Fred Theobald: Hello everybody and welcome to another year of submitting the 499- A form.

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1 Hello and welcome to the How to File Form FCC 499-A Webcast. Our presenters for today are Fred Theobald, Billing Manager of Financial Operations, and Debbie Tosi, Senior Analyst of Contributions. Right now, I will turn it over to Fred. Fred Theobald: Hello everybody and welcome to another year of submitting the 499- A form. 1

2 What we re going to be discussing today is we re going to start off with what s new for 2012 because I know a lot of people have listened to this presentation in the past and so I figured I d just get all the new stuff out front, so if you have better things to do, I figured I d give you back a little bit of your time. Then we ll be going in, for people who d like to hang on, completing the 2012 FCC Form 499-A. I will also be providing a run-through of how to calculate your 2012 Form 499 A/Q True Up. And finally I will be going over, for people who have not used E-File, all the benefits of it and a quick, simple walkthrough of how easy and fun the E-File system here is at USAC. So let s get going for what is new for

3 Basically, there really was not much changed in the instructions between 2011 and What they did include in 2012, was basically changes that affected the TRS calculations. One of the big things is they are now requiring non-interconnected VoIP providers to start filing the form 499-A starting with the 2012 form. 3

4 So basically, the definition: All providers of non-interconnected VoIP (as defined in section (a) of the Commission s rules) with interstate, end-user revenues are subject to TRS contributions must file this Worksheet in order to register with the Commission and report their revenues for purposes of calculating TRS contributions. You can also see the FCC Order Now maybe you might be thinking What is the definition of a non-interconnected VoIP provider? It provides non-interconnected VoIP services, which is a service that enables real-time communication that originates or terminates to the user s location using Internet protocol or any successor protocol. It requires Internet protocol compatible computer premise equipment, but is not interconnected VoIP. And I have provided you down there in the green box the definition that the FCC came out as far as interconnected VoIP providers and what that definition is. And that enables twoway communications, requires broadband connection, requires Internet protocol CPE, and permits users generally to receive calls that terminate to the public switched network. Both instructions are in Appendix B of the A instructions. 4

5 Types of non-interconnected VoIP providers. Providers that offer non-interconnected VoIP services on a stand-alone basis for a fee. And then there s a second group which is certain other providers of other noninterconnected VoIP services that generate end-user revenues and integrate noninterconnected VoIP services into their own non-voip services to contribute to the TRS Fund. And I ve put a sub-bullet here, and this here is again from the instructions, this other type of non-voip services. These are the providers of non-interconnected VoIP services that are offered with other services that generate end-user revenues to allocate a portion of their end-user revenues to the non-interconnected VoIP services in two circumstances: (1) when the providers also offer the non-interconnected VoIP on a stand-alone basis for a fee; or (2) when those providers also offer the non-voip services without the non-interconnected VoIP service feature at a different (discounted) price. I know that sounds a bit confusing, but I think the next page we ll bring this up. 5

6 This is actually an example from the FCC order that sort of goes into this and it says For example, were a provider to offer a video gaming service with an integrated noninterconnected VoIP service for 20 bucks, and also offer the non-interconnected VoIP separately for $5 a month So basically, they would have a video game where you can go on and use your VoIP services where you can play and talk with your friends for $20, but the same company also offers the stand-alone VoIP services for $5. That provider is obligated to contribute $5 per month to the non-interconnected VoIP component for the purposes of TRS contributions. So basically, out of this $20 that they re getting for their gaming system using non-interconnected VoIP, they re going to have to contribute $5 of that for TRS purposes. Alternatively, if a provider were to offer a gaming service that does not include noninterconnected VoIP for $20, and I m sorry, has a stand-alone video game service for $15 and then also offers the same video-gaming services with non-interconnected VoIP for 20, he is going to have to contribute $5, the difference between the standalone game and the game with non-interconnected VoIP. Like I said, I ve given you the order for all this and it s just for all non-interconnected VoIP providers to sort of become familiar with all that. 6

7 Now, as far as how you report your revenues, your non-interconnected VoIP revenues, that revenue will be reported on line and you should only be including those revenues from October 1 st, 2011 through December 31 st, 2011 to report. And the rest of your revenues from the beginning of the year should be on I m sorry that was a typo. Okay, allocating revenues between jurisdictions. Basically, they give you the same types of methodology that they re giving interconnected VoIP. You can break out your interstate and international jurisdictions using actuals, from your book of accounts. You can use a traffic study, if you don t have your actual interstate. Or you can use the safe harbor percentage that was set up for interconnected VoIP providers, which is 64.9%. So let s say you have $100 of revenue from non-interconnected VoIP, you can put $64.90 as interstate in column (d) and you are done. Then you can continue on to the next section. That s what you can do with safe harbor. 7

8 The other part of the changes in this year s forms is that the TRS is now allowing the contributors to reduce their contribution base for their bad debt, and what they ve done is they ve added on a new section on lines 511, 513, and 514. Now on 512, this is a calculation and so basically in the E-File system, we already do this calculation for you. But what it is, this is your gross TRS contribution base. So what we re doing, is we re going to add up information on lines 420(a) plus lines 412(a) plus line 418.4(a) and we re taking out the revenues that you re selling to de minimis filers that you d report on line 511(a). And likewise for column (b). In this case, you re adding the same lines, but you re also adding up your interstate and international revenues in columns (d) and (e). We provide you with the calculations right there. 8

9 Line 513. This is you uncollectible revenue/bad debt expense associated with TRS contribution base that are shown on line 512. So again, line 513 shows the portion of uncollectible revenue that you report on line 421 that is associated with just the TRS contribution base amounts reported on line 512. Filers that maintain separate detail of uncollectibles by type of business should rely on those records in determining the portion of gross uncollectible revenues reported on Line 421. If you do not have this type of breakdown in your detail, you are allowed to make an assignment based upon a proportion of revenues that were reported on line 512 against your total bad debt allowance and total gross revenues. The instructions get into that a little bit more as well. Line 514. This is your net amount. This is a simple calculation. We just take what you report on line 512, we subtract out the number you that put in on 513, and then we come up with your revenues on line 514. This is the actual number that TRS will be using; it will be line 514(b) to calculate the contributions. Also, please remember, when you re putting in your numbers for line 513, that they should be a positive number. The system will subtract what you put there from line 512. And that is what we ve got going on. 9

10 And that is really basically the new that we ve got for A. I m sort of going to pause here and see if we ve got any questions on that section before we continue on. A lot of these lines throughout the presentation. In fact, I ll be going through every revenue line throughout the presentation, so if you ve got specific questions on line items, please be patient. We ll get to those through the normal course of this presentation. I am not seeing anything as far as the new section that we ve got here today, so we will continue on to the next section, which is Completing the 2012 FCC Form 499-A. 10

11 And the first slide that we will have is Who Must File the 499-A? Very simply, pretty much everybody on this phone call needs to fill out Form 499-A. It s all interstate, intrastate, and international providers of telecommunications within the United States, with very limited exceptions, must file this form. I always start out this presentation also talking about what telecommunications means as it relates to the Form 499-A. It is defined by the FCC as the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user s choosing, without change in form or content of the information as sent and received. It is very important to understand the overall customer of the service and what type of service they are using. So you might be a middleman, you might be interconnecting between two LECs. You need to understand what the overall call is because that will define what type of service is being provided. 11

12 Who is exempt from directly contributing to the USF? The FCC has provided exemptions for filing those forms. For entities that provide exclusively for government, broadcasters, and schools and libraries. They are not required to file. And that is if 100 percent of your customers are government, or schools and libraries, you are not required to file this worksheet. System integrators and self-providers. System integrators that derive less than five percent of their revenue from the resale of telecommunications are, again, not required to file this form. And entities that provide service only to themselves or to commonly-owned affiliates need not file this form. So that s another group there. Finally, we ve got the de minimis companies. The de minimis companies are actually not required to contribute directly, but they are required to file this form. All interconnected VoIP and all telecom carriers are not required to contribute directly to the universal service support mechanisms for a given year if their contribution for that year is less than 10,000, however they must file the 499-A regardless. The reason for this is that the revenue will be handed off to the other fund administrators, which includes the North American Numbering Plan, Transmission Relay Service, Local Number Portability, and for the FCC. And these other funds do not have a de minimis exemption, so they will be billing everybody for their portion of their contribution. For the USF purposes, non-contributors must be treated as end users by their underlying carriers and therefore may end up contributing indirectly as a result of USF pass-through charges. 12

13 Basically, the question is: Who is exempt from actually paying USF? Which is our next slide. There are really only two groups of people who are actually exempt from paying. The first one are Lifeline customers. People who are receiving Lifeline support from USF should not get charged any USF fees. Also, the military deployed outside the US. In the Call Home Act, they are also exempt from USF fees. All other US customers may be subject, directly or indirectly, by way of pass-through charges for their customers. Just because you re de minimis does not mean that you re not going to get charged USF by the underlying carrier. 13

14 How do you report after a sale or merger? If the operations of an entity ceased during the previous year and are now part of a successor, the successor must include the entire previous year s revenues of the defunct entity on its own worksheet. So if you purchase a company in, let s say, November last year, you still need to report the entire year of revenues for that entity form January 1 st all the way through to December 31 st on your own 499-A filing. The only exception is if it is specifically written in the sales agreement that each company will be responsible for filing its own 499-A. What happens is, is that people think Hey, what s going to happen here? What USAC does is it combines the Q filings for both entities in determining the calculations for the true up. And we will get to that more to the end of the presentation of how we calculate true up, so the purchaser will get the benefit of the 499-Qs filed by the purchased company. Likewise, the purchased company, if they over-contribute, will get that benefit and if they under-contributed, they will get penalized for that. 14

15 Record keeping. This is in the instructions on page 8. Filers shall maintain records and documentation to justify information reporting on the Worksheet, including the methodology used to determine projections and allocate interstate revenues, for five years. All this information we can request anytime as the Administrator of the Universal Service Fund. 15

16 At this point, I m going to start going through some of the key fields of the actual form, starting off with line 101. Of course, this is your Filer ID. We give this to you when you register with us. This is an important number. We will use it to track all of your invoices, and your contributions, and everything like that. So that goes on the top of every page. Line 103 is, again, your employee identification number. 16

17 Line 105 is basically you re going to select your carrier types. We, in this presentation, are not going to go through them all. We ve listed the different carrier types. We ve also given you the common lines for reporting. Like the first one, the CAP/CLEC, we give you the definition as defined in Appendix B and then we also go through that the CAPs and CLECs most normally report on line 304 for their caps and reciprocal comp revenue; 404.1, 404.2, and for your local revenues; and then 405 for your subscriber line charges; and then 406 for your private line revenues. So we go through that for each carrier type. So, cellular 17

18 long distance, interexchange carriers, interconnected VoIP providers 18

19 and so forth and so forth. I m not going to go through each one of them. I ll let you guys sort of find the one that applies to you and 19

20 you can sort of read through it on your own. 20

21 I m going to quickly jump ahead 21

22 to page 23 of the presentation. 22

23 Line 107 is your FRN number. It s your FCC registration number, also known as your CORES ID. This is a ten-digit number that is used by the FCC for their system. So this number is also very important. The FCC will use this for their billing purposes and so forth, also keeping track of any debts that have transferred to them as well. 23

24 Lines 203 through 206. This is the name of the person that has prepared this worksheet. Make sure you put your first and last name, and make sure you ve got your telephone number and fax, and make sure your is non-generic. The reason why a non-generic is bad is because the address that preparers automatically set up through this process to use our online system and we use the address as your user ID. It is required by our security department that that address be a non-generic . It has got to go to one person, so that we can set up an account for you to start using the E-File system. So for preparing and submitting forms going forward, as well as looking at any filings you have submitted to us in the past. It s all the in the E-File system. On line 208, we ve got the billing address and contact person for that. This is where we ll be sending invoices for TRS, NANPA, LNP, and the USF. They will all be sent to this address. Again, we need the billing contact first and last name. If you would like to have the invoice for each one of the funds to go to a different person, on our website there is an Alternative Billing Contact Sheet that you can fill out that will allow you to go and list the separate people available, and there s also a place on the online system that will allow you to enter it there. Line This is the required address and this is also the address where your ITSP regulatory fee will be sent. Just to let you also know that TRS is also using this field to send out electric bills. Just make sure that line is filled out correctly and fully and that person whose address it is for is aware they will be receiving invoices through that. 24

25 The next couple of lines are 209 through 218. This is for your agent information. Every common carrier, interconnected VoIP provider, and non-interconnected VoIP providers with interstate end-user revenues subject to TRS, is subject to the Act, and shall designate an agent in the District of Columbia for the purpose of process. So it has made this requirement to have a DC agent apply to the non-interconnected VoIP providers. There are no requirements that the agent for service of process be a law firm or agency. It can be any person. So, just make sure. And if you ever change your DC agent, just make sure you contact us and the FCC with the updated information within one week. 25

26 The next area we d like to talk about is: What is gross billed revenue? What types of revenues do you have to report on the FCC Form 499-A? Gross billed revenues consist of total revenues billed to the customer during the filing period with no allowances for uncollectibles, settlements, or out-of-period adjustments. So basically, all your billed revenues, billed to your customers between January 1 st, 2011 through December 31 st, 2011 need to be reported on your form. And there is a section for each type of revenue. The revenue is reported on lines 303 through 314 and 403 through 418. Companies must break out the revenues in three ways. Assign gross billed revenues to reporting categories, which includes allocations of revenues from bundled services between telecom and non-us telecom components. So if you ve got a bundle of Internet and voice, you would need to break out your voice component from your Internet component. You need to attribute the revenues derived from sales between contributing resellers in Block 3, and from end users. And then finally, you need to determine what portion of your revenues is from intrastate, interstate, and international jurisdictions. But first, you ve got to figure out what type of revenue you ve got, then you ve got to make sure you ve figured out that you ve accounted for all your telecommunication revenues, and you ve got to make sure you know what customers you ve got, as carrier s carrier or end users. And finally, you ve got to figure what the interstate and international jurisdictions are. 26

27 As far as assigning the revenues, the form requires the categorization of fixed local, mobile, and toll services, and other. If the revenue category cannot be determined directly from the corporate books of account or subsidiary, filers may provide on the Worksheet a good-faith estimate. Good-faith estimates should be based on information that is current for the filing period. So you ve got that bundle of Internet and voice and you don t have it broken down on your book of accounts because you offer it as a one-price product, you can create a good faith estimate. But it s got to be based upon the information on your And again, later we ll be going through the specific types of revenues and highlight where you should be putting them on the form. And we ll be covering, again, fixed local, originating and terminating traffic, private line, payphone mobile, prepaid, long distance, non-telecom. 27

28 Now again, one of the biggest areas of concern that we have here at USAC is the breakout between carrier s carrier revenue and end user revenue. This is one of the areas that we see a lot of mistakes on. This something we definitely want to stress. Basically, put into make sure that you re aware of what you re doing here, we really want to stress this point with you to make sure you re getting the revenues reported correctly. Reseller revenue is defined by the instructions as revenues from a customer that (1) incorporates the purchased telecommunications into its own telecommunications offering; and (2) can reasonably be expected to contribute to the universal service support mechanisms based upon revenues from such offerings. So, you may sell to resellers, but it must satisfy both prongs of this test in order for you to report their revenues up in Block 3. These revenues that are reported in Block 3 are exempt from USF charges. Each filer, in order to make sure they ve got the procedures in line, should have documented procedures to ensure that it reports as revenues from resellers. And the procedures should include maintaining the following information: Filer 499 ID, legal name, address, name of a contact person, and the phone number; Annual certification by the reseller; And then evidence of the filer s use of the FCC s website. This address here lists every filer that has ever filed with us, active and inactive, and will tell you their current USF contribution status. Anybody else that does not qualify based upon the two-pronged test at the top, must be classified as an end user, and the revenue should be reported in Block 4, and just to make sure, that revenue is subject to USF. Now if you ve got a company that s given you a filer ID but it says they re de minimis, you re allowed to put that revenue on line 511, because again, the other funds do not have a minimum and will bill everybody, so there s no reason to get double billed for somebody else who s already paying the other funds. Please remember to put that revenue on line

29 Breaking out revenues between interstate and international jurisdictions. Just to let you know that column (a) = intrastate revenue + column (d) + (e). A lot of people get this confused. They think total and try to get the total to add up to columns (d) and (e). But again, the total also includes intrastate as well as interstate and international. Intrastate is not explicitly reported on the form, but you still need to report it with your total revenues. Jurisdiction is based upon traffic or simply the originating and terminating points of the final product. So in my example, John Smith makes a phone call from Maryland to California, that call and all the components of that call are interstate. That means from services offered under interstate tariffs, such as revenues from federal subscriber line charges and from federally tariffed LNP surcharges, should be identified as interstate. 100 percent. Where possible, these filers should report their amount of total revenues that are interstate and international by using information from their books of accounts. And again, you are allowed to use good faith estimates. The most common types of good faith estimates are based upon traffic reports. 29

30 Alright, so let s get into actually the different lines of the form. Debbie s got some questions that she s seen pop up so I m going to send it over to her for a few questions. Debbie Tosi: Hi this is Debbie Tosi. I ve seen a number of questions pop up regarding the government exemption. I thought we d spend a little bit of time on that. Specifically, this is covered on page 4 of the instructions and I think a key word that very often gets overlooked is the word directly and that means that, let me just read it word-for-word, the following non-common carrier entities are explicitly exempted from contributing directly to the universal service support mechanism and need not file this worksheet. And then you see the bullets under that. So the government entities that are described here are exempted from contributing directly, so in other words, they do not need to file the Form 499. However, if you are a provider, and you are providing telecommunications services to government entities, that is a little bit of a different story. If you are providing exclusively to a government entity, then this exemption may indeed be something that you can take. But you really just have to read the words very carefully and determine if you re providing exclusively to government entities. There was a question about whether companies need to obtain specific information proving that they provide to government entities, or proving that an entity is indeed a government entity, and I would simply say that when you are certifying your form or not even filing your form, you would certainly have to have the backup documentation if USAC were to come and ask why you weren t filing or why you weren t reporting certain revenue. Fred Theobald: And definitely remember, the government is not exempt from USF. A lot of people get that confused. They think the government is exempt. They are not. It is entities that provide fully 100 percent services to government only or if the government is purchasing telecom on their own behalf, they are exempt from filing the 499 form. Like I said, in order for an underlying carrier to exempt any revenues, their customer must be a direct contributor and resell on the form, so by that the government does not satisfy those criteria and hence, they must be treated as an end user and contribute indirectly through their underlying carrier. So let s start off and we re going to just right into page number 4 of the A and this is where we re reporting your basic revenues here. I m going to start off with lines and This is where you re going to be reporting your wholesale local revenues. So your local services that you re selling to other resellers that are FCC Form 499-A contributors. This revenue gets reported here. The is your monthly service, local calling, connection surcharges and other local exchange services , your local resale includes PICC charges. The first one is provided under loop network elements and is for your basic reseller revenues. 30

31 For your regular end user local service, this revenue is on line 404 and this includes your local calling, including messaging and local toll charges, connection charges, vertical features, and other local exchange services that should be included in the basic local service. Again, except for local private line revenues, special access revenues, and revenues from providing mobile or cellular services. These lines should include charges for optional extended areas, dialing features, local directory assistance, added exchange service such as automatic number identification, local teleconferencing, LNP surcharges and connection charges. Debbie Tosi: If I could just interject, there was a question regarding line 403 and whether you are supposed to report TRS and ITSP surcharge fees on line 403, and that is incorrect. Line 403 is exclusively for reporting universal service pass-through charges, both state charges and federal. Where the federal USF would be reported at 100 percent interstate. So, TRS surcharges, ITSP surcharges, they need to be reported along with the revenue that is being reported. So for example, if you are providing fixed local service and you are reporting that revenue on and you have an LNP surcharge to go along with that fixed local service, you would report that on line and you would report that as interstate because that is an interstate charge. Fred Theobald: Just to let you know on the 404s, the revenues that go on lines and 404.2, this is for when you are offering a local/long distance bundle. So if you re offering $50 for unlimited US calling, you would use lines and to report those revenues. So, you d have to break out what part of the $50 is going to be used for just plain local, and what part of the $50 is being used for long distance. And then, of course, you would take your long distance revenues and then break it out between interstate and international. If you only provide local plans, so you provide local and long distance separately or you are a local-only provider, you would report your revenues on line We do review every form and one of the biggest common mistakes is that local-only providers just put the revenue on the first local line, on line 404.1, which flags our system, we see quite as a common mistake. Now line 405. This is where you should be including your charges for the subscriber line charges and the PICC charges. This is where this is going to be reported. And normally those charges we ll flip over to the next slide. 31

32 The federal subscriber line charge on line 405 typically represents the interstate portions of fixed local exchange service; these amounts are separate from toll revenues and correspond to the revenues received by the incumbent telephone companies to recover part of the cost of networks that allows customers to originate and terminate interstate calls. If you do not have a subscriber line charge, you must deem a portion of your fixed local exchange service as interstate. There is no exception given for carriers, including CLECs, to this requirement to determine and report a portion of the revenues as fixed local exchange service. Just keep that in mind when you re looking at your local services. 32

33 Now some of you who do not have a subscriber line charge can be wondering how do you do this? There are some USAC suggestions of ways of doing this. We suggest one of the possible four ways we provide here. You can use the Subscriber Line Charge of the incumbent LEC of that area and apply it against the number of fixed local exchange lines for the given period. Similarly, to the above, but since overall prices may vary between carriers, you can derive an interstate percentage based upon the incumbent s subscriber line charge as compared to his fixed local rate. So if a company is providing fixed local for $10 and they have a subscriber line charge for $5, you can actually get a percentage out of that and then you can apply that percentage to your fixed local exchange revenues to determine your interstate revenues. Another methodology that you can use is that the FCC comes out with a report that shows the reporting of 499 information. You can use the national average percentage of fixed local exchange revenues and right now they have done their calendar year 2009 as reported as interstate by the five holding companies with the most end-user revenues and this is reported in the telecommunications revenue report, and I provide you the address there. Finally, you can perform a traffic study to determine the percentage of your local revenues that are interstate. 33

34 Debbie Tosi: And so Fred someone had a question as to how the Safe Harbor works. I think that addresses it. You would simply take your total revenues and if you wanted to use the safe harbor for cellular, use the 37.1 percent or instead, there s also safe harbor rates for VoIP, which is 64.9 percent. You would report that safe harbor amount in the interstate column. 33

35 Fred Theobald: I d just like to reiterate that the suggestions that we made on page 33, they are not considered safe harbors, and they are not done by the FCC. These are USAC suggested methodologies. So let s move right along to line 304. This is where you re going to be reporting your CABS and your reciprocal compensation revenue. Line 304 should include per-minute charges for originating or terminating calls, such as CABS and Inter-carrier Compensation. Please do not include international settlement or settlement-like receipts from international toll services. This revenue should be reported on Line 418. And please do not report net numbers here. This should be your gross billing for originating and terminating calls. 34

36 Private line. Private line and special access services should include revenues from providing local services that involve dedicated circuits, private switching arrangements, digital subscriber lines, and/or predefined transmission paths, for example, T1s, Frame Relays, and Private lines. Line 305 should be for your local private line service. And normally a good way of doing this is that both A & Z locations are within the same basic local area. That s where you report it on line 305. If A & Z locations are in different basic local service areas, you re going to be reporting that on line 312 up here, in the carrier s carrier. 35

37 And likewise, if it s from end users, you re going to be reporting those revenues on either line 406 for the local, or 415 for the long distance. Line 406 should also include all revenues from broadband services, including the transmission component of wireline broadband Internet access services provided on a common carrier basis. If you are providing broadband on a non-common carrier basis, that revenue would then be reported on 418. One of the biggest things that you need to remember is that the jurisdiction of these private line circuits is not based upon the A & Z location of the circuit. It is based upon the type of traffic. If over 10 percent of the traffic carried over a private line or WATS line is interstate, then all the revenues from that private line must be reported as 100 percent interstate. The best way to determine this is through customer certifications. They are not required to be annual, but the best practice is when a customer buys a circuit from you, see if they re going to have more than 10 percent interstate. And just to let you know that the FCC has defined Internet traffic to carry more than that 10 percent. So if you re selling a circuit that s going to be used to transport Internet traffic, that will be an interstate circuit. That s another one of those big things that people need to make sure they ve got a good process around and they ve got the documentation to back that up. 36

38 Payphone providers. You re either going to report your revenues on line 306 or is the revenue that you re getting from the long distance companies. The dialaround revenue. The revenue. The coin-in-the-box revenue will go on line 407. So that is where you re going to do that. Do not deduct any of the commission payments to premise owners. Also, when you re breaking out your interstate and international revenues, a good way of doing this is actually looking at your phone bills, but typically we ve seen that s under 20 percent, so if you re reporting 100 percent interstate, double look at your numbers again. 37

39 Mobile services. Mobiles services are either going to be reported on line 309 or line is, again, the revenue you re going to get from your resellers people that are reselling your wireless service. And also, the roaming revenues that you are getting from other wireless providers. 409 is the revenues you re going to be getting from your end users. This includes your monthly charges, your activation fees, service restoration, and service order processing charges, etc. Line 410 is the revenues that you re getting including for message charges, any roaming charges that are assessed on the customer, and local directory assistancetype charges. If you ve got itemized toll charges, this revenue gets actually reported, or itemized long distance charges, on line 413 or 414. Since you re doing it by the call, you should know how to break out that revenue into appropriate interstate and international jurisdictions. If you do not know how, from your book of accounts, break out this revenue, the FCC has provided some safe harbor percentages. For cellular, it s 37.1 percent, for paging it s 12 percent, and for SMR dispatch, it is 1 percent, which means that you can use these percentages to break out your interstate revenues, so for example, if you re a cellular company, and you ve got $100 worth of revenue for the year, you d put the $100 in column (a) on line 409, and then you d put $37.10 in column (d) and you re done. That is what the safe harbor percentage is. You can also use traffic studies to break out this revenue. 38

40 Remember that if you re a cellular company using a traffic study, you will need to submit that traffic study along with your filing. And that s actually quite easy. You can actually submit the traffic study electronically to us and you can submit it to us through the Form 499 address at the bottom of the form, or you can mail it in along with your filing. Interconnected VoIP providers. You re going to be reporting your revenues on line 303. You will also be reporting on lines and This is where you offer local long distance, or just plain local. And then if you re just a simple long-distance VoIP provider, that revenue would be reported on line Please remember for your interconnected VoIP providers that if you don t have a subscriber line charge, you will have to deem a portion of your local revenues as interstate as well. And then again, it goes into the safe harbor. The FCC has provided a safe harbor for interconnected VoIP providers. It is 64.9 percent. So like my example earlier, if I provide VoIP and I don t know the interstate breakdown, and I sell $100 worth of revenue, I put $100 on line because I m offering it in conjunction with my Internet service, and then I would put 64.9 percent in column (d). 39

41 Safe harbor percentages may not be applied to universal service pass-through charge, fixed local, or itemized toll charges. Wireless telecommunications providers and interconnected VoIP providers that choose to avail themselves of these safe harbor percentages may assume that the FCC will not find it necessary to review or question the data underlying their reported percentages. That s the great thing about the safe harbor, you really don t have to keep any back-up documentation on that. All affiliates, all affiliated wireless telecommunications providers and interconnected VoIP providers must make a single election for each type of safe harbor. So what that means is, let s say I have five companies. I cannot have one company report actuals and another company use safe harbor. Every one of my five companies will have to make the determination that we re all going to be using safe harbor, or we re all going to be using actuals or using a traffic study. Another thing that you should be aware of is that annual revenues reported on the FCC Form 499-A should reflect how you report it on your Qs. If I use safe harbor for the first two quarters, on the November and the February 499-Q filing, and then I switch to actuals, starting with the May filing, and also continue with August, I will have to use the same exact methodology when figuring out my revenues for the 499-A. This means I d take the actuals from the first two quarters, apply the safe harbor percentage, and then I can use the actual breakdown of interstate and international jurisdictions for the third and fourth quarters. So you can t flip-flop on your A compared to what you ve done with your Q. 40

42 Line 308. This is where you re getting money from us. This is where you re going to put it. This is where you re going to put your revenues that you re receiving for your low income and high cost revenue. This does not include revenues for any funding that we give you for schools and libraries or rural health care. The reason is that we are supporting the school or rural health care provider and they are required to pay USF like everybody else. 41

43 Line 403. I know we had a question on USF surcharges. If you ve got a line item on your invoice that says USF either for the state or the federal, you would put that revenue on line 403. If I had $100 of federal USF revenue, I would put the $100 in column (a) and then I would put $100 also in column (d). Now if I had $100 from both the state and the federal USF, I would put $200 in column (a) and only $100 for the federal in column (d). 42

44 Moving right along to the prepaid calling cards. Prepaid calling cards report their revenue on line 411. Revenues from prepaid calling cards provided either to customers, distributors or to retail establishments. Prepaid card includes prepaid service where the customer utilizes the service provider s switching platform and has a personal identification number (PIN) for purposes of verification and billing, even if the customer does not receive a physical card. The gross revenue in this category should be reported based on the face value what the end-user customers are actually paying for this card. Which means you cannot include any discounts that you re providing to distributors. This is the face value of the card that should be reported here. Prepaid calling card revenue should also be recognized when the end-user customer purchases the card and the most common way is to recognize when the card is active. 43

45 Long distance. This is going to be reported on line 311, which is your ordinary long distance sold to other USF contributors. Or you can report on line or The difference between those two lines is that is your ordinary long distance, and is your interconnected VoIP long distance. Telecommunications should not report international settlement revenues here. They should be reported on line 418 of this worksheet. 44

46 Other long distance. We ve got 413, which is your operator and toll calls with alternative arrangements. This includes your calling card, your credit card calls, your person-to-person calls, and calls with alternative billing arrangements, such as thirdnumber billings, collect calls, country-direct type calls, and those types of revenues. This should also include your long distance directory assistance. Also reported on line is your satellite revenues, if you ve got any. 417 is where you re putting your other long distance. This is your toll teleconferencing. Now if you are a toll teleconferencer, and have those types of revenues, the FCC released on January 26, 2012, the FCC Order This is an order that was out and I would suggest that you take a look at it. The associated carrier lines for this in Block 3. So if you re getting revenue for this type of service from other contributors, it would be lines 310, 313, and

47 The non-telecommunications revenue. What is non-telecom? Revenues that are not derived from telecommunications (i.e., rent or sale of equipment). Revenues that are derived from telecommunications related functions, but should not be included in the universal service fund. So you ve got some foreign telecommunications. That would be reported here as well. If you re selling Internet on a non-common carrier basis, that s where this revenue would be. Debbie Tosi: And Fred, there was a question regarding: what about companies that facilitate telecommunications, that is, constructing cell phone towers? That s where this revenue would be reported. If you re doing installation, maintenance, you would report that revenue here, but if that is the only thing that you are providing, that s not considered telecommunications and thus the company would not be required to file the form. Fred Theobald: Absolutely correct. And again, for a listing of these, please check out the instructions on page 20, there is a very nice, thorough listing that includes dark fiber, and other types of revenues. 46

48 419 is a calculation. Quickly, it s a summation of line 303 through 314 plus 403 through 418. So basically, it s every line item summed up. 420 is just your end user gross billed revenues less your national and international revenues reported on line 412. And we also give you the calculations of what both NANP and LNP use for their contribution base. NANP is using line 420 column (a) plus line 412 column (a) minus line 511(a). LNP. This is pretty much the same formula, but then they will multiply that by the percentage of end user revenues your breakdown of your regions of where your revenues are coming through, which is reported on lines 503 through

49 Now lines 421 and 422. This is where you re allowed to report your bad debt revenue. 421 is your total bad debt from all sources. You d report there. Line 422 this is only the bad debt associated with your end user customers from revenues reported on line 420. Again, if you do not have this revenue broken down based upon your books of accounts, you can use a proportion or revenues based upon a mathematical formula, or a proportion, based upon how your revenues were reported on the form. The last line here is 423. This is your net universal service contribution base revenues. It is basically line 420 minus line 422. USAC will use the revenues on line 423 columns (d) and (e) to determine your USF contribution base for the 499 A/Q True Up. 48

50 The last page is also very important. The officer certification page. This is here, we are filling out the company officer that s going to certify that the information reported on this form is correct. We also ask for an for this company officer. This should also be a non-generic because the system will automatically set up the company officer to use our online system. Now the company officer will have all the same type of access as the preparer. You can actually create forms. You can view any form that has ever been submitted for this company. He gets one added bonus. He can actually certify the form online, which means that he will not have to submit a hard copy. He can go in, click Certify, and that is considered an electronic-type signature. And he is done. He will get notification from the E-File system that we have received his form. So it s instant gratification and a great thing with the E-File system. 49

51 Debbie Tosi: Before we move on, I ll try to address some of the questions that have been popping up. There ve been a number of questions about de minimis and defining what de minimis means and some questions regarding pass-through charges. First to define de minimis. It is defined as when a filer s annual contributions to the universal service fund would be less than $10,000 and Fred is going to cover this in a little bit more detail in a minute. But just to there s information here as well as in Attachment A on page 34 that you can use to see if you fall in the de minimis category. There was a question regarding whether a de minimis filer is allowed to pass on and collect universal service fund fees and being de minimis, you certainly may. The rule relates to the Truth in Billing Order. You may not pass on a federal universal service charge that is greater than your obligation. Even if you re de minimis, if you owe your underlying carrier, your underlying carrier s billing you USF charges, then you may certainly pass those on. There was also a question regarding whether there was specific language, certification language. The instructions do provide, on page 22, the language that can be submitted to your carrier to certify whether you are contributing directly or providing to another provider who is contributing directly. Again, that s on page 22 of the instructions. And perhaps, Fred, I think a lot of the other questions you are going to There was one other question about data transport. Fred Theobald: There are a lot of products out there and a lot of different types of twists to products, a lot of different types of bundling going on, there s a lot of uniqueness in the telecom industry. We do have an 800 number here at USAC that if we do not get to your exact question, please give us a call. We re here to help you and answer your questions and we ll have that phone number at the end of the presentation for you. The phone number is also listed on the Form 499-A and also in the instructions. Debbie Tosi: Just to quickly reiterate what Fred had talked about, and this is private line revenue that is either reported on line 406 or 415. The question: If Company A purchases a circuit for data transport from Carrier A that is intrastate, and then purchases an interstate circuit from Carrier B, Carrier B is subject to universal service, but would Carrier A? I think I d almost like to rephrase the question. And that is, if you are providing a private line service, and the end points of that service are in different states, then it s very clear that it is going to be an interstate service. The converse is not true. And that is, if the end points of a private line service are in the same state, that does not mean that that is an intrastate service. As Fred talked about before, it is completely dependent upon the traffic that flows across that circuit. And so it s incumbent upon the provider to find out the traffic that is being carried in order to be able to report that accurately as intrastate or interstate. Fred Theobald: In this example, it would be very plausible for the company that s purchasing both these circuits to connect them together. So the circuit that they re purchasing from Company A that is intrastate, the company might be connecting that to the interstate circuit to connect at a further point inside the state. So that is the reason why it s based upon traffic. And also remember that any circuit that connects to an international circuit automatically is interstate. So with that, let s move quickly onto the A True Up. Once you have filled out the Form 499-A, you can go through this calculation and figure out whether we re going to give you back some credits, or we re going to charge you an additional adjustment. 50

52 The example I m going through here, and what we do is, we know with the forecast of the Q, we re not going to be 100 percent accurate, so the FCC has advised the A/Q True Up. We will take your forecasted revenues and see if you over-forecasted or under-forecasted throughout the year. In this example, in the A, the company reported $2.3 million in their contribution base in columns 423 (d) plus (e). And throughout the year 2011, the company has reported 2.5 million. Looking at lines 120 (b) and (c) over there in November 2010 and their February, May, and August filings of So this company has actually over-contributed. We have also provided with you the averages for the year. We ve the average of the two highest contribution factors and the related circularity factors. We ve also got the average of the two lowest contribution factors and related circularity factors as well as the average of all four. 51

53 The first step we do in calculating the true up is to see if you re de minimis. So what we do here is that we will take the revenue that we have found. In this case, it s the 2.3 million that you reported on your 499-A Form, and then we will do the calculation based upon the average of all four contribution factors throughout the year. So we ll take that revenue and multiply it by the and then we will subtract out that revenue times the contribution factor, and then times that by the circularity factor. The circularity factor is to mathematically take out any USF charges that you have billed to your customers throughout the year. This is also the reason why your revenue you are reporting on line 403 is included in your contribution base. Even though you may be charging USF, somebody else might be recovering that revenue through the normal rates or through another line item charge. In this case scenario, we take the 2.3 and we make the calculations based upon the average, and he had an obligation of 312,000. Obviously, that is greater than the $10,000 minimum, so this company is not de minimis. Please note in calendar year 2011, if your interstate revenues on lines 423 (b) plus (e), is greater than $76,622, you will not be de minimis for the calendar year of

54 The next step is, like I said, we compare your A to your Q filings and we need to find out if you under-reported or over-reported on your Qs. If you have, USAC will use the average of the two highest contribution factors and the associated circularity factors. If your A is less than the sum of your Qs, which means that you under-forecasted throughout the year. On the flip side, we will use the average of the two lowest contribution factors and associated circularity factors if you have over-reported on your Qs. In this case scenario, like I said, the company had over-reported on their Qs so that they need to get a credit back from us. We ll be using an average of those two contribution factors. The reason for this calculation is that the FCC wants to make sure you are doing your best job in forecasting your revenues throughout the year so that we can calculate the contribution factor. 53

55 Step 3 is how we re actually going to calculate it. Again, we first take the A and minus all your Qs to get the true up base. We re going to take the true up base and times it by the average contribution factor. And then we ll subtract out your true up base times the average contribution factor times the average circularity factor. This will get you your adjustment. When we ve got your adjustment, we will divide it by three and we will bill it or give you credits for it throughout the entire quarter. So in this case scenario, as you can see, the true up base, they ve over-forecasted by $112,000. When we put it through the formula, we owe them a credit of $14,311. So this company will be receiving three credits on their July through September invoices of $4,770. If you re de minimis, we will be giving your credits back in one lump sum in July for any charges that you ve made throughout the calendar year of

56 Now we have been having some great success with our E-File system. 55

57 People have been starting to use it more and more and we re getting a very nice success rate. If you have not used our E-File system to submit our forms, then why not? This section here is just to show you how easy it is to use our online system to submit your 499 filings and so we ll walk you through this quickly, how you do it. Remember, if you have ever filed an FCC Form 499-A or -Q with your address in the preparer s or officer s spot, then you already have an ID. It s one of those things that you re already set to use. You just log in to our site and get the passcode and everything like that working. So the first thing you want to do is go to our website at Just click on the word E-File and that will take us to a login page. 56

58 Now, a lot of people will try to make this login page their favorite. I would say not to do that because when you do that, you re sort of getting in behind our firewall and that will cause problems when you try to go back in. The system won t let you in because you re immediately trying to get behind our firewall. So what I do, actually, as a favorite, will make the page before this my favorite, and then just click on E-File to get to the password screen. If you do not know your passcode or your passcode does not work, you can click on the Forget Passcode link. This here will ask you to put in your first and last name as it shows on your account and your user ID, which is your address that you ve given us on your form. And then the system will send out your passcode. 57

59 Once you ve successfully logged into the system, all you ve got to do, you ll see on the left-hand side, on the menu for contributors, options to Create New Form. You re going to click on that, and that will get you to our Create New Form page, where you will select a filing. In this case, for the April A. Type in your filer ID and click Submit. 58

60 This here will open up your form. As you can see, it s an HTML form. Very user friendly. It helps you through. You will also see, when we pop this up, all your information that is non-revenue will be pre-populated already for you. So that saves a whole lot of time typing and data entering. All this information will come from your last filing that you ve given us, whether it s an A or a Q, as appropriate. The system will also lead you through your filing. It s got a lot of helpful hints. It will have error messages if something doesn t look right. Warnings. So make sure that you ve filled out the form completely and accurately in our system. You don t have to worry about missing some information. The system won t let you go any further if you don t have all the appropriate information. 59

61 Once you ve gone through and entered in all your data, you will get to page number 8. Here, it s going to ask you to either save the form, or you can you have a button down there that says Click Here to Preview and it will say Certify for officers, it will say Submit for all preparers. Click on that button. 60

62 And this pops up the actual PDF form, the official FCC 2012 Form 499-A, already filled out with everything good to go, and then on the bottom of that, you will have either Edit Form if something doesn t look right. If everything looks right and you see Certify because you re a company officer, click Certify. Now, basically, what you re doing is you ve electronically certified the information was correct. Basically, it s an electronic signature. USAC has received it, the certified form has been received by USAC and you are done. Now, if you re a preparer and it says Submit down there, basically what s happening there is the system is saying that you can submit the information,but you re still going to have to certify it. When you click that Submit button, if your company officer is set up to use our certification system, he will automatically get an from us telling him that Form 499-A is ready to be certified and then he can go online and certify the form. Or you can print it out. It will actually allow you to print out the form and send in a hard copy. But the good thing about this is that the data is already in our system now. You don t have to worry about any data entry errors or anything like that. It s already in there, and we ve got a snapshot of it for you. And again, if you need to edit the form, just click Edit, and it will take you back to the HTML page. 61

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