47 CFR 54.313 - Annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients.

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§ 54.313 Annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients.
Link to an amendment published at 81 FR 44449, July 7, 2016.

(a) Any recipient of high-cost support shall provide the following, with the information and data required by paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section separately broken out for both voice service and broadband service:

(1) [Reserved]

(2) Detailed information on any outage in the prior calendar year, as that term is defined in 47 CFR 4.5, of at least 30 minutes in duration for each service area in which an eligible telecommunications carrier is designated for any facilities it owns, operates, leases, or otherwise utilizes that potentially affect

(i) At least ten percent of the end users served in a designated service area; or

(ii) A 911 special facility, as defined in 47 CFR 4.5(e).

(iii) Specifically, the eligible telecommunications carrier's annual report must include information detailing:

(A) The date and time of onset of the outage;

(B) A brief description of the outage and its resolution;

(C) The particular services affected;

(D) The geographic areas affected by the outage;

(E) Steps taken to prevent a similar situation in the future; and

(F) The number of customers affected.

(3) The number of requests for service from potential customers within the recipient's service areas that were unfulfilled during the prior calendar year. The carrier shall also detail how it attempted to provide service to those potential customers;

(4) The number of complaints per 1,000 connections (fixed or mobile) in the prior calendar year;

(5) Certification that it is complying with applicable service quality standards and consumer protection rules;

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

(7) The company's price offerings in a format as specified by the Wireline Competition Bureau;

(8) 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;

(9) Beginning July 1, 2013. 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.

(10) Beginning July 1, 2013. 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; and

(11) Beginning July 1, 2013. 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.

(12) 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.

(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, any price cap carrier that elects to receive Connect America Phase II model-based support 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.

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

(i) [Reserved]

(ii) 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;

(iii) [Reserved]

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

(v) 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.

(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.

(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.

(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 CAF, 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.

(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 the Phase I Mobility Fund.

[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]
Effective Date Notes:
1. At 77 FR 14302, Mar. 9, 2012, § 54.313 was amended by revising paragraphs (a)(9) introductory text and (f)(2). 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 was amended by revising paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2) and (e)(3) introductory text. 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 was amended by adding paragraph (a)(12) and revising paragraph (e). 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 paragraph (e)(2)(v), revising paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii), and revising paragraph (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, sect; 54.313 was amended by revising paragraphs (a)(10), (e)(1),(e)(2) and (f)(1). 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.

Title 47 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR Part 54 after this date.

  • 2015-10-16; vol. 80 # 200 - Friday, October 16, 2015
    1. 80 FR 62512 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding; Correction
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      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Petitions for reconsideration; correction.
      Replies to opposition are due on October 29, 2015.
      47 CFR Part 54