Goto Section: 54.312 | 54.314 | Table of Contents

FCC 54.313
Revised as of December 6, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 54.313   Annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients.

   (a) Any recipient of high-cost support shall provide the following:

   (1) Certification that the carrier is able to function in emergency
   situations as set forth in § 54.202(a)(2);

   (2) A certification that the pricing of the company's voice services is
   no more than two standard deviations above the applicable national
   average urban rate for voice service, as specified in the most recent
   public notice issued by the Wireline Competition Bureau and Wireless
   Telecommunications Bureau;

   (3) A certification that the pricing of a service that meets the
   Commission's broadband public interest obligations is no more than the
   applicable benchmark to be announced annually in a public notice issued
   by the Wireline Competition Bureau, or is no more than the
   non-promotional price charged for a comparable fixed wireline service
   in urban areas in the states or U.S. Territories where the eligible
   telecommunications carrier receives support;

   (4) The recipient's holding company, operating companies, affiliates,
   and any branding (a “dba,” or “doing-business-as company” or brand
   designation), as well as universal service identifiers for each such
   entity by Study Area Codes, as that term is used by the Administrator.
   For purposes of this paragraph, “affiliates” has the meaning set forth
   in section 3(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended;

   (5) To the extent the recipient serves Tribal lands, documents or
   information demonstrating that the ETC had discussions with Tribal
   governments that, at a minimum, included:

   (i) A needs assessment and deployment planning with a focus on Tribal
   community anchor institutions;

   (ii) Feasibility and sustainability planning;

   (iii) Marketing services in a culturally sensitive manner;

   (iv) Rights of way processes, land use permitting, facilities siting,
   environmental and cultural preservation review processes; and

   (v) Compliance with Tribal business and licensing requirements. Tribal
   business and licensing requirements include business practice licenses
   that Tribal and non-Tribal business entities, whether located on or off
   Tribal lands, must obtain upon application to the relevant Tribal
   government office or division to conduct any business or trade, or
   deliver any goods or services to the Tribes, Tribal members, or Tribal
   lands. These include certificates of public convenience and necessity,
   Tribal business licenses, master licenses, and other related forms of
   Tribal government licensure.

   (6) The results of network performance tests pursuant to the
   methodology and in the format determined by the Wireline Competition
   Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and Office of Engineering
   and Technology.

   (b) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section:

   (1) Any recipient of incremental Connect America Phase I support
   pursuant to § 54.312(b) and (c) shall provide:

   (i) In its next annual report due after two years after filing a notice
   of acceptance of funding pursuant to § 54.312(b) and (c), a
   certification that the company has deployed to no fewer than two-thirds
   of the required number of locations; and

   (ii) In its next annual report due after three years after filing a
   notice of acceptance of funding pursuant to § 54.312(b) and (c), a
   certification that the company has deployed to all required locations
   and that it is offering broadband service of at least 4 Mbps downstream
   and 1 Mbps upstream, with latency sufficiently low to enable the use of
   real-time communications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and
   with usage allowances, if any, associated with a specified price for a
   service offering that are reasonably comparable to comparable offerings
   in urban areas.

   (2) In addition to the information and certifications required in
   paragraph (b)(1) of this section, any recipient of incremental Connect
   America Phase I support pursuant to § 54.312(c) shall provide:

   (i) In its annual reports due after one, two, and three years after
   filing a notice of acceptance of funding pursuant to § 54.312(c), a
   certification that, to the best of the recipient's knowledge, the
   locations in question are not receiving support under the Broadband
   Initiatives Program or the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
   for projects that will provide broadband with speeds of at least 4
   Mbps/1 Mbps; and

   (ii) In its annual reports due after one, two, and three years after
   filing a notice of acceptance of funding pursuant to § 54.312(c), a
   statement of the total amount of capital funding expended in the
   previous year in meeting Connect America Phase I deployment
   obligations, accompanied by a list of census blocks indicating where
   funding was spent.

   (c) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section, price cap carriers that receive frozen high-cost
   support pursuant to § 54.312(a) shall provide:

   (1) By July 1, 2013. A certification that frozen high-cost support the
   company received in 2012 was used consistent with the goal of achieving
   universal availability of voice and broadband;

   (2) By July 1, 2014. A certification that at least one-third of the
   frozen-high cost support the company received in 2013 was used to build
   and operate broadband-capable networks used to offer the provider's own
   retail broadband service in areas substantially unserved by an
   unsubsidized competitor;

   (3) By July 1, 2015. A certification that at least two-thirds of the
   frozen-high cost support the company received in 2014 was used to build
   and operate broadband-capable networks used to offer the provider's own
   retail broadband service in areas substantially unserved by an
   unsubsidized competitor; and

   (4) By July 1, 2016 and in subsequent years. A certification that all
   frozen-high cost support the company received in the previous year was
   used to build and operate broadband-capable networks used to offer the
   provider's own retail broadband service in areas substantially unserved
   by an unsubsidized competitor.

   (d) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section, beginning July 1, 2013, price cap carriers receiving
   high-cost support to offset reductions in access charges shall provide
   a certification that the support received pursuant to § 54.304 in the
   prior calendar year was used to build and operate broadband-capable
   networks used to offer provider's own retail service in areas
   substantially unserved by an unsubsidized competitor.

   (e) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section, the following requirements apply to Phase II and
   Remote Areas Fund recipients:

   (1) Any price cap carrier that elects to receive Connect America Phase
   II model-based support shall provide:

   (i) On July 1, 2016 a list of the geocoded locations already meeting
   the § 54.309 public interest obligations at the end of calendar year
   2015, and the total amount of Phase II support, if any, the price cap
   carrier used for capital expenditures in 2015.

   (ii) On July 1, 2017 and every year thereafter ending July 1, 2021, the
   following information:

   (A) The number, names, and addresses of community anchor institutions
   to which the eligible telecommunications carrier newly began providing
   access to broadband service in the preceding calendar year;

   (B) The total amount of Phase II support, if any, the price cap carrier
   used for capital expenditures in the previous calendar year; and

   (C) A certification that it bid on category one telecommunications and
   Internet access services in response to all FCC Form 470 postings
   seeking broadband service that meets the connectivity targets for the
   schools and libraries universal service support program for eligible
   schools and libraries (as described in § 54.501) located within any area
   in a census block where the carrier is receiving Phase II model-based
   support, and that such bids were at rates reasonably comparable to
   rates charged to eligible schools and libraries in urban areas for
   comparable offerings.

   (2) Any recipient of Phase II or Remote Areas Fund support awarded
   through a competitive bidding process shall provide:

   (i) Starting the first July 1st after receiving support until the July
   1st after the recipient's support term has ended:

   (A) The number, names, and addresses of community anchor institutions
   to which the eligible telecommunications carrier newly began providing
   access to broadband service in the preceding calendar year;

   (B) The total amount of support, if any, the recipient used for capital
   expenditures in the previous calendar year; and

   (C) A certification that it bid on category one telecommunications and
   Internet access services in response to all FCC Form 470 postings
   seeking broadband service that meets the connectivity targets for the
   schools and libraries universal service support program for eligible
   schools and libraries (as described in § 54.501) located within any area
   in a census block where the carrier is receiving support awarded
   through auction, and that such bids were at rates reasonably comparable
   to rates charged to eligible schools and libraries in urban areas for
   comparable offerings.

   (ii) Starting the first July 1st after receiving support until the July
   1st after the recipient's penultimate year of support, a certification
   that the recipient has available funds for all project costs that will
   exceed the amount of support that will be received for the next
   calendar year.

   (iii) Starting the first July 1st after meeting the final service
   milestone in § 54.310(c) of this chapter until the July 1st after the
   Phase II recipient's support term has ended, a certification that the
   Phase II-funded network that the Phase II auction recipient operated in
   the prior year meets the relevant performance requirements in § 54.309
   of this chapter, or that the network that the Remote Areas Fund
   recipient operated in the prior year meets the relevant performance
   requirements for the Remote Areas Fund.

   (f) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section, any rate-of-return carrier shall provide:

   (1) On July 1, 2016, a list of the geocoded locations already meeting
   the § 54.309 public interest obligations at the end of calendar year
   2015, and the total amount of Phase II support, if any, the price cap
   carrier used for capital expenditures in 2015.

   (i) A certification that it is taking reasonable steps to provide upon
   reasonable request broadband service at actual speeds of at least 10
   Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, with latency suitable for real-time
   applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage
   capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban
   areas as determined in an annual survey, and that requests for such
   service are met within a reasonable amount of time; or if the
   rate-of-return carrier is receiving Alaska Plan support pursuant to
   § 54.306, a certification that it is offering broadband service with
   latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over
   Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to
   comparable offerings in urban areas, and at speeds committed to in its
   approved performance plan to the locations it has reported pursuant to
   § 54.316(a), subject to any limitations due to the availability of
   backhaul as specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

   (ii) The number, names, and addresses of community anchor institutions
   to which the ETC newly began providing access to broadband service in
   the preceding calendar year; and

   (iii) A certification that it bid on category one telecommunications
   and Internet access services in response to all reasonable requests in
   posted FCC Form 470s seeking broadband service that meets the
   connectivity targets for the schools and libraries universal service
   support program for eligible schools and libraries (as described in
   § 54.501) within its service area, and that such bids were at rates
   reasonably comparable to rates charged to eligible schools and
   libraries in urban areas for comparable offerings.

   (2) Privately held rate-of-return carriers only. A full and complete
   annual report of the company's financial condition and operations as of
   the end of the preceding fiscal year.

   (i) Recipients of loans from the Rural Utility Service (RUS) shall
   provide copies of their RUS Operating Report for Telecommunications
   Borrowers as filed with the RUS. Such carriers must make their
   underlying audit and related workpapers and financial information
   available upon request by the Commission, USAC, or the relevant state
   commission, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal
   government, as appropriate.

   (ii) All privately held rate-of-return carriers that are not recipients
   of loans from the RUS and whose financial statements are audited in the
   ordinary course of business must provide either: A copy of their
   audited financial statement; or a financial report in a format
   comparable to RUS Operating Report for Telecommunications Borrowers,
   accompanied by a copy of a management letter issued by the independent
   certified public accountant that performed the company's financial
   audit. A carrier choosing the latter option must make its audit and
   related workpapers and financial information available upon request by
   the Commission, USAC, or the relevant state commission, relevant
   authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal government, as appropriate.

   (iii) All other privately held rate-of-return carriers must provide
   either: A copy of their financial statement which has been subject to
   review by an independent certified public accountant; or a financial
   report in a format comparable to RUS Operating Report for
   Telecommunications Borrowers, with the underlying information subjected
   to a review by an independent certified public accountant and
   accompanied by an officer certification that: The carrier was not
   audited in the ordinary course of business for the preceding fiscal
   year; and that the reported data are accurate. If the carrier elects
   the second option, it must make the review and related workpapers and
   financial information available upon request by the Commission, USAC,
   or the relevant state commission, relevant authority in a U.S.
   Territory, or Tribal government, as appropriate.

   (3) For rate-of-return carriers participating in the Alaska Plan,
   funding recipients must certify as to whether any terrestrial backhaul
   or other satellite backhaul became commercially available in the
   previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively
   by performance-limiting satellite backhaul. To the extent that such new
   terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed, or other satellite
   backhaul become commercially available, or existing facilities improve
   sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity
   requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the
   Alaska Plan, the funding recipient must provide a description of the
   backhaul technology, the date at which that backhaul was made
   commercially available to the carrier, and the number of locations that
   are newly served by the new terrestrial backhaul or other satellite
   backhaul. Within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming
   commercially available, funding recipients must certify that they are
   offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time
   applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage
   capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban
   areas. Funding recipients' minimum speed deployment obligations will be
   reassessed as specified by the Commission.

   (4) If applicable, the name of any cost consultant and cost consulting
   firm, or other third-party, retained to prepare financial and
   operations data disclosures submitted to the National Exchange Carrier
   Association (NECA), the Administrator or the Commission pursuant to
   subpart D, K, or M of this part.

   (g) Areas with no terrestrial backhaul. Carriers without access to
   terrestrial backhaul that are compelled to rely exclusively on
   satellite backhaul in their study area must certify annually that no
   terrestrial backhaul options exist. Any such funding recipients must
   certify they offer broadband service at actual speeds of at least 1
   Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream within the supported area served
   by satellite middle-mile facilities. To the extent that new terrestrial
   backhaul facilities are constructed, or existing facilities improve
   sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity
   requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the
   Connect America Fund, within twelve months of the new backhaul
   facilities becoming commercially available, funding recipients must
   provide the certifications required in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this
   section in full. Carriers subject to this paragraph must comply with
   all other requirements set forth in the remaining paragraphs of this
   section. These obligations may be modified for carriers participating
   in the Alaska Plan.

   (h) Additional voice rate data. (1) All incumbent local exchange
   carrier recipients of high-cost support must report all of their rates
   for residential local service for all portions of their service area,
   as well as state fees as defined pursuant to § 54.318(e), to the extent
   the sum of those rates and fees are below the rate floor as defined in
   § 54.318, and the number of lines for each rate specified. Carriers
   shall report lines and rates in effect as of June 1.

   (2) In addition to the annual filing, local exchange carriers may file
   updates of their rates for residential local service, as well as state
   fees as defined pursuant to § 54.318(e), on January 2 of each year. If a
   local exchange carrier reduces its rates and the sum of the reduced
   rates and state fees are below the rate floor as defined in § 54.318,
   the local exchange carrier shall file such an update. For the update,
   carriers shall report lines and rates in effect as of December 1.

   (i) All reports pursuant to this section shall be filed with the Office
   of the Secretary of the Commission clearly referencing WC Docket No.
   14-58, with the Administrator, and with the relevant state commissions
   or relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as
   appropriate.

   (j) Filing deadlines. (1) In order for a recipient of high-cost support
   to continue to receive support for the following calendar year, or
   retain its eligible telecommunications carrier designation, it must
   submit the annual reporting information required by this section
   annually by July 1 of each year. Eligible telecommunications carriers
   that file their reports after the July 1 deadline shall receive a
   reduction in support pursuant to the following schedule:

   (i) An eligible telecommunications carrier that files after the July 1
   deadline, but by July 8, will have its support reduced in an amount
   equivalent to seven days in support;

   (ii) An eligible telecommunications carrier that files on or after July
   9 will have its support reduced on a pro-rata daily basis equivalent to
   the period of non-compliance, plus the minimum seven-day reduction.

   (2) Grace period. An eligible telecommunications carrier that submits
   the annual reporting information required by this section after July 1
   but before July 5 will not receive a reduction in support if the
   eligible telecommunications carrier and its holding company, operating
   companies, and affiliates as reported pursuant to paragraph (a)(8) of
   this section have not missed the July 1 deadline in any prior year.

   (k) This section does not apply to recipients that solely receive
   support from Phase I and Phase II of the Mobility Fund.

   (l) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a)
   of this section, any competitive eligible telecommunications carrier
   participating in the Alaska Plan must provide the following:

   (1) Funding recipients that have identified in their approved
   performance plans that they rely exclusively on satellite backhaul for
   a certain portion of the population in their service area must certify
   as to whether any terrestrial backhaul or other satellite backhaul
   became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas
   that were previously served exclusively by satellite backhaul. To the
   extent that new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed or
   other satellite backhaul become commercially available, the funding
   recipient must:

   (i) Provide a description of the backhaul technology;

   (ii) Provide the date on which that backhaul was made commercially
   available to the carrier;

   (iii) Provide the number of the population within their service area
   that are served by the newly available backhaul option; and

   (iv) To the extent the funding recipient has not already committed to
   providing 4G LTE at 10/1 Mbps to the population served by the newly
   available backhaul by the end of the plan term, submit a revised
   performance commitment factoring in the availability of the new
   backhaul option no later than the due date of the Form 481 in which
   they have certified that such backhaul became commercially available.

   (2) [Reserved]

   [ 76 FR 73873 , Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at  77 FR 14302 , Mar. 9, 2012;
    77 FR 30914 , May 24, 2012;  78 FR 22201 , Apr. 15, 2013;  78 FR 29656 , May
   21, 2013;  78 FR 3843 , Jan. 17, 2013;  78 FR 38233 , June 26, 2013;  79 FR 11336 , Feb. 28, 2014;  79 FR 39189 , July 9, 2014;  80 FR 4477 , Jan. 27,
   2015;  81 FR 24341 , Apr. 25, 2016;  81 FR 44449 , July 7, 2016;  81 FR 69713 , Oct. 7, 2016;  82 FR 15450 , Mar. 28, 2017;  82 FR 39969 , Aug. 23,
   2017;  83 FR 18964 , May 1, 2018]

   Effective Date Notes: 1. At  77 FR 14302 , Mar. 9, 2012, § 54.313(a)(9)
   introductory text and (f)(2) were revised. These paragraphs contain
   information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not
   become effective until approval has been given by the Office of
   Management and Budget.

   2. At  79 FR 11336 , Feb. 28, 2014, § 54.313(e)(1), (e)(2), and (e)(3)
   introductory text were revised. These paragraphs contain information
   collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective
   until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

   3. At  80 FR 4476 , Jan. 27, 2015, § 54.313(a)(12) was added and (e) was
   revised. These paragraphs contain information collection and record
   keeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has
   been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

   4. At  80 FR 5987 , Feb. 4, 2015, § 54.313 was amended by revising
   paragraphs (e)(2)(iii) and (iv), adding (e)(2)(v), revising (f)(1)(i)
   and (ii), and revising (f)(1)(iii). These paragraphs contain
   information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not
   become effective until approval have been given by the Office of
   Management and Budget.

   5. At  81 FR 24341 . Apr. 25, 2016, § 54.313 was amended in part revising
   paragraphs (a)(10), (e)(1), (e)(2) introductory text,and (f)(1)
   introductory text, and (f)(1)(i) and (iii). These paragraphs contain
   information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not
   become effective until approval has been given by the Office of
   Management and Budget.

   6. At  81 FR 44449 , July 7, 2016, § 54.313(e) was revised, Paragraph
   (e)(2) contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements
   and will not become effective until approval have been given by the
   Office of Management and Budget.

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