TeleCommunications are subscription-based regulatory alerts, FCC reports, and webcasts from the Communications & Media Practice at Moss Adams LLP. These updates and analysis focus on issues and developments that have the potential to significantly impact small and midsize telecommunications carriers.
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FCC Establishes Emergency Broadband Benefit Program; Announces Initial Dates for Service Provider Elections and Applications | FCC Report – March 2021
On February 26th, the FCC released a Report and Order, establishing the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help low-income households stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the EBB Program, participating providers will make available to eligible households a monthly discount of up to $50 (up to $75 on Tribal lands) off the standard rate for an Internet service offering and associated equipment. In addition, participating providers that supply an eligible household with a connected device may receive a single reimbursement of up to $100, if the charge to the household for that device is more than $10 but less than $50. The EBB Program is funded by a $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund established in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The funding to reimburse participating providers for the discounts will be available until the Fund is depleted, or six months after the end of the COVID-19 emergency period, whichever comes first. (Subscribe for more information)
Lifeline Program Waivers Extended through June 30th; Usage Requirement Effective May 1st | FCC Report – March 2021
On February 24th, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) released an Order further extending its prior waivers of the Lifeline program rules governing recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, income documentation, and documentation requirements for subscribers residing in rural areas on Tribal lands, through June 30th. Extension of the waiver of the recertification and reverification rules will prevent the de-enrollment of any Lifeline subscribers who would otherwise have been required to certify their continued eligibility to the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier during the waiver period. (Subscribe for more information)
Second Quarter 2021 USF Contribution Factor Increases to 33.4% | Moss Adams Alert – March 2021
The FCC announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter of 2021 is 33.4 percent (0.334), an increase from the current contribution factor of 31.8 percent. All companies that assess their customers a Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) and choose to pass through this increase will need to implement the increase in their billing systems. (Subscribe for more information)
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