Reminder: Federal Communications Commission – April Filings
Each month, Kelley Drye’s Communications Group offers this reminder of upcoming filing deadlines that may affect our clients. Please review the deadlines below and contact us if you have any questions:
I. Featured April Deadlines
Following are reminders for upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports and compliance requirements due in April
Form 499-A Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (April 1, 2022)
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 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 2021 revenues, must be filed by Friday, April 1, 2022. Filers are required to submit the Form 499-A electronically through USAC’s E-File system.
Any revisions to a filer’s 2021 Form 499-A (reporting CY 2029 revenues) which effect a reduction in the filer’s USF obligations are also due by Friday, April 1, 2022. There is no deadline for Form 499-A revisions that result in an increased obligation. Additional guidance, including recent updates to Form 499-A can be found here
Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance And Contact Information Reporting Requirement (April 1, 2022)
Telecommunications service providers, providers of advanced communications services (“ACS”) like electronic messaging, in-app voice calls and video conferencing, interconnected VoIP providers (collectively, “service providers”) and equipment manufacturers, subject to sections 255, 716 and 718 of the Communications Act (as amended by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”)), are required to comply, subject to certain exceptions, with recordkeeping requirements to demonstrate that services and equipment are accessible by individuals with disabilities.
Service providers, providers of ACS, and equipment manufacturers must submit an annual certification that records are being kept in accordance with the rules. The certification must state that the service provider or manufacturer has established operating procedures to ensure compliance with the recordkeeping requirements and that records are being kept accordingly. An authorized officer with personal knowledge of the representations in the certification, must submit an affidavit or declaration, executed under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and accuracy of the certification. The certification also must include contact information for the person(s) responsible for resolving consumer complaints and the agent designated for service of formal and informal complaints.
The certification must be submitted by Friday, April 1, 2022, utilizing the Federal Communications Commission’s online filing system which can be found at https://apps.fcc.gov/rccci-registry/. Additional guidance for filers is available at:
II. Other April Deadlines:
- On February 22, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 22-15) seeking comment on several revisions to the Commission’s Rural Health Care (RHC) Program rules designed to ensure that rural healthcare providers receive funding necessary to access the broadband and telecommunications services necessary to provide vital healthcare services while limiting costly inefficiencies and the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse. Comments are due on or before April 14, 2022 and reply comments are due on or before May 16, 2022.
III. Ongoing Filing Requirements:
Pro Forma Assignments and Transfers
Assignments of Authorization and Transfers of Control can be filed either as pro forma applications or non-pro forma applications.
A pro forma assignment or transfer is one in which the form of ownership changes but actual control of the license remains with the same entity. Pro forma assignments and transfers may be approved under streamlined Forbearance procedures in the case of most telecommunications carriers (excluding licensees with installment payment or designated entity issues). These pro forma requests do not require prior FCC approval provided that the parties notify the FCC of the change within 30 days. Note that private licenses are not subject to forbearance. FCC approval is required for private pro forma transfers and assignments.
Change in FCC Form 499 Filer Information
Filers must update their registration information, including a DC Agent for Service of Process in accordance with these instructions to the FCC Form 499-A. Filers must file updated information within one week of the contact information change.
Filers wishing to update Preparer information, headquarters address, billing contact information, or DC Agent for Service of Process, can submit either an FCC Form 499-A or an FCC Form 499-Q or, for billing-related matters only, email USAC’s billing department. Filers wishing to update any other information must submit a revised FCC Form 499-A. For more information, see https://www.usac.org/serviceproviders/contributing-to-the-usf/makingrevisions/
Filers that cease providing telecommunications must deactivate their Filer ID with USAC by submitting a letter with termination date and information on their successor entity to USAC. Filers must also update their CORES ID information with the Commission
Filers must file within 30 days of the date that the company ceases to provide telecommunications service or telecommunications.
Change in Robocall Mitigation Plans
A voice service provider that has not fully implemented the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework for all calls must submit a robocall mitigation plan pursuant to 47 CFR § 64.6305(b). Any provider that makes a change in any of the following information must submit a revised robocall mitigation plan within 10 business days of the change. See 47 CFR § 64.6305(b)(5).
- Its certification as to the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN in its network;
- The extension(s) that apply to its implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN framework;
- The specific reasonable steps the voice service provider has taken to avoid originating illegal robocall traffic as part of its robocall mitigation program;
- Its commitment to respond to all traceback requests and law enforcement requests for information on illegal robocalling; and
- The provider’s business name, d/b/a name(s), former name(s), its legal address and contact information for one person within the company responsible for addressing robocall mitigation-related issues.
The link for submitting a revised robocall mitigation plan is available here:
Attorneys in Kelley Drye’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. For more information, please contact your current Kelley Drye attorney or any member of the Communications Practice Group.