FCC Reduces Form 481 Paperwork Burden

ETC Annual Report Due July 1

Of the many burdens of the FCC Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) Annual Report, also known as FCC Form 481, the amount of paper that filers must submit to the FCC is high on the list. In previous years, carriers were required to submit numerous confidential and redacted paper copies along with their electronically-filed redacted submissions. This week, the FCC issued a new Protective Order for the Form 481 filing which extends the protection of confidential financial data and somewhat alleviates the paperwork burden. Filers now only need to submit one confidential paper copy to the FCC Secretary and only submit the electronic redacted copy on the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System. JSI’s Maryland headquarters is thrilled with this news, as our hallways became overtaken with paper filings as the annual July 1 deadline approached.

We are ramping up our preparation for the 2016 Form 481, but still await USAC’s release of its modified online form with several changes pending Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval (which typically occurs in early April). We do not expect to see any significant material changes to the Form 481 requirements this year. Carriers will report progress made for calendar year 2015 as a part of their Five-Year Plan Progress Report.

Stay tuned for important announcements about the Form 481, and in the meantime clients are encouraged to gather their data and direct any questions to Cassandra Heyne in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590, Lans Chase in Georgia at 770-569-2105, and Dee Dee Longenecker in Texas at 512-338-0473.

Source: JSI e-Lert