Numerous USF Waivers and Extensions Granted to Hurricane Affected Areas

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The FCC, on its own motion, has issued an Order granting emergency interim waivers and extensions of numerous rules and deadlines for the E-rate, Rural Health Care (RHC), Lifeline, and Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and parts of Texas, Florida and Georgia. For E-rate, the waivers include deadlines relating to FCC Forms 486 (Children’s Internet Protection Act Certification), 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement), and 474 (Service Provider Invoice Form), as well as various implementation and construction deadlines. For RHC, the waivers include deadlines for FCC Form 463 (Healthcare Connect Fund Program Invoice and Disbursement Request) and the 2016 Annual Report Questionnaire. For Lifeline, the waivers pertain to the FCC’s non-usage, recertification, and de-enroll/re-enroll rules for Lifeline subscribers in affected areas. For contributions, the FCC waives various deadlines pertaining to the filing and revision of Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) and suspends certain collection activities relating to interest and penalties for providers in affected areas. Because the various waived/extended deadlines vary, affected providers should consult the FCC’s Order and/or their regulatory counsel for more specific information.

 

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