Reminder: FCC Filing Due November 1, 2017
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
Please be reminded of the upcoming due date for the Report listed below:
Form 499-Q Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting WorksheetCarriers providing interstate and international telecommunications that are required to contribute to federal universal service support mechanisms must report their actual end user and wholesale revenues and projected end user revenues for each calendar quarter by filing Form 499-Q on a quarterly basis. The November Form 499-Q filing provides historical revenue data for July 1 through September 30 of the current year and projected data for January 1 through March 31 of the coming year. Providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol service and commercial mobile radio service that rely upon traffic studies to report their revenues on the Form 499-Q must submit the traffic studies to the FCC.
The Form 499-Q filing is due to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) by Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Filers are required to submit the form electronically through USAC’s E-File system.
Note that the FCC actively enforces the Form 499-Q filing and accompanying Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution requirement, and may impose monetary penalties for failure to file or make timely USF contributions.
Temporary Relief for Hurricane-Affected Areas. On October 6, 2017, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an order temporarily waiving several rules and requirements related to the federal USF for persons and businesses in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The order generally applies to so-called “Affected Disaster Areas,” defined as “areas of Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) that have been designated as Major Disaster Areas eligible for Individual Assistance for the purposes of federal disaster relief by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).” Footnote 8 in the order further explains that all counties in Puerto Rico and the USVI have received such designation from FEMA, and directs parties to the FEMA website to view the counties in Texas, Florida and Georgia that have been designated as Affected Disaster Areas.
With respect to the Form 499-Q, the order grants the following relief:
- Form 499-Q Revisions: For contributors serving the Affected Disaster Areas, the order extends the 45-day deadline for revisions to the August 2017 and November 2017 Form 499-Q until January 2, 2018. The Bureau found that such extension “will allow USAC to recalculate the contribution obligations for affected providers to immediately reflect the effect of the Hurricanes on contributor revenues rather than having to wait until next year’s Form 499-A true-up process” and “will allow affected providers to utilize all available dollars for service restoration efforts in the Affected Disaster Areas.”
- Late Fees for November 1 Form 499-Q: The Bureau directs USAC, until after January 2, 2018, to “refrain from assessing late fees on late [November 1] Form 499-Q filings made by” either “providers with headquarters in the Affected Disaster Areas” or third party consultants or other external entities that prepare Form 499-Q filings on behalf of USF contributors and “are based in Affected Disaster Areas and whose operations have sustained damage due to the Hurricanes.”
Parties that serve, have headquarters, or work with consultants in the Affected Disaster Areas are advised to review the order carefully and seek advice of competent counsel to determine the impact on the company’s Form 499-Q obligations.
Please be advised that attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren’s Communications Practice Group are experienced in addressing FCC reporting issues and are able to assist clients in filing the reports. For more information regarding this client advisory, please contact your usual Kelley Drye attorney or any member of the Communications Practice Group. For more information on the Communications Practice Group, please click here.