47 CFR § 54.201 - Definition of eligible telecommunications carriers, generally.
(a) Carriers eligible to receive support.
(1) Only eligible telecommunications carriers designated under this subpart shall receive universal service support distributed pursuant to subparts D and E of this part. Eligible telecommunications carriers designated under this subpart for purposes of receiving support only under subpart E of this part must provide Lifeline service directly to qualifying low-income consumers.
(3) This paragraph does not apply to offset or reimbursement support distributed pursuant to subpart G of this part.
(4) This paragraph does not apply to support distributed pursuant to subpart F of this part.
(b) A state commission shall upon its own motion or upon request designate a common carrier that meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section as an eligible telecommunications carrier for a service area designated by the state commission.
(c) Upon request and consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, the state commission may, in the case of an area served by a rural telephone company, and shall, in the case of all other areas, designate more than one common carrier as an eligible telecommunications carrier for a service area designated by the state commission, so long as each additional requesting carrier meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section. Before designating an additional eligible telecommunications carrier for an area served by a rural telephone company, the state commission shall find that the designation is in the public interest.
(d) A common carrier designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier under this section shall be eligible to receive universal service support in accordance with section 254 of the Act and, except as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, shall throughout the service area for which the designation is received:
(1) Offer the services that are supported by federal universal service support mechanisms under subpart B of this part and section 254(c) of the Act, either using its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities and resale of another carrier's services (including the services offered by another eligible telecommunications carrier); and
(2) Advertise the availability of such services and the charges therefore using media of general distribution.
(3) Exception. Price cap carriers that serve census blocks that are identified by the forward-looking cost model as low-cost, census blocks that are served by an unsubsidized competitor as defined in § 54.5 meeting the requisite public interest obligations specified in § 54.309, or census blocks where a subsidized competitor is receiving federal high-cost support to deploy modern networks capable of providing voice and broadband to fixed locations, are not required to comply with paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section in these specific geographic areas. Such price cap carriers remain obligated to maintain existing voice telephony service in these specific geographic areas unless and until a discontinuance is granted pursuant to § 63.71 of this chapter.
(e) For the purposes of this section, the term facilities means any physical components of the telecommunications network that are used in the transmission or routing of the services that are designated for support pursuant to subpart B of this part.
(f) For the purposes of this section, the term “own facilities” includes, but is not limited to, facilities obtained as unbundled network elements pursuant to part 51 of this chapter, provided that such facilities meet the definition of the term “facilities” under this subpart.
(g) A state commission shall not require a common carrier, in order to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section, to use facilities that are located within the relevant service area, as long as the carrier uses facilities to provide the services designated for support pursuant to subpart B of this part within the service area.
(h) A state commission shall not designate a common carrier as an eligible telecommunications carrier for purposes of receiving support only under subpart E of this part unless the carrier seeking such designation has demonstrated that it is financially and technically capable of providing the supported Lifeline service in compliance with subpart E of this part.
(i) A state commission shall not designate as an eligible telecommunications carrier a telecommunications carrier that offers the services supported by federal universal service support mechanisms exclusively through the resale of another carrier's services.