• Comments on proposed changes to the FCC Form 499-A and Form 499-Q, along with accompanying instructions, for use in 2013 are due January 11, 2013. (DA 12-2010, WC Docket 06-122.) A list of the proposed changes can be found here.

A redline of the proposed changes to FCC Form 499-A can be found here, with the redline of its instructions found here.

A redline of the proposed changes to FCC Form 499-Q can be found here.

The proposed changes to the Form 499-Q instructions can be found here.

  • The FCC announced that outage reporting requirements will be applied to interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers effective December 16, 2012, pursuant to its VoIP Outage Order adopted February 15, 2012 (FCC 12-22). In the VoIP Outage Order, the FCC stated that all interconnected VoIP providers must electronically notify the FCC within 4 hours of discovering any outage of 30 minutes or more that potentially affects any 911 facility. In addition, the VoIP provider must notify the official designated as the contact person for that 911 facility and provide any information that may be helpful to mitigate the effects of the outage. If the VoIP provider experiences an outage of 30 minutes or more that does not impact a 911 facility, but rather either (a) potentially affects at least 900,000 user minutes of interconnected VoIP service and results in complete loss of service, or (b) potentially affects any special offices and facilities, the VoIP provider must notify the FCC electronically within 24 hours.

In either instance, VoIP providers that experience an outage must follow up on the notification by submitting a Final Communications Outage Report within 30 days.

More information can be found in the FCC’s Public Notice announcing the effective date of the rules, available here.

The VoIP Outage Order can be found here.

  • The Wireline Competition Bureau has released a Public Notice providing guidance to schools that receive E-Rate funding on how to implement the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act (the Act) (47 U.S.C. Sections 254(h)(5), 254(h)(6) and 254(l)). Under the Act, schools that receive E-Rate Funding are required to certify that their Internet safety policies include educating students about appropriate online behavior, such as cyberbullying awareness and proper use of social networking websites. A copy of the Public Notice can be found here. (DA-12-1836)
  • Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has extended the filing deadlines for FCC Form 486, the Receipt of Service Confirmation Form for the Schools and Libraries fund, for Funding Year 2011 recurring services invoice submissions until January 28, 2013. This is the same deadline for non-recurring services, which means all invoices for Funding Year 2011 now are due at the same time.

In addition, USAC announced that the FCC Form 486 for Funding Year 2012 will also be due on January 28, 2013.

More information regarding these filings can be found here.

  • Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) that provide Lifeline service are required to recertify the eligibility of their base customers as of June 1, 2012 by December 31, 2012. Each ETC is then required to report the results to the FCC, the Universal Service Administrative Company, and the applicable state regulatory commission or Tribal government. The recertification process can take place in one of two ways: either through review of databases to confirm eligibility, if there are databases available; or by obtaining a signed certification from the subscriber confirming eligibility to receive Lifeline service. Each ETC must report its results on FCC Form 555 by January 31, 2013. FCC Form 555 has not yet been released. More information can be found in the Public Notice found here. (DA 12-1626).
  • The Universal Service contribution factor for the first quarter of 2013 is 16.1%. A copy of the Public Notice announcing the rate can be found here. (DA 12-2014)