Reminder: FCC Form 499-A and Annual Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance Certification Filings Due April 1, 2020
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
Please be reminded of the upcoming due date for the Reports listed below:
Form 499-A Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet
All intrastate, interstate and international providers of telecommunications within the United States, including, but not limited to, VoIP providers, telecommunications providers that provide services on a non-common carrier basis, and payphone providers that are aggregators, are required to file Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Form 499-A with the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) each year with limited exceptions. Non-interconnected VoIP providers with interstate end-user revenues subject to Telecommunications Relay Service (“TRS”) contributions must file the Form 499-A to report the revenues.
The Form 499-A is used to determine a company’s required contribution to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”), as well as to the Local Number Portability Administration (“LNPA”), North American Numbering Plan Administration (“NANPA”) and TRS funds, and is the basis for a carrier’s annual FCC regulatory fee. For new providers, the Form 499-A also serves as a carrier’s FCC registration.
The Form 499-A worksheet, reporting CY 2019 revenues, must be filed by April 1, 2020. Filers are required to submit the Form 499-A electronically through USAC’s E-File system.
Revisions to Prior Year 499A Filings: Any revisions to a filer’s 2019 Form 499-A (reporting CY 2018 revenues) that result in a reduction in the filer’s USF obligations must be filed by March 31, 2020. There is no deadline for Form 499-A revisions that result in an increased USF contribution obligation.
Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance and Contact Information Reporting Requirement
Service providers and equipment manufacturers subject to sections 255, 716 or 718 of the Communications Act (as amended by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act), are required to comply, subject to certain exceptions, with recordkeeping requirements regarding their efforts to make services and equipment accessible by individuals with disabilities. These obligations apply to service providers and equipment manufacturers of advanced communications services (“ACS”), including electronic messaging services and non-interconnected VoIP (in-app chat) services.
Service Providers and equipment manufacturers must submit an annual certification, signed by an officer with personal knowledge of the certification statements, that records are being kept in accordance with the rules and also must provide required contact information.
Developers of video game software (defined as “playable games on any hardware or online platform, including game applications that are built into operating system software”) are no longer exempt from the FCC’s ACS accessibility and certification requirement. Accordingly, developers of such software with ACS capabilities like in-game messaging, chat and voice calls, are required to submit a certification of compliance with the rules.
The certification must be submitted by April 1, 2020, utilizing the FCC’s online filing system.
Attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren’s Communications Practice Group are experienced in addressing universal service filing and carrier contribution issues and are available to assist clients with determining how to report their revenues for universal service purposes, as well as with the filing of FCC Form 499-A. The Communications Practice Group also can assist in submission of the accessibility recordkeeping certification requirement.
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.