JSI Clarifies Form 481/ETC Annual Report Requirements

Only 40 Days Remain Until the July 1st Deadline

Based on a recent USAC webinar and discussions with FCC staff, JSI reminds clients that this year’s FCC Form 481 should contain a Progress Report on the initial Five-Year Plan (2015-2019) reflecting any progress made during the first half of 2015. Further, the Progress Report should contain any updates clients need to make to the current Five-Year Plan based upon any adjustments or changes to business plans made since last year’s submission. JSI also clarifies that it is not necessary to add network improvement projects or capital or operating projections for year 2020 to the 2015 Form 481 report.

As a reminder, the Progress Report must include a map reflecting progress made on network improvement targets. The FCC has not specified a required format for the map. Because carriers are only reporting progress on the first half of 2015, there may be limited progress to reflect on a map; therefore JSI suggests the map include a delineation of where customers currently have access to 10/1 Mbps, 4/1 Mbps, and where customers cannot yet access 4/1 Mbps. JSI clients that have already deployed 10/1 to all customers in the study area would not have any such delineations on their maps and may want to include a caption that all customers can access 10/1 service upon request.

The FCC and USAC have added new requirements to the financial section of Form 481 that require certain financial information be extracted from the financial statements and be entered directly into lines on the Form 481 portal. This information includes: Revenue, Operating Expense, Net Income, Telephone Plant in Service, Total Assets, Total Debt, Total Equity, and Dividends. This new requirement is in addition to providing copies of the RUS Borrowers Report or either audited or CPA-reviewed financial statements.

If you have questions about the Form 481 and ETC reporting requirements or would like assistance with your company’s filing, please contact Cassandra Heyne in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590, Dee Dee Longenecker in our Texas office at 512-338-0473, or Lans Chase in our Georgia office at 770-569-2105.

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