Tag Archives: USAC

Flurry of USF Audit Reports Expected by End of Year, Random Audits to Return in FY 2019

We attended the Audit Committee meeting at USAC’s quarterly business meeting this morning.  While much of the discussion concerned internal controls USAC has in place to oversee its functions, the business update portion of the meeting gave us a snapshot into contributor and beneficiary audit activity at USAC.  The presentation gave us some insight into … Continue Reading

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

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

FCC Releases Updated 2016 Universal Service Revenue Reporting Worksheet

It’s a new year and the FCC has just released its annual update to the FCC Form 499A.  Telecommunications providers must use the 2016 Form 499A to report calendar year 2015 revenues for purposes of calculating contributions to the federal Universal Service Fund and other revenue-based contribution requirements including TRS, LNP, NANP and annual FCC … Continue Reading

In a Shift, FCC Shelves Prior Forfeiture Methodology For Failure to Pay Into USF and Other Federal Programs

Today, the Federal Communications Commission released a Policy Statement announcing a “treble damages” methodology to assess forfeitures for failure to make payment to a series of federal programs, a move which the agency anticipates will allow it to begin “significantly more investigations.”    The new policy appears to allow the FCC to impose significantly larger fines than … Continue Reading

FCC Denies Another E-Rate Appeal for Failure to Comply with Competitive Bidding Procedures

With the e-rate program pressing against its cap in funding, the FCC seems to be clamping down on its competitive bidding procedures.  For the fifth time this month, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau denied a school’s e-rate appeal because it failed to comply with the competitive bidding procedures. In this case, the applicant, Fall River … Continue Reading

FCC Denies E-rate Appeal for Improper Service Provider Conduct in Competitive Bid

Shortly after I posted an entry noting the FCC’s denial of e-rate appeals for competitive bidding violations, the Wireline Competition Bureau issued another decision along the same lines.  In this case, however, the focus was on the conduct of the service provider during the bidding process.  This case involves a Missouri service provider, Synergetics Diversified … Continue Reading

Three E-rate Appeals Denied for Failures in Competitive Bidding

Earlier this month, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau denied three appeals by school districts seeking funding under the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund.  In all three decisions, the Bureau found that the school had failed to follow the Commission’s competitive bidding rules for such requests, and therefore, the USAC had properly denied … Continue Reading

Recent Decisions Highlight Importance of Timely Submission of USF Revenue Reporting

As we have discussed on several previous occasions in our blog, there are a number of reviews of substantial universal service fund (“USF”) contribution audits conducted by the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) pending at the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) addressing how revenues from certain offerings should be reported. Similarly, there are a number of … Continue Reading

FCC Names Six USAC Board Members

Yesterday, the FCC announced the appointment of six members to USAC’s Board of Directors.  Don’t expect much change in the way USAC operates, however:  five of the six members are current members of USAC’s board.  The only new board member is Jose Manuel Jimenez of Cox Communications, who fills a vacant position reserved for cable operators.   … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies “Carrier” Definition In Prepaid Context

In a recent USF appeal, the FCC agreed with a prepaid card "platform provider" that each of its customers, not the platform provider, is the "carrier" for Universal Service purposes.  The FCC ruled, however, that the platform provider may owe USF on transport services it provided, unless it properly qualified the customers as resellers under … Continue Reading

Nominations Sought for USAC Board Positions

One of the hottest areas in enforcement and litigation is the Federal Universal Service Fund.  In fact, with USAC embarking on an expanded set of audits and investigations since August, USF disputes are about to multiply.  Therefore, news that the FCC is seeking nominations for Board members of USAC is important to this blog. In … Continue Reading

USF Contribution Factor Reaches a New High

The FCC today announced its proposed Universal Service Fund contribution factor for the upcoming quarter, 1Q 2010.  The factor will rise almost two percent, to a new record high of 14.1% of end user telecommunications revenues.  As it did earlier this year when the factor first exceeded 12%, the FCC declined to raise the threshold on … Continue Reading

International Prepaid Card Providers Petition FCC to File USF Form 499As

A group of international prepaid card companies have petitioned the FCC for a rule change that will allow them to file their own FCC Form 499As to cover the universal service fund assessments on their traffic.  The companies contend that the current rule unfairly punishes them and causes them to overpay into the USF by … Continue Reading