Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB control number.
In order to determine which carriers are entitled to universal service support, all rate-of-return regulated (rate-of-return) incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) must provide the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) with the loop cost and loop count data required by 47 CFR 36.611 for each of its study areas and, if applicable, for each wire center as that term is defined in 47 CFR part 54 of the Commission's rules.
Loops are the telephone lines running from the carrier's switching facilities to the customer. The loop cost and loop count information is to be filed annually with NECA by July 31st of each year, and may be updated quarterly pursuant to section 36.612. Pursuant to section 36.613, the information filed on July 31st of each year will be used to calculate universal service support for each study area and is filed by NECA with the Commission on October 1 of each year. An incumbent LEC is defined as a carrier that meets the definition of “incumbent local exchange carrier” in section 51.5 of the Commission's rules.
The Commission requires that non-rural carriers submit quarterly loop counts in order to ensure that universal service fund (USF) support for non-rural carriers is accurately calculated when competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) are present in the incumbent LECs' operating areas. Quarterly loop cost and loop count data filings are voluntary for rate-of-return carriers.
The Commission is submitting this collection to the OMB for approval of a revision of this information collection. The revision is due to the elimination of the requirement for price-cap regulated carriers and competitive carriers to file cost or loop count data.
One of the functions of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is to provide a means for the billing, collection and disbursement of funds for the universal service support mechanisms.
On October 1998, the OMB approved FCC Form 498, the “Service Provider Information Form” to enable USAC to collect service provider name and address, telephone number, Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), contact names, contact telephone numbers, and remittance information. FCC Form 498 enables participants to request a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) and provides the official record for participation in the universal service support mechanisms. The remittance information provided by participants on FCC Form 498 enables USAC to make payments to participants in the universal service support mechanisms.
The following proposed revisions have been made to the FCC Form 498 for which we seek OMB approval:
• Added an additional field in block 3 for a company's Federal Registration Number (FRN);
• Added a column for the Study Area Code Company Name in block 8;
• Added the ability for a carrier to designate an alternate bank account for the payment of BEAR funds in block 11;
• Added a box in block 1 and a supplemental information sheet to allow respondents to include information about affiliates;
• Updated the Principal Communications Types in block 14 to include additional business types as listed on the FCC Form 499-A; and
• Added a box after every program on the form that will allow service providers to cease participation in the associated program without having to deactivate their entire SPIN.
Corresponding adjustments were made to the instructions to reflect the proposed changes to the FCC Form 498.
The information collected on the FCC Form 498 is used by USAC to disburse federal universal service support consistent with the specifications of eligible participants in the universal service programs. FCC Form 498 submissions also provide USAC with updated contact information so that USAC can contact universal service fund participants when necessary. Without such information, USAC would not be able to distribute support to the