REMINDER: FCC Form 499–A due April 1st

The deadline for filing FCC Form 499-A, the annual Universal Service Fund (“USF”) reporting worksheet, is April 1st.

All registered interstate telecommunications services providers (“ITSPs”) that hold a 499 Filer ID must file this form with the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) by the deadline.   Except in very limited circumstances, there is no de minimis exception to Form 499-A, as amounts reported on the form are used to calculate contributions to other federal Funds (e.g. TRS, NANP, LNP Funds and the FCC annual regulatory fee).

In addition, due to the strict, automated enforcement of the FCC’s filing requirements, we urge all registered ITSPs to file Form 499-A, even if a company did not provide telecommunications service or conduct business during the previous year. Filing will mitigate unnecessary USAC and FCC investigations or late fees.

The Form 499-A filing requirement extends to all wireline and wireless telecommunications providers, interconnected VoIP providers, prepaid calling card companies, and satellite service providers.  Private service providers (i.e. carriers who provide service on a non-common carrier, individualized basis) are also subject to these requirements.  In addition,  providers of data services, certain broadband services, and audio-bridging and  teleconferencing services  may be required to file FCC Form 499-A. Clients who have questions about their filing requirements should contact the firm as soon as possible.

Additional information on FCC Form 499, including the most recent Form 499-A and instructions, can be found on USAC’s website at:

https://www.usac.org/forms/

CLIENT ACTION ITEMS:

Clients subscribed to our Compliance & Reporting Services (“C&R Services”) will be contacted by the firm’s Commpliance Division regarding the timely submission of revenue and other required data.  Clients not currently subscribed to C&R Services, but who require assistance preparing and filing the Form 499-A, should contact us at your earliest convenience to ensure timely filing.  Failure to remit required data in a timely manner may result in delinquent remittance and imposition of penalties.  See FCC Form 499 Late Filing Policy.

C&R Services Subscribers: Clients currently subscribed to the firm‘s C&R Services will be contacted within the week to begin the data collection process.  C&R clients who have data already prepared may remit revenue information and other required data to Chris Canter directly at cac@commlawgroup.com as soon as possible.

Non-Subscribers: Clients not currently subscribed to C&R Services, but who require assistance with the preparation and filing of Form 499-A, may contact either Jonathan Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com or Chris Canter directly at cac@commlawgroup.com to make appropriate arrangements and ensure timely filing.

Clients that are filing FCC Form 499 for the first time, and clients who want additional advice on the FCC‘s revenue reporting requirements, are encouraged to contact the firm as soon as possible.

Clients who have already sent revenue information may disregard this notice.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Contributions Determined By Form 499-A 

Contribution to several federal support funds is determined by the annual interstate and international revenue reported on the FCC Form 499-A.  The federal funds include:

Fund Dates Administrator
Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) True-Up of the previously filed quarterly FCC Form 499-Q submissions from November 1st (prior year), February 1st, May 1st, and August 1st  USAC
Local Number Portability (LNP) Fund Contributions for July – June Welch LLP
North American Numbering Plan (NANP) Fund Contributions for July – June Neustar, Inc.
Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund Contributions for July – June NECA
FCC Regulatory Fee Payment for prior year FCC

Submission of Traffic Studies

The FCC‘s rules permit wireless/ CMRS and interconnected VoIP providers to rely on traffic studies to determine the jurisdictional allocation of revenue.  Providers that rely on traffic studies must submit these studies to the FCC and USAC for review, concurrent with the submission of the FCC Form 499-A.

Traffic studies must also be kept current, and updated if traffic patterns shift dramatically.  Generally the FCC requires traffic studies to be executed within a reasonable timeframe, or approximately every two (2) years.  Affected clients should therefore review all underlying traffic studies to ensure timeliness and accuracy.

E-File System and Electronic Officer Certification Information

Electronically-filed Form 499s are not complete until the “Officer Certification” is submitted, either by filing a hard copy or conducting the certification through USAC‘s E-File System.  All clients wishing to perform officer certifications electronically must have access to their individual USAC E-file account.

Clients who do not have the correct E-file account information or whose information has changed since the last submission may encounter significant delays when filing and certifying Form 499s. Therefore, all clients with an existing account with USAC should locate and confirm the functionality of their USAC E-file System Username and Password as soon as possible in anticipation of the upcoming 499.

Clients who are unable to locate their current E-File System log-in information should contact USAC‘s Help Desk at (888) 641-8722.

FCC Form 499 Late Filing Policy

Form 499s received by after the due date will be subject to a late filing fee. USAC and the FCC strictly enforce applicable filing deadlines and rarely make exceptions for late-filed Forms.

Failure to file Form 499, or to pay contributions in a timely fashion, may subject entities to the enforcement provisions of the Communications Act and any other applicable law.  In addition, entities may be billed by USAC for reasonable costs, including interest and administrative costs, that are caused by late, inaccurate, or untruthful filing.  The failure to timely file and accurately report revenue in a Form 499 is a violation of FCC rules and may result in a USAC audit, FCC investigation, or both.  Examples of FCC enforcement actions are available on the FCC‘s website: https://www.fcc.gov/eb/usfc/

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