Other similarly situated companies invited to participate
Last year, JSI filed a petition for waiver on behalf of a group of “Impacted RLEC HUBB Filers” who were penalized high-cost USF support because they did not certify “no locations” on their March 2018 HUBB report. In each case, the companies received confusing guidance from USAC or had other technical and administrative issues with completing the certification by the deadline. To add to the confusion, the FCC waited until the day of the deadline to inform HUBB filers about the need to file even though they had no locations to report, plus its guidance was ambiguous, stating that filers “can” certify instead of “must.” Based largely on the fact that the March 2018 filing was the first HUBB filing for all carriers, the FCC granted the waiver for the Impacted RLEC HUBB Filers and other similarly situated rate-of-return companies in the December 2, 2019, HUBB Waiver Order.
Other rate-of-return companies have approached JSI since the FCC granted the waivers last year about similar issues they encountered with certifying “no locations” in their March 1, 2019, HUBB filings (USAC is just now reducing support for last year’s filing). Although these companies have similar fact patterns that fit the precedent established in the FCC’s HUBB Waiver Order, the fact that this is the second HUBB filing makes seeking waiver of this deadline more challenging. Nonetheless, companies that have had USF payments reduced simply for not filing “no locations” have no recourse other than filing a waiver if they seek to have the reduction rescinded.
Accordingly, JSI encourages companies that have had support reduced due to not filing “no locations” in the HUBB for either last year or this year to contact JSI about participating in this second Impacted RLEC HUBB Filers petition for waiver. To participate in the joint waiver, or if you have HUBB-related questions about late filings and penalties, please contact John Kuykendall or Cassandra Heyne in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.