|Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
|News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Released: March 4, 1998
Division Announces Release of Revised
In this Public Notice, the Accounting and Audits Division (Division) issues a revised Universal Service Worksheet, FCC Form 457 (Worksheet), and revised instructions to the Worksheet, to make them consistent with recent actions taken by the Commission in the universal service proceeding.(1)
On May 8, 1997, the Commission released an Order establishing new federal universal service support mechanisms consistent with the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.(2) In that Order, the Commission required all telecommunications carriers that provide interstate telecommunications services, providers of interstate telecommunications, and payphone service providers to contribute to the federal universal service support mechanisms.(3) The Commission excluded from the universal service contribution requirements those de minimis contributors whose annual contributions to federal universal service would be less than $100.(4) On July 18, 1997, the Commission released an Order requiring all contributors to universal service to report semi-annually their end-user telecommunications revenues on the Worksheet.(5) The Office of Management and Budget approved the final Worksheet on July 31, 1997, and the Commission announced the release of the Worksheet on August 4, 1997.(6)
On November 26, 1997, the Commission released the Second Order on Reconsideration, which authorized the administrator of the federal universal service support mechanisms(7) to bill contributors and collect contributions on a monthly, rather than a quarterly basis.(8) On December 30, 1997, the Commission released the Fourth Order on Reconsideration, which, among other things, raised the de minimis exemption from $100 to $10,000 and excluded broadcasters, non-profit schools, colleges, universities, and health care providers, and certain systems integrators from the federal universal service contribution requirements.(9) In the Fourth Order on Reconsideration, the Commission also concluded that support for waived presubscribed interexchange carrier charges for Lifeline consumers would be recovered from the universal service support mechanism for low-income consumers and clarified that revenues derived from leasing bare transponder capacity do not constitute end-user telecommunications revenues.(10)
To make the Worksheet clearer and consistent with the changes adopted in the Second and Fourth Orders on Reconsideration, we issue a revised Worksheet and revised instructions to the Worksheet, as reflected in the Worksheet and instructions attached hereto as Appendix A. Specifically, we revise the instructions to clarify, consistent with the Second Order on Reconsideration, that quarterly contributions will be paid in monthly installments and further clarify the method by which the administrator of the universal service support mechanisms calculates the individual quarterly contributions of universal service contributors. In addition, consistent with the Fourth Order on Reconsideration, we revise the instructions to provide a list of entities that are excluded from federal universal service contribution requirements. The revised Worksheet reflects the new de minimis exemption, adopted in the Fourth Order on Reconsideration, which excludes from the contribution requirements contributors whose annual contribution to universal service would be less than $10,000. Also consistent with the Fourth Order on Reconsideration, the instructions direct entities preparing Worksheets to include on Line 27 amounts associated with waived presubscribed interexchange carrier charges for Lifeline customers who have toll blocking and clarify that revenues derived from the lease of bare transponder capacity should not be included in Lines 32 or 46.
In addition, we revise Line 4, "Principal communications business," to include a new category, "SMR (dispatch)" and clarify that, where possible, contributors should list billed revenues that are based on books of account. Finally, we add a new Line 51. Contributors that wish to request Commission nondisclosure of information contained in the Worksheet may check a box in Line 51 to do so. By checking this box, the officer of the company signing the Worksheet certifies that the information contained on the Worksheet is privileged or confidential commercial or financial information and that disclosure of such information would likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the company filing the Worksheet. This box may be checked in lieu of submitting a separate request for confidentiality pursuant to section 0.459 of the Commission's rules.(11) Most of the entities submitting Worksheets in September 1997 attached letters requesting confidential treatment for the Worksheet. This revision will reduce paperwork burdens for entities filing the Worksheet and Commission staff. All decisions regarding disclosure of company-specific information, however, will be made by the Commission. Contributors will be required to file the Worksheet, as revised herein, by March 31, 1998.
Copies of the revised Worksheet and instructions may be downloaded from the Commission's Forms Web Page, www.fcc.gov/formpage.html. Copies also may be obtained by calling the fax-on-demand line at (202) 418-2830 and selecting document number 6730. Finally, copies may be obtained from USAC at (973) 560-4400.
For further information, contact Frances Downey, Cheryl Leanza, or Lori Wright, Universal Service Branch, Accounting and Audits Division, Common Carrier Bureau, at (202) 418-7400.
Action by the Chief, Accounting and Audits Division
1. See Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc., Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Second Order on Reconsideration in CC Docket 97-21, CC Docket Nos. 97-21, 96-45, FCC 97-400 (rel. Nov. 26, 1997) (Second Order on Reconsideration); Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Access Charge Reform, Price Cap Performance Review for Local Exchange Carriers, Transport Rate Structure and Pricing, End User Common Line Charge, CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 96-262, 94-1, 91-213, 95-72, Fourth Order on Reconsideration, FCC 97-420 at paras. 277-284, 295-298 (rel. Dec. 30, 1997) (Fourth Order on Reconsideration).
2. Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 8776 (1997) (Universal Service Order).
3. Universal Service Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 9173-9178, 9183-9185.
4. Universal Service Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 9188.
5. Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc., Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration, CC Docket Nos. 97-21, 96-45, FCC 97-253 (rel. July 18, 1997) (NECA Order) at para. 80.
6. See FCC Announces Release of Universal Service Worksheet, Form 457, Public Notice, DA 97-1671 (FCC rel. Aug. 4, 1997). The Commission announced minor changes to the worksheet instructions on August 1, 1997. See FCC Announces Non-Substantive Changes to Universal Service Worksheet Instructions Released on August 4, 1997, Form 457, Public Notice, DA 97-1671A (FCC rel. Aug. 11, 1997).
7. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the temporary administrator of the universal service support mechanisms. See NECA Order at paras. 25-30.
8. Second Order on Reconsideration at paras. 3-4.
9. Fourth Order on Reconsideration at paras. 277-284, 295-298.
10. Id. at paras. 122-125, 280-290.
11. See 47 C.F.R. § 0.459.