiles and administrative window updates

E-rate Experience Level: Beginner

11/20/2018December Webinar - Registration is Now Open


Join USAC for the monthly E-rate Program webinar. In December, we will discuss how to prepare for the Funding Year (FY) 2019 application filing window.

 

Preparing for FY2019 – December 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ETRegister Today

This webinar is designed to help applicants and service providers prepare for the FY2019 application filing window.

Recommended for: Applicants and service providers

E-rate Experience Level: All levels

11/19/2018November 2018 Contributor Invoice Summary Now Available Online


The November 2018 invoice summary for contributors is now online and available for filers to view in E-File. 

Watch this quick video to learn how to access your online invoice summary

11/19/2018E-rate Client Service Bureau Closed: Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23


In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program’s Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23. CSB will reopen Monday, November 26 for the regular hours of 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

11/19/2018 Lifeline Program Newsletter - November 2018


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

November headlines:

  • Minimum Service Standards Increase December 1
  • Sign Up for Future Launch National Verifier Outreach Lists
  • National Verifier Full Launch in Initial Launch States
  • Webinar on December 12: FCC Form 555

11/16/2018News Brief Issued


The 11/16/2018 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.

11/16/2018FCC Releases FY2019 Eligible Services List


On November 16, 2018, in Public Notice DA 18-1173, the FCC released the Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year (FY) 2019. Appendix A contains a list of commenters, and Appendix B contains the ESL itself.

11/16/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - November 16-17


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 16 through 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 17 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.

11/15/2018Upcoming Scheduled System Maintenance, Nov. 16 & Nov. 27.


NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS Scheduled System Maintenance, November 16
 
The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and the Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable for use due to scheduled system maintenance starting Friday, November 16 at 10 p.m. until Saturday, November 17 at 2 a.m. ET.

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

Additional National Verifier Pre-Prod Scheduled System Maintenance, November 16

The National Verifier pre-production environment will be unavailable for use starting Friday, November 16 at 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. ET.

The National Verifier's pre-production environment will not be available for use during this time.

Users of NLAD’s National Verifier workflow will not be able to enroll, transfer, or update subscriber information in NLAD’s pre-production environment. NLAD UI and API users can continue to access reports and perform de-enrollments during this time.

After this outage, users will be able to test the collection of latitude and longitude coordinates to resolve AMS failures in the pre-production environment. On Tuesday, December 4, National Verifier users will see this change in the production environment and must provide latitude and longitude coordinates to resolve AMS failures for online applications.

National Verifier Scheduled System Maintenance, November 27

The National Verifier will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Tuesday, November 27 at 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. ET. Certain functionality in NLAD will also be impacted.

The National Verifier’s pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

Users of NLAD’s National Verifier workflow will not be able to enroll, transfer, or update subscriber information in NLAD’s pre-production and production environments. NLAD UI and API users can continue to access reports and perform de-enrollments during this time.

11/14/2018Register for the RHC Program Winter Training Series!


Over the next few months, the RHC Program will host a series of webinars in preparation for FY2019. These comprehensive webinars will cover the application process from start to finish and include eligibility, request for services, and funding request best practices. Whether you are a new applicant or just need a refresher on the forms, these webinars are the best way to prepare for the upcoming funding year!

 

November 29 2:00 p.m. ET – RHC Program Eligibility Best Practices Webinar – Register here!

December 12 2:00 p.m. ET – RHC Program Request for Services Best Practices Webinar – Register here!

January 16 2:00 p.m. ET -- RHC Program Funding Request Best Practices Webinar – Register here!


After the discussion of the agenda items, RHC Program staff will accept questions from the audience. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance using the webinar registration form.

Can't attend the live webinars? All webinar recordings will be made available on our website in the Online Learning Library.


11/14/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: November 18-19


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m ET through Monday, November 19 at 1:00 a.m. ET for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. 

We apologize for any inconvenience.

11/9/2018News Brief Issued


The 11/9/2018 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.

11/9/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Thursday, November 29


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

11/9/2018Scheduled System Maintenance Wednesday, November 14


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Wednesday, November 14, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. ET

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

11/9/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: November 9-10


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will be unavailable from Friday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m ET through Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 a.m. ET for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. We apologize for any inconvenience.

11/2/2018News Brief Issued


The 11/2/2018 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.

11/1/2018Newsletter for November 2018


No Additional Filing Window Periods for FY2018

Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. Please keep in mind that FY2018 funding requests are still in review and commitment decisions have not yet been released. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal.

 

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. 

HCF Program Invoicing Deadline Approaching

Please keep in mind that 11:59 p.m. ET December 31, 2018 is the last day to submit the FCC Form 463 to USAC if you had a funding commitment end date of June 30, 2018.

Don't know when your HCF Program invoicing deadline is? Use the look-up tool on our website! Download the Invoicing Deadline Spreadsheet.

Register for the Invoicing Best Practices Webinar on November 15! This webinar will cover how to submit the FCC Form 463 for healthcare providers (HCPs) 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 them 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

Winter Training Series Dates Announced!

?We highly recommend attending our upcoming online training series, specifically designed to prepare applicants for the FY2019 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 FY2019 filing window.

  • Eligibility Webinar: Thursday November 29, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Ready to apply to the RHC Program? Join our Eligibility Best Practices webinar to learn how to submit the first form in the application process, the FCC Form 460 or 465. Register here.
  • Request for Services Webinar: Wednesday December 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Get ready for the start of the FY2019 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.   

RHC Program Funding Cap Order

On June 25, 2018, the FCC issued an Order that adopted rules to: (1) increase the annual RHC Program funding cap to $571 million and apply it to FY2017; (2) annually adjust the RHC Program funding cap for inflation, beginning with FY2018; and (3) establish a process to carry-forward unused funds from past funding years for use in future funding years. The rules became effective upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register on June 29, 2018.

Watch the 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order Information Webinar and download the FAQ Sheet.

What this means for FY2017: Due to the increase in the RHC Program funding cap for FY2017, all previously approved FY2017 funding requests will receive 100% of their approved funding amount. The proration that was previously applied to FY2017 funding commitments has been removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) have been issued via email. If you have not received your revised FY2017 FCL or have questions about it, please contact RHC-Assist@usac.org.

Please log in to My Portal and make sure you are up to date with your FY2017 invoices. If you have questions about the invoicing process, please look at our program invoicing pages for additional information: HCF Invoicing Page and Telecom Invoicing Page.

What this means for FY2018: As noted in the FCC’s 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation. As a reminder, the FY2018 filing window closed on Friday, June 29, 2018. Applicants are currently unable to submit funding requests for FY2018.

Revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules (HSS) Distributed

HCPs and service providers in the Telecom Program were emailed revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules, which now reflect the 100% support amount (no proration).

Access Your Revised FY2017 FCL in My Portal

The Revised FY2017 Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) you received via email are now also available in My Portal. Download the How to Find Your FCL in My Portal Tip Sheet for more information on accessing your FCL.

 

Important Reminders for FY2018

Watch RHC 101

On September 26, the RHC Program Team hosted RHC 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program webinar. This webinar covered the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Were you unable to make it? The recording and slides are posted on our website here.

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

Applicants must upload all required documentation with the submission of their FCC Forms 462 or 466. FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline! 

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 FY2018. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

11/1/2018Register for the HCF Program Invoicing Webinar November 15!


Register for the Invoicing Best Practices Webinar on November 15! This webinar will cover how to submit the FCC Form 463 for healthcare providers (HCPs) and service providers. It contains helpful tips, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process, and more!

10/29/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - October 2018


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

October headlines:

  • Only Enter Test Data in NLAD Pre-Production Environment
  • Documentation Reminder for TPIV Dispute Resolution Error Code T18  
  • FCC and USAC Announce National Verifier Full Launch Date for Initial Launch States
  • National Verifier Live in Five Additional States and One Territory 
  • Keep Companies Near Me Tool Up-to-Date 
  • Minimum Service Standards Increase December 1 
  • Webinar on December 12: FCC Form 555 

10/29/2018Scheduled System Maintenance Tuesday, October 30


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Tuesday, October 30 from 10 p.m. until 11 p.m. ET.

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

10/26/2018News Brief Issued


The 10/26/2018 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.

10/26/2018NLAD, LCS and National Verifier Service Fully Restored


Service to the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) and the Lifeline Claims System (LCS) has been fully restored. Access to all features and functionalities, including reports is working as usual.

 

Users should no longer experience issues performing eligibility verifications in the National Verifier service provider portal.

 

We apologize for the inconvenience that this disruption may have caused.  

10/25/20182018 Fall Webinars - Registration is Now Open


Join USAC for our live training webinarsthis fall. Our upcoming webinars will provide guidance on basic E-rate Productivity Center(EPC) navigation for new applicants, how to update an applicant profile, and how all program participants can prepare for the upcoming application filing window.   

 

October Webinar: EPC 101 for Applicants – October 25, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. EDT  
This webinar is designed to help new applicants become familiar with EPC. Click here to register.  

 

November Webinar: Updating Applicant Profiles - November 20, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET    
This webinar is designed to help applicants update their EPC profiles in preparation for the Funding Year (FY) 2019 application filing window. Click here to register.        

 

December Webinar: Preparing for FY2019 - December 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET    
This webinar is designed to help applicants and service providers prepare for the FY2019 application filing window. Click here to register.

10/25/2018Scheduled System Maintenance Friday, October 26


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) and the National Verifier pre-production environments will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Friday, October 26 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. ET.

NLAD and the National Verifier production environments will be available for use during this time.

10/24/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* Outage Due to System Maintenance: October 25


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* will be unavailable on Thursday, October 25 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

10/19/2018News Brief Issued


The 10/19/2018 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.

10/18/2018Legacy System Outage Due to System Maintenance - October 19-20


The Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program legacy systems will be unavailable from 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 19 through 2:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, October 20 for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to file invoices and use some of the search tools. The BEAR training site will also be unavailable. NOTE: The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) will not be affected by this outage. We apologize for any inconvenience.

10/18/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Monday, October 22


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Monday, October 22, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.


10/17/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) Outage Due to System Maintenance: October 21-22


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and the EPC training site will be unavailable from Sunday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m EDT through Monday, October 22 at 1:00 a.m. EDT for monthly system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use EPC. 

We apologize for any inconvenience.

10/17/2018Scheduled System Maintenance Friday, October 19


The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier, and Lifeline Claims System (LCS) will be unavailable due to scheduled system maintenance starting Friday, October 19 at 10 p.m. ET until Saturday, October 20 at 11 a.m. ET.

NLAD, National Verifier, and LCS pre-production and production environments will not be available for use during this time.

Please note the longer maintenance window.

10/12/2018News Brief Issued


The 10/12/2018 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.

10/12/2018E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* Outage Due to System Maintenance: October 15


The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) *TRAINING SITE* will be unavailable on Monday, October 15 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EDT for system maintenance. During this time, users will be unable to log in to and use the training site. We apologize for any inconvenience.

10/11/20182018 E-rate Program Training Begins Next Week


USAC’s annual fall training starts on Monday, October 15, 2018 at USAC’s office located at 700 12th Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005. For those of you joining us at USAC next week, here are a few tips and reminders to help you prepare for the training.

 

Registration: Please bring your registration confirmation with you along with a photo ID. We are at full capacity and will not be able to accommodate walk-in registrations. The name on the registration must match the name of the person who attends the training.

 

There is a three-step check-in process in the building lobby:

  1. Go to the security desk in the lobby to receive your security pass.
  2. After you receive your security pass, go to USAC’s registration desk in the lobby to check in and receive your name badge and training agenda.
  3. Find a USAC representative by the elevators to guide you to the training event.

NOTE: If you are attending both days of training, you will need to request a security pass and check in at the beginning of each day.

 

Download the Training Materials: Training materials are available on our website. We will be going paperless this year, and will not have printouts. Please plan accordingly.

 

Food: Attendees should make their own arrangements for meals. USAC will provide recommendations for nearby breakfast and lunch options within walking distance.

 

We look forward to seeing you next week. For information on other fall training events, please reference our 2018 Applicant & Service Provider Trainings page.

10/11/2018FCC and USAC Announce Second National Verifier Launch


Today, the FCC and USAC announced the launch of the National Verifier in five additional states and one territory beginning Monday, October 15:

  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

At that time, service providers in the states and territory can begin using the National Verifier to determine subscriber eligibility. During the soft launch period, service providers can continue using their legacy eligibility checking procedures if they choose.

About the National Verifier

The National Verifier shifts the responsibility for determining a consumer's Lifeline eligibility from phone and internet service providers to the program's administrator, the Universal Service Administrative Company. The National Verifier will establish whether a consumer is eligible by electronically querying state and federal data sources, and if necessary, manually reviewing supporting documents. An overview of the National Verifier can be found on USAC's website.

Service providers who do business in any of the states or territory listed in this bulletin who did not receive an email about National Verifier training schedule for Launch 2 should email LifelineProgram@usac.org to be added to the National Verifier Launch 2 training list (this is different from the initial launch states training list).

10/10/2018October Webinar - Registration is Now Open


Join USAC for the monthly E-rate Program webinar. In October, we will discuss the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

 

E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) 101 for Applicants – October 25, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. EDTRegister Today

This webinar is designed to help new applicants become familiar with the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). EPC is the account and application management portal for the E-rate Program. Program participants use this tool to manage program processes, receive notifications and to contact customer service. In this webinar, you will learn about basic navigation in EPC, including logging in for the first time.

10/8/2018Connect America Fund Map Now Available


USAC has published a new interactive online map that shows the impact of the Connect America Fund (CAF) program on broadband expansion across rural America. Now live, the Connect America Fund Broadband Map – or CAF Map – displays the locations where carriers that receive CAF support have built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service. The map can be accessed on the High Cost tools page.

10/5/2018News Brief Issued


The 10/5/2018 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.

10/4/2018Newsletter for October 2018


Revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules (HSS) Distributed

HCPs and service providers in the Telecom Program were emailed revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules, which now reflect the 100% support amount (no proration).

Access Your Revised FY2017 FCL in My Portal

The Revised FY2017 Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) you received via email are now also available in My Portal. Download the How to Find Your FCL in My Portal Tip Sheet for more information on accessing your FCL

RHC Program Funding Cap Order

On June 25, 2018, the FCC issued an Order that adopted rules to: (1) increase the annual RHC Program funding cap to $571 million and apply it to FY2017; (2) annually adjust the RHC Program funding cap for inflation, beginning with FY2018; and (3) establish a process to carry-forward unused funds from past funding years for use in future funding years. The rules became effective upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register on June 29, 2018.

Watch the 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order Information Webinar and download the FAQ Sheet.

What this means for FY2017: Due to the increase in the RHC Program funding cap for FY2017, all previously approved FY2017 funding requests will receive 100% of their approved funding amount. The proration that was previously applied to FY2017 funding commitments has been removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) have been issued via email. If you have not received your revised FY2017 FCL or have questions about it, please contact RHC-Assist@usac.org.

Please log in to My Portal and make sure you are up to date with your FY2017 invoices. If you have questions about the invoicing process, please look at our program invoicing pages for additional information: HCF Invoicing Page and Telecom Invoicing Page.

What this means for FY2018: As noted in the FCC’s 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation. As a reminder, the FY2018 filing window closed on Friday, June 29, 2018. Applicants are currently unable to submit funding requests for FY2018.

 

Important Reminders for FY2018

Upcoming Invoicing Training

The HCF Program invoicing deadline for FY2017 commitments ending on June 30, 2018 is December 31, 2018. The RHC Program Team will be hosting a webinar covering the invoicing process and best practices on November 15, 2018. Register today!

Watch RHC 101

On September 26, the RHC Program Team hosted RHC 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program webinar. This webinar covered the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Were you unable to make it? The recording and slides are posted on our website here.

Appeal Decisions

USAC is no longer sending appeal decisions via postal mail. If you have appealed a decision made by USAC, you will receive your appeal decision via email. Applicants seeking FCC review of a decision issued by USAC must follow the FCC’s regular appeal procedures.  

New Extended RHC Help Desk Hours!

As of August 1st, the RHC Help Desk hours were extended from 8:00 a.m. ET – 5:00 p.m. ET to 8:00 a.m. ET – 8:00 p.m. ET. We hope these longer operational hours will help meet the needs of our stakeholders on both coasts, and, in an effort to provide more one-on-one guidance, we are increasing the number of dedicated staff responding to phone calls and emails. Our goal with this expansion is to deliver thorough, helpful answers and guidance to you, faster.

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

Applicants must upload all required documentation with the submission of their FCC Forms 462 or 466. FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline! 

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 FY2018. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

10/2/20184Q2018 498/499 Spotlight Newsletter


The Fourth Quarter 498/499 Spotlight is now available here

10/1/2018New Invoice Deadline Extension Tool Now Available in EPC


In last week's SL News Brief, we noted that we were working on a new invoice deadline extension tool in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

The new EPC invoice extension deadline tool is now available. Applicants, consultants, and service providers will be able to request invoice deadline extensions for their Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for Funding Year (FY) 2016 and forward by using the new tool.

As a reminder, program participants will use the existing legacy tool (the tool that applicants and service providers can access through the online BEAR Form) to request invoice deadline extensions for FRNs from FY2015 and previous funding years.

Visit the Invoice Deadline Extensions page for more information.

9/28/2018News Brief Issued


The 9/28/2018 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.

9/27/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - September 2018


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

September headlines:

  • Check NLAD Prior to Snapshot Date
  • Universal Forms Submission Guidance
  • National Verifier Update
  • Minimum Service Standards Increase
  • Did You Know? NLAD Changes
  • October Lifeline Program Webinar

9/25/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Friday, September 28


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Friday, September 28, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/25/2018Invoice Deadline Extension Tool Update


In last week's SL News Brief, we noted that we were working on a new invoice deadline extension tool in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). The new EPC tool will be used to request invoice deadline extensions for Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for funding years after Funding Year (FY) 2015. Over the weekend, we removed the legacy tool option for submitting extension requests for post-FY2015 FRNs.

The existing legacy tool (the tool accessed through the online BEAR Form) can be used to request invoice deadline extensions for FRNs from FY2015 and previous funding years. 

The new EPC tool will be available October 1.You can submit an invoice deadline extension request by opening a customer service case in EPC this week, but we suggest that you wait for the new EPC tool. (We will not be able to process those requests until the new EPC tool becomes available.)

 

9/21/2018News Brief Issued


The 9/21/2018 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.

8/29/2018Lifeline Program Newsletter - August 2018


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

August Headlines:

  • USAC-Elected Recertification Elections Close August 31
  • Minimum Service Standards Increase December 1
  • National Verifier: August Announcements
  • Did You Know? New Address Resolution Code Added in NLAD
  • Did You Know? Upcoming Changes to NLAD Reports
  • Webinar on September 12: Lifeline 101