WCB Modifies Form 481 for Privately Held Rate-of-Return Carriers with RUS Loans

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The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission has issued an Order “to align [its] high-cost filing requirements with changes to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) rules.”  Section 54.313(f)(2)(i) of the FCC’s rules requires privately held rate-of-return carriers with RUS loans to include as part of their annual Form 481 “copies of their RUS Operating Report for Telecommunications Borrowers [Borrowers Report] as filed with the RUS.”  RUS no longer requires a Borrowers Report in some cases, however, so WCB has made corresponding changes to its rules to allow carriers to file the “functional equivalent” with their Form 481 filings.  Ordinarily, Form 481 filings would have been due by July 1, 2022 but the deadline was waived pending Office of Management and Budget approval of changes to the form, and the new filing deadline “will be announced in a subsequent public notice.”

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