The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has published the Universal Service Monitoring Report for 2020, prepared by the Universal Service Joint Board. The Monitoring Report assesses each type of universal support mechanism. This marks the 23rd edition of the yearly Monitoring Report.
In terms of recent developments, the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier, established by Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), launched in all U.S. states and territories as of November 2020 – except for California which launched in December 2020. For the E-Rate funding program, administered by USAC for eligible services for schools and libraries, the Commission imposed a $4.226 billion funding cap last year and USAC’s cap for the Rural Health Care Program was adjusted to $604 for the 2020 Fiscal Year. In coordination with the Census Bureau, the Commission also has implemented regular surveys to monitor trends on telephone availability and it found that by July 2020, 128.5 million households had a voice subscription and 2.4 million households lacked a telephone unit. The Monitoring Report also discussed recent developments in the Connect America Fund Program.