Tag Archives: USF

Proposed Fourth Quarter 2017 Universal Service Fund Contribution Factor Jumps – Poised to Hit New High

On September 12, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission) Office of the Managing Director (OMD) released a Public Notice proposing a universal service fund (USF) contribution factor of 18.8% for fourth quarter 2017.  This proposed contribution factor would be the highest rate since the USF program’s inception and likely reflects the impact of the declining … Continue Reading

August 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: Commission Sets Reverse Auction Procedures for CAF Phase II Auction

At its August Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a Public Notice (“Notice”) that addresses the procedures for its upcoming Connect America Fund (“CAF”) Phase II auction (“Auction” or “Auction 903”), scheduled to begin in 2018. Auction 903 will be a competitive reverse auction wherein service providers will compete for up to $1.98 billion … Continue Reading

What to Expect at the FCC’s August 2017 Open Meeting

Below is Kelley Drye’s preview of the items under consideration at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) upcoming monthly Open Meeting, to be held on August 3, 2017. Consistent with the trend since he took over the Commission, Chairman Ajit Pai continues to schedule a large number of items.  Indeed, for the seventh month … Continue Reading

Pai Directs USAC to Improve E-Rate Productivity Center

Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai sent a letter this week to Chris Henderson, CEO of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) expressing concern about flaws in USAC’s administration of the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC), the online application and account portal. In the letter, Chairman Pai noted his support for E-Rate as … Continue Reading

Wireline Competition Bureau Explains No Presumption of Intrastate or Interstate Jurisdiction for Private Lines; Carriers Must Conduct Good Faith Inquiry Into Nature of Traffic Carried

By an Order issued late last week, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) provided important insight regarding determining the jurisdictional classification of private line revenues.  In ruling on long-pending petitions for reconsideration of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) audit findings regarding the classification of private line revenues, the Bureau explained that the longstanding Ten Percent Rule … Continue Reading

Commission Adopts Long-Awaited Mobility Fund Phase II

On February 23, 2017, during the second open meeting under Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) unanimously approved an order launching the long-awaited second phase of the Mobility Fund.  The Mobility Fund offers financial support to service providers to preserve and extend mobile broadband and voice services in unserved and … Continue Reading

FCC Approves Bidding Weight Rules for Connect America Fund Phase II Auction

At the February 2017 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) approved an Order finalizing bidding rules for the upcoming Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction where service providers will compete for up to $1.98 billion in financial support in areas where the incumbent provider declined cost-model funding. This Order is the next stage in … Continue Reading

Chairman Pai Launches Rollback of Recent FCC Actions

*J. Bradford Currier co-authored this post. The FCC retracted actions related to net neutrality, network security, media ownership, and other hot-topic issues in a series of orders issued late Friday. The orders represent the first major salvo in Chairman Pai’s promised rollback of actions undertaken during the final days of former Chairman Wheeler’s tenure. Chairman … Continue Reading

Pai FCC’s First Commission-Level Vote Targets Rural Broadband Access

On January 26, 2017, in its first action under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) voted to allow the State Of NY to award up to $170 million in Connect America Fund (CAF) fuding to expand broadband access in unserved, rural portions of New York State.  These … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: Lifeline Modernization and Transition from Voice to Broadband

At its open meeting on March 31, 2016 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted along party lines (3-2) to adopt a Lifeline Modernization Order implementing significant changes to the Lifeline Universal Service Program, the most significant of which is an expansion of the program to cover broadband service. Last week, the Commission released … Continue Reading

The FCA and the USF: Reactions and Impressions from the FCBA’s False Claims Act Seminar

Last week, the Federal Communication Bar Association’s (FCBA’s) Enforcement Committee hosted a legal seminar on an issue that is somewhat new and unfamiliar to the communications bar – the federal False Claims Act (FCA), and particularly its use by the federal government to combat fraud in the Universal Service Fund (USF).  All in attendance had … Continue Reading

Checking the Boxes: FCC Proposes Forfeiture of Half a Million Dollars against International Prepaid Calling Card Provider

On September 16, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) against PTT Phone Cards, Inc., (“PTT”) for a litany of alleged violations of rules applicable to international telecommunications carriers in general and one applicable to pre-paid calling card providers in particular. In short, the NAL alleges that, for over three years, … Continue Reading

Register Today for Kelley Drye’s 4th Annual USF Update Webinar

Big changes continue to be made in the Universal Service Fund. With substantial reform of the High Cost Fund, the Lifeline program and a new rural healthcare connect fund, USF occupied a major place in the FCC agenda in 2012. Moreover, comprehensive contributions reform is under consideration and the FCC is clearing out a backlog … Continue Reading

Wireline Competition Bureau Clarifies and Revises the FCC’s Rules as Carriers Prepare to Make Transitional Intrastate Access Reciprocal Compensation Rate Reductions

Compliance with the FCC’s revised intercarrier compensation rules adopted in its USF/ICC Transformation Order continues to be a work in progress for many carriers. The rules have generated several waves of questions as the July 1, 2012, deadline for reducing certain intrastate terminating switched access rates fast approaches. On June 6, 2012, the Wireline Competition … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Revised 2011 USF Form 499-A

On March 1, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released its revised Form 499-A, the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet.  This Worksheet must be used by telecommunications providers and interconnected VoIP providers to report annual 2010 revenues for USF, TRS, NANPA, LNP and FCC Regulatory Fee assessments.  The Form 499-A is due by April 1, 2011. The 2011 Form … Continue Reading

GAO Audit Finds USAC Audits Lacking in Controls

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a study of the FCC’s e-rate program controls.  The GAO study recommended that the FCC conduct a "robust risk assessment" of its e-rate program and revise the internal control structure of the program.  What caught our eye, however, was the commentary on USAC’s e-rate beneficiary audits. The GAO … Continue Reading

Unauthorized Transfer of Control Draws Proposed Fine for Turner Broadcasting

Universal service violations, slamming, "junk faxes" and privacy violations typically draw large FCC fines.  It may seem surprising, then, to learn that unauthorized transfers of control of FCC licenses draw a comparatively small forfeiture amount.  In this Notice of Apparent Liability released on Friday, the FCC proposed to fine Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. $16,000 for … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Schedule for National Broadband Plan Proceedings

Yesterday, the FCC released is Broadband Action Agenda describing the purpose and timing of more than 60 rulemakings and other proceedings the agency plans to conduct in order to implement its recently issued National Broadband Plan. On USF, reform of USF distribution is scheduled for 2Q 2010, but contribution reform is not scheduled to begin until the end of the year. Access charges, VoIP and other intercarrier compensation issues are given a 4Q 2010 start date.… Continue Reading
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