High Cost Program Home

Latest News rss-feed

2003 Latest News Archive

USAC's Latest News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the High Cost Program as they were made throughout the years.

12/15/2003

USAC Announces New Address For High Cost and Low Income Filings and a New Customer Service Center

As you know, USAC awarded Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (Telcordia) the contract to provide administrative support services for the High Cost and Low Income Universal Service Support Mechanisms effective January 1, 2004. Because of this change in vendors, USAC will have a new mailing address, telephone numbers, and fax numbers for all high cost and low income forms and filings.

HIGH COST

Beginning December 16, 2003, all line count filings for competitive carriers, FCC Forms 507, 508, and 509, Local Switching Support forms, Interstate Access Support line count filings, CMT revenue filings, and any additional information previously sent to USAC at the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) in New Jersey or Rhoads & Sinon LLC (Rhoads & Sinon) in Pennsylvania should be sent to the address or fax number below:

USAC
444 Hoes Lane
RRC 4A1060
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Fax Number: 866-873(USF) - 4666

In addition, all High Cost filings may be e-mailed to USAC by selecting HC Filing under Contact Information on the right side of the High Cost page.

Please remember that all incumbent carriers are still required to file loop cost, expense, and investment information with NECA under Part 36 of the FCC's rules. In addition, if you have elected NECA as your agent to file your Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) data, NECA will continue to perform that function.

LOW INCOME

Beginning December 16, 2003, FCC Form 497 which was previously sent to USAC at NECA in New Jersey should be sent to the address, fax number, or e-mail below:

USAC
444 Hoes Lane
RRC 4A1060
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Fax Number: 866-873(USF) - 4665

In addition, all Low Income forms may be e-mailed to USAC by selecting LI Filing (497) from the Low Income Contact Us page.

If you have recently sent either high cost or low income information to the former addresses indicated on USAC forms or our web site, your information will be forwarded to the new address. Any high cost or low income data filed at the old addresses after December 31, 2003 cannot be guaranteed receipt at USAC. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to change your records to indicate the new address, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses provided in this announcement.

CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER

Beginning January 2, 2004, USAC will establish a Customer Service Center to better serve your needs. For high cost and low income questions, you may contact the Customer Service Center by telephone, fax or e-mail by using the contact information listed below:

High Cost
Telephone: 877-877-4925
Fax: 866-873(USF)-4695
E-mail:
Under Contact Information on the High Cost page, select HC Questions

Low Income
Telephone: 866-873(USF)-4727
Fax: 866-873(USF)-4695
E-mail:
Under the Contact information on the Low Income page, select Contact Us then select General Questions

In addition, you may still contact USAC directly at 202-776-0200 for any questions. Please be assured that we anticipate no disruption in your receipt of high cost and low income universal service support payments during this transition. USAC, Telcordia, NECA, and Rhoads & Sinon are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible.

11/25/2003

New tool for competitive carriers that receive Forward-Looking High Cost Model Support!

A new tool is now available for competitive carriers that receive Forward-Looking High Cost Model Support. This tool will enable you to utilize various search methods to locate the correct ILEC wire center CLLI and other related information. It can be found under the Tools section of High Cost.

Quick link to HCM Tool

09/23/2003

New tool for competitive carriers that receive Forward-Looking High Cost Model Support!

A new tool is now available for competitive carriers that receive Forward-Looking High Cost Model Support. This tool will enable you to utilize various search methods to locate the correct ILEC wire center CLLI and other related information. It can be found under the Tools section of High Cost.

Quick link to HCM Tool

09/12/2003

Incumbent Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) Serving Study Areas with 50,000 or Fewer Access Lines Must File Projections for Local Switching Support (LSS) No Later Than October 1, 2003 to Receive LSS in Calendar Year 2004.

You must submit the data necessary to determine your projected local switching support revenue requirement on an OMB approved LSS form, which can be found in the Forms Section of the USAC web site. If you are an average schedule company, you should complete LSS Form A. If you are a cost company, you should complete LSS Form C. Whether you are an average schedule or a cost company, you may submit your Local Switching Form to USAC in one of three (3) ways:

Email: Local Switching Support
FAX: 973-560-4441
US Mail: Manager - High Cost (S-2081)
Universal Service Administrative Company
80 South Jefferson Street
Whippany, NJ 07981

If the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) files your LSS data on your behalf, NECA must submit the same data as required on the LSS forms. In addition, NECA must file your data with USAC no later than October 1, 2003.

Your LSS projections must be received by USAC no later than October 1, 2003 for LSS eligibility in calendar year 2004. If your LSS projections are not timely filed, you will not be eligible to receive LSS in 2004, absent a waiver from the FCC.

08/27/2003

October 1 Certification Reminder

All carriers, rural as well as non-rural, eligible to receive High Cost Loop support, Local Switching Support, High Cost Model support, Hold Harmless support, and high cost support received pursuant to the purchase of exchanges are subject to an annual certification requirement that has a direct impact on those carriers’ receipt of high cost universal service support. The certification for 2004 for both rural and non-rural carriers is due on or before October 1, 2003. Without that certification, carriers will not be eligible for the first quarter 2004 high cost support for which they would otherwise be qualified. Provided below is a summary of the components of this certification requirement.

What must be contained in the certification?

  • The certification must state that all federal high cost support will be used only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended, consistent with section 254(e) of the Communications Act.
  • The certification may be in the form of a letter from the appropriate state regulatory authority or authorized corporate officer where the state lacks jurisdiction.
  • The certification must clearly reference CC Docket No. 96-45.
  • The certification should list rural carriers separately from non-rural carriers, in those states in which non-rural carriers are certified.
  • The certification should include each carrier’s study area code, the six-digit number assigned to each carrier by the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA).
  • Where eligible carriers have both an incumbent and a competitive company operating with the same name, the incumbent and the competitive company should be listed separately, each with its unique study area code.

Who must submit the certification?

  • If a carrier is subject to state jurisdiction, the certification must come from the appropriate state regulatory authority. In states in which the commission has limited jurisdiction, the state commission need not initiate the process. Rather, the carriers may initiate the process, formulate plans to comply with section 254(e), and present them to the state commission, which may then in turn certify the carriers.
  • If the carrier is not subject to state jurisdiction, the carrier may certify directly to the FCC and USAC. 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.
  • Carriers are encouraged to work closely with their state commissions.

What carriers are covered by this certification requirement?
All carriers seeking support from the following components of the high cost universal service support mechanism are subject to this certification requirement: High Cost Loop Support; Local Switching Support; High Cost Model Support; and Hold Harmless support. That is, all rural carriers and all competitive ETCs seeking high cost support in the service area of a rural LEC are subject to the rural certification requirement contained in section 54.314 of the FCC’s rules. In addition, all non-rural carriers that are eligible to receive either forward-looking support under the high cost model or hold harmless support, as well as all competitive ETCs seeking high cost support in the service area of such a non-rural carrier, are subject to the non-rural certification requirement contained in section 54.313 of the FCC’s rules.

Where should certifications be filed?

Certifications must be filed with both the FCC and USAC at the following addresses:

  • FCC:
    Marlene H. Dortch
    Office of the Secretary
    Federal Communications Commission
    445 – 12th Street, SW, Room TW-A306
    Washington, DC 20554
  • USAC:
    Irene Flannery
    Universal Service Administrative Company
    2120 L Street, NW – Suite 600
    Washington, DC 20037

When must certifications be filed?
In order to receive first quarter 2004 high cost support, certifications must be submitted on or before October 1, 2003. The certifications must be received by the FCC and USAC on or before October 1. The consequence of failing to file is loss of first quarter 2004 support, absent a waiver from the FCC. If a state commission or a carrier misses the October 1 deadline, the following schedule applies:

  • Certify by January 1, 2004: The carrier may receive support for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2004.
  • Certify by April 1, 2004: The carrier may receive support for the third and fourth quarters of 2004.
  • Certify by July 1, 2004: The carrier may receive support for the fourth quarter of 2004.
  • Fail to certify by July 1, 2004: The carrier may not receive any high cost support for 2004.

Has your certification been received by USAC?

To see if USAC has received your October 1 certification, please visit our October 1 certification checklist.

07/29/2003

High Cost Launches a New, Redesigned Website!

Users will find a reorganized site that contains the same information, in an easier to read and find format. Take a Tour of the new site.

06/23/2003

REMINDER!!

IAS CERTIFICATIONS AND ICLS CERTIFICATIONS MUST BE FILED ON JUNE 30, 2003.

Each price cap carrier and competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) serving lines in the service area of a price cap carrier must file an annual self-certification on June 30, 2003 in order to receive Interstate Access Support (IAS). In addition, each rate-of-return carrier and CETC serving lines in the service area of a rate-of-return carrier must file an annual self-certification on June 30, 2003 in order to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). The annual self-certifications must be filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and must state that all IAS or ICLS and LTS (whichever is applicable) provided will be used ONLY for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended.

Both IAS and ICLS self-certifications may be filed in the form of a letter from an authorized representative for the carrier. For your convenience, USAC has posted sample letters on its web site. You may download the sample letter onto your company’s letterhead from our web site. Once you have submitted your self-certification to USAC, you may check our web site and view HC Checklist Search to see if we have received your self-certification. In the event you provide an IAS or ICLS certification in your own format, please be sure to reference CC Docket No. 96-45 and file the self-certification with USAC and the Office of the Secretary of the FCC at the addresses listed below:

Irene M. Flannery
Vice President – High Cost & Low Income Division
Universal Service Administrative Company
2120 L Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20037

Marlene H. Dortch
Office of the Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 – 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

If your IAS self-certification is received after June 30, 2003, you will need to file a petition for waiver with the FCC in order to receive IAS. USAC is not authorized to waive the filing deadline, so only the FCC’s grant of a waiver will permit USAC to pay IAS to carriers failing to timely file IAS self-certifications. If your ICLS self-certification is received after June 30, 2003, you will not be eligible to receive support until the second calendar quarter after your self-certification is filed, absent a waiver from the FCC.

05/13/2003

Filing Requirement Changes for ICLS

On May 8, 2003, the FCC granted the Petition for Reconsideration of the MAG Order that requested, among other things, moving the ICLS filing deadlines for actual common line cost and revenue data for incumbent rate-of-return carriers from July 31st to December 31st of each year.

The Commission also amended section 54.903(a)(3) of its rules to permit rate-of-return carriers to file updates of projected common line cost and revenue data on June 30th of each year. In addition, the Commission eliminated the optional quarterly update of actual data adopted in the MAG Order. These amendments are intended to promote more efficient and accurate distribution of ICLS, in addition to minimizing administrative burdens on rate-of-return carriers. The Commission also made several minor amendments to sections 54.307, 54.902, and 54.903 of its rules, based on issues raised in the Petition for Reconsideration.

Please download Order on Reconsideration for additional details.

03/07/2003

Quarterly Line Count Filings are Due in March

All Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) with a Competitive Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (CETC) filing line counts in their service area(s) are required to file line counts with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) on a quarterly basis. In addition, all CETCs are required to file required line counts with USAC on a quarterly basis. In order to qualify for high cost support, you must report your line counts as follows:

  • High Cost Loop, Local Switching Support, and Long Term Support: Your next line count filing is due no later than March 30, 2003 for the number of lines you served as of September 30, 2002. Since March 30, 2003 falls on a Sunday, your line count filing is due no later than Friday, March 28, 2003. For ETCs, your lines must be reported consistent with the disaggregation path you selected. For CETCs, your lines must be reported consistent with the disaggregation path selected by the incumbent carrier(s) in whose service area(s) you serve lines. You may obtain copies of the appropriate disaggregation plans by calling USAC (202-776-0200).
  • Interstate Common Line Support: Your next line count filing is due no later than March 30, 2003 for the number of lines you served as of September 30, 2002. Since March 30, 2003 falls on a Sunday, your line count filing is due no later than Friday, March 28, 2003. You, or your agent, must report your lines using FCC Form 507, which is available on the Forms Section of USAC's website. Your lines must be reported by customer class. (Residential and single line business lines are reported separately from multi-line business lines.) For ETCs, your lines must be reported consistent with the disaggregation path you selected. For CETCs, your lines must be reported consistent with the disaggregation path selected by the incumbent carrier(s) in whose service area(s) you serve lines
  • High Cost Model Support: Your next line count filing is due no later than March 30, 2003 for the number of lines you served as of September 30, 2002. Since March 30, 2003 falls on a Sunday, your line count filing is due no later than Friday, March 28, 2003. For both ETCs and CETCs, your lines must be reported by wire center.
  • Interstate Access Support: Your next line count filing is due by the last business day of the quarter, March 31, 2003, for the number of lines you served as of December 31, 2002. For both ETCs and CETCs, your lines must be reported by UNE zone and customer class. (Residential and single line business lines are reported separately from multi-line business lines.)

Remember: Line count filings for all High Cost support mechanisms except IAS must be received by USAC no later than March 28, 2003. IAS must be received at USAC by March 31, 2003. If the line count filing is received after the filing date, a petition for waiver will need to be filed with the FCC. Because USAC is not authorized to waive filing deadlines, only the FCC's grant of a waiver will permit USAC to use your March line counts to calculate high cost support.

USAC Announces the Availability of Sample Line Count Letters for CETCs (3/7/03)

USAC is providing three (3) sample line count letters for CETCs to use for their quarterly line count filings. The first sample letter provides a format for the submission of High Cost Loop (HCL), Local Switching Support (LSS), and Long Term Support (LTS) line counts. The second sample letter provides a format for the submission of High Cost Model (HCM) support line counts. The last sample letter provides a format for the submission of Interstate Access Support (IAS) line counts. Please remember that CETCs must report line counts for Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) using FCC Form 507. All High Cost Support Mechanism forms and sample letters can be found on the High Cost Forms page.

02/27/2003

High Cost & Low Income RFP Bidders' Conference Rescheduled

Due to the prospect of inclement weather, USAC has rescheduled the bidders' conference originally scheduled for Friday, February 28, 2003. The bidders' conference will now be held on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 9:30 a.m. EST. It will be held at the Westin Grand, 2350 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.

In addition to revising the date of the bidders' conference, USAC has also revised other dates published in the RFP:

Old Date

Event

New Date

March 28, 2003

USAC response to 2nd written questions

April 2, 2003

April 15, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. EST

Proposals due; reading room closed

April 24, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. EST