Reminder: Companies Need to Update Annual USF Supported-Services Advertising 

All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) are reminded that each year they must advertise the availability and charges of services supported by federal Universal Service Fund (USF) using media of general distribution in order to comply with FCC Rule 54.201(d)(1) & (2). With last year’s Lifeline Modernization Order, the FCC added broadband internet access service as a supported service under revised FCC Rule 54.101(a) and (c). As a result, companies will need to update their annual advertising to include broadband internet access service.

As part of this advertising, many companies also include information about Lifeline service as part of the requirements of FCC Rule 54.405(b). If this is the case, companies also will need to update this language to include all of the changes to Lifeline program from the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.

FCC Clarifies Requirements for Lifeline Stand-Alone Broadband

In an Order earlier this month, the FCC clarified that the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order does not require ETCs to create a new stand-alone broadband offering solely for Lifeline. Instead, ETCs may meet their broadband public interest obligations by offering Lifeline broadband as part of a bundle with voice or on a stand-alone basis, at the carrier’s discretion. Stand-alone broadband for Lifeline is only required where the ETC commercially offers stand-alone broadband to all customers.

If you would like JSI’s assistance with updating your USF or Lifeline advertising or if you have questions on Lifeline, please contact Lans Chase in JSI’s Georgia office at 770-569-2105 or Lisa McLaughlin in JSI’s Texas office at 512-338-0473.

Source: JSI e-Lert