Moderator: Fred Theobald:

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1 Moderator: Hello and welcome to the webcast titled 2013 Universal Service Fund Contributions. I will now turn the call over to Mr. Fred Theobald, Senior Manager of USF Contributions, and Ms. Jennifer Ullman, Senior Telecom Industry Analyst. Please go ahead. Fred Theobald: Hello everybody and welcome to 2013 USF Contributions presentation. We have changed things up a little bit this year. In years past, we had gone through the form line-by-line. We are not going to do that this year. But those presentations are still on our website if you would like to go through prior presentations. You can listen to my voice for another couple of hours and listen to me go through the individual line items. 1

2 What we re going to be focusing on today for this presentation is going to be what s new for 2013 FCC forms: the 499-A and the 499-Q. We re also going to be looking at some 2012 FCC USF contribution proceedings. We are going to do one of my favorites, which is how to calculate your 2013 FCC 499 A/Q true up. And then I m leaving a large portion at the end of this presentation for your questions. Questions are open for anything that you would like to ask about filling out your 499 forms. So we re going to leave a good space there. 2

3 Let s jump right into it. We ll start off with what s new for the FCC 499-A for

4 This year, the FCC, in November 23rd, 2012, issued a public notice, putting the instructions out there for comment. On December 12th, they basically stated that the registration for comments on changes, you had to make them by January 11th, There were 13 comments received. And then on March 1st, the FCC released their public notice and released the A and 499-Q form and worksheets and accompanying instructions. That was just a little bit different. In years past, they had not put that out there for public comment and made a public notice about that. 4

5 So what is new for 2013? Well, basically, the basic stuff that they did, they did some stylistic date changes and web changes. So we ve updated some of our links for our web pages. If you haven t looked at USAC s contributor web pages, you should check them out. We have updated them since the last time we ve talked to provide you with more information in a better format. I think it has a nice flow to it. What has also been updated is that they ve updated the estimated contribution factor for the de minimis. They ve updated that in both the 499-A instructions and the Q instructions. This is the estimated factor they use in the de minimis worksheet. That is in Appendix A on the A and Figure 1 on the 499-Q. The estimated factor is now 16.2 percent, which basically equates to an interstate and international revenues for the year of about $61,728. Above that number, you are looking to be a contributor in One of the things, when I was looking at that, I decided to take a look to see how the de minimis line has been going down over the years. 5

6 So the next slide that we have is a little chart for you. As you can see back in the calendar year of 2007, people who had over $101,000 were considered to be contributors, and then it dropped to $100,000 in 2008, and it s been dropping ever since. In 2012, the number was $68,652. So anybody above that mark of interstate and international reported on your 499-A, line 423 (d) + (e), is going to be considered a contributor for And I d also like to remind you that this is something you should be thinking about now for calendar year 2013 and really look at your forecast to see where you re going to be at the end of the year. You will find if you can forecast and find you are going to be a contributor, you should really start filing those Q forms today and make sure that you get on the FCC web page as a contributor and so that we can start billing you. As you will see, it will help you out in the end. So it s definitely time to start thinking about whether or not you are a contributor or not for the coming year. Jennifer Ullman: Fred, if I could interject. Good afternoon, everyone. I wanted to have you address a question coming in from someone from the audience. They re asking What was the de minimis amount? Fred Theobald: For 2012, like I stated On the chart, basically, if you look at 2012, anything below $68,652 would have been considered de minimis in calendar year Anything above that would be a contributor. Jennifer Ullman: Great. Thanks. 6

7 Fred Theobald: The next thing we have that the FCC updated, of course, is their filing schedule. They updated on Table 1 in the instructions for the 499-A and -Q. And that basically goes over addresses when the forms are due. It also tells you when you need to do traffic studies and submit those and your consolidated filer certifications. And the next slide will show you the chart that we ve got here. 7

8 Now I just want to bring up a couple of things. The forms are all due on the first this year. There is no first that ends on a weekend, so they are all due on either April 1st for the A, and remember, if you re listening to this phone call, you definitely need to get your Form 499-A in by April 1st. Now, the reason why this is so important, just to remind you all, is that I m sure that you guys don t want to get hit with late filing fees. USAC does have a late filing fee that is dictated by FCC Order , which is a minimum of $100 per month that your form is late. On top of that, each administrator that uses the 499 form has the authorization to charge their own late filing fee. So very important for everybody this is including de minimis filers to make sure you get your Form 499-A into us by April 1st. The next forms, again, are the 499-Qs, which are due in February, May, August, and November. These are the forms that we use to bill your monthly charge, and we are using the information off of line 120. Now what we do, just to let you know, there is a 45-day revision period for those. Now we at USAC, we review each one of your 499-Q submissions, and if we see a problem, we will send you out an stating that we feel that you have done something wrong. Either your forecast is too high or it doesn t seem right. We will also tell you exactly how much of a percentage increase from the prior Q form that we are seeing on this current filing. It is important to get these because the next time you will hear from us, after that message, is when you get your bill, which is about 60 days after the filing, which is after the 45-day revision window is closed. So it s very important to make sure that you have your address, and we send this out to the address for the Preparer, and we try to stay in contact with them. Make sure that address is updated on the form and make sure that right around the filing time after you ve submitted it, make sure you keep an eye lookout for either an issue or basically, You re approved and everything s looking good. These will go out usually about 10 days after you ve submitted your filing. Be aware of those and make sure those don t hit your spam. Jennifer Ullman: Fred, if we could stay on slide 8, someone has a question about the timing of the April 1 deadline. Is there a particular time midnight, 7 PM that the form should be in? If you could address that question. Fred Theobald: We will have to have paper copies in the office by April 1st. If you re using our online E-File system, you will have up until 11:59 to have it certified in our system. The E-File system is great. It allows you to put data enter all your information. It also allows your Company Officer to certify. We consider the form received when your company has certified by your Company Officer in the E-File system. Make sure that when you submit your form, if you re submitting a hard copy, that it s signed. And we need the original signature; we cannot accept a photocopy or a fax copy when you send it over to us. That is very important. And it must be received by USAC by April 1st. Another thing on this slide I d like to bring up is the traffic studies. You re submitting two copies if you re using traffic studies if you re a VoIP or cellular provider. This is important in the fact that one copy s got to go to us, and one copy s got to go to the FCC. You can us at USAC your traffic study, or you can submit it with your submission of your 499 form and you can do that by mailing it to us at the address at the bottom of the form or you can us at This is, again, a requirement for anybody who is using a traffic study. Again, you re allowed to use safe harbor for cellular or VoIP. And what we do, also, is that once we collect all these traffic studies, we give them over to the FCC along with a list of anybody who is not using safe harbor so that they can do their analysis. Jennifer Ullman: Fred, if I could interject. Two excellent questions on traffic studies. I think we should address them before we move on to consolidated filer certification. One question is, How late can people submit the traffic study to either us or the FCC? So traffic studies cannot be sent in once a year for the whole year. This is what some folks had been doing. They want to double-check this process. Fred Theobald: Well, normally, like you see here, the instructions are very specific that if you re filing if you re a contributor, you must file your traffic studies with your Q filings, on each one of your Q filings in February, May, August, and November. If you re de minimis and you re only filing the A, then you just submit your traffic study annually along with your 499-A traffic study. And again, all this information goes over to the FCC and they are doing the analysis on it. The next area is, again, is the consolidated filer certification. This was added on. This is the reason why it s highlighted for you in yellow. This is just a reminder; this is not a new requirement. People who are filing on a consolidated basis, just make sure that you submit your consolidation certification once a year, and that would be going to USAC. 8

9 Moving on to the next item: mergers. Now the FCC has added a little bit and revised their language. Instructions have been revised to include language regarding the obligation of successor companies to report revenues for both the successor and acquired entity if the acquired entity has not filed its own FCC Form 499-A. This is something that I have been talking about for many, many years now on these presentations, that we need. When a company s purchased, we need to have the A reflect total revenues. Whether we get that in two separate As, or if the successor company files total revenues for the prior years for both companies. And what we ve done for you on these slides is that we ve highlighted the new language in red so you can see exactly where it fits into the old language. This is something that we definitely do and this is something that my group is checking to make sure that, for sales and mergers, that the total revenues are being reported. Jennifer Ullman: Now Fred, there is a great question coming from the audience about Line 106 of the revised annual form, so I think we should stop and address it. Are affiliated companies required to file a Form 499-A on a consolidated basis? If not, and if affiliated companies are not filing on a consolidated basis, are they required to list holding affiliated companies on Line 106, or should they check the box No Affiliated Companies? Fred Theobald: Actually, that is a great question and we will be addressing that question a little bit later on in the presentation, so let s continue on with this section first. I believe the next section we ll be talking about, or a couple of sections down the road, we ll be talking about the affiliated language and the holding company. 9

10 The next slide here, just to let you know what we do here with sales and mergers at USAC. USAC will use the combined Q revenues of both companies when calculating the purchasing company s FCC Form 499-A true up if the acquired company does not file its own 499-A. If both companies file separately their 499-As then we will not combine the Q revenues of the purchasing company and each company will get their own true up. One thing to remember that it is the acquiring company that is responsible for this. So if the company that has been purchased has not filed their own A, we will be going after the acquiring company to file the revenues for both companies. This sort of lets you know how we do it here at USAC as far as sales and mergers. And again, this is really nothing new. This is a little bit again, confirming that both companies are allowed to submit their own 499-As. 10

11 The next slide. The next new thing that they talked about was ink signature. Again, everybody who has filled out the form knows that they have to fill it out with an ink signature. The new thing that they ve done is talked about our E- File system with the online certification. When you re first setting up your account, you have to fill out the form in hard actually, go to our website, fill it out online, and then at the end you ll print it out, sign it, and send it in to us. Once we have got that signed form, we will set up the Officer s account and the Preparer s account, to be able to data enter and certify their information electronically. No more paper forms after that point, unless you change Company Officers. If you change Company Officers, then we will then require a hard copy with a signature for us, for our records. If you don t change Company Officers, you can do this electronically. It s quick and easy. It s instant recognition that you ve successfully done it and that is something very good. It also lets you see the complete history of your account as far as all your filings and also provides great benefits as far as pre-populating all your old data for your Preparer information, billing contact, and also gives you pop-ups and simple math and those types of things throughout the form so you make sure that you are filling it out completely and accurately. 11

12 The next thing the FCC has done in 2013 is taken out the language regarding rounding percentages. Basically, the FCC has deleted instructions requiring revenues be rounded to the nearest whole percent. This is to be consistent with the safe harbors that are out there, specifically VoIP, which is 64.9, and cellular, which is 37.1 right now. We have included the old language that has been removed and this is basically important for people that are doing good faith estimates and trying to determine their interstate and international percentages, breakouts in columns (d) and (e). And so what a lot of people do, in the past, they would have to, like, if they had a 42.5 percent, they would have to round up to 43 percent, take their total revenues, and multiply it to get their interstate and international revenues. This was just something that they ve taken out, so you can round to as far as you want to go. 12

13 The next slide is the holding company and affiliates, which is what the question was about. Basically, again, this is not a new requirement here. In the 499-A instructions, it is always required that affiliates must have a common identifier, which is typically the name of the holding company or controlling entity and their IRS Employee Identification Number, or EIN. One thing that they have done this year is they have a checkbox that says which means it is now a required field. In the past, there was no checkbox. You could enter information. Sometimes you left it blank. Now you must make a choice of checking off I have no affiliates or putting in a common identifier for all affiliate filers. This is something that is a requirement now on the 499 form. If you do not check that box or you do not fill in that information, USAC will be contacting you to get that information from you. The definition of affiliate has also been added to the 499 instructions. This is, again, not a new definition. This is the same definition contained in Section 3 of the Communications Act. It was also in the de minimis worksheet section of the 499-A and the 499-Q. So this is something that is not new. The new language, again, is the common identifier. We need to make sure that anybody that s affiliated has the same company name and EIN for all filers that are affiliated. 13

14 I got a question the other day from a person that said, Both my parent and myself are filing the form. What should I put down? I said, You should put down your parent s company name and EIN number on both forms. The definition of affiliate is basically listed here on slide 14 in red. Unless otherwise specifically provided, an affiliate is a person that directly or indirectly owns or controls, or is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, another person. For this purpose, the term owns means to own an equity interest or equivalent thereof of more than 10 percent. If there are no affiliates, you can check the appropriate box. So let s go back to the question and let s see if I ve answered it. Jennifer Ullman: Okay, so let me repeat the question. This pertains to Line 106 of the revised 499-A. Are affiliated companies required to file an FCC annual form on a consolidated basis? If not, and if affiliated companies are not filing on a consolidated basis, are they required to list holding affiliated companies on Line 106, or should the company check the box No affiliated companies? Fred Theobald: There is no requirement that affiliates must file on a consolidated basis. That is up to the company whether or not they want to do that or not. Again, the rules for consolidation are very much laid out in the 499 instructions. There are about, I believe, 10 requirements to be able to file on a consolidated basis. Normally what we like to do here at USAC is basically one EIN number per Filer ID that we have here. It s a one-to-one relationship. If you ve got multiple affiliates on the form on a non-consolidated basis, then yes, you must put a common identifier for all those affiliates on Line 106. If you re filing on a consolidated basis, and there are no other affiliates, then you would check off There are no affiliates. Jennifer Ullman: That s right and I just want to amplify what Fred stated about Line 106. If you go to pages 6 and 7 of the 499-A 2013 instructions, you ll see the details about consolidated filing and all the reasons how you should file by legal entity. Fred Theobald: Remember, if you do file on a consolidated basis, you ve got to get that certification in to us by April 1st with your 499-A. Jennifer Ullman: Now Fred, there are a couple of other questions pertaining to holding companies and affiliates that I think you should address. One question is, If the acquired entity did not file because they were de minimis, is the other entity required to include them in their annual filing? Fred Theobald: Yes. If you ve got a company that you ve purchased that is a de minimis filer, so they do not file their Qs, and they do not file their 499-A separately, it will be on the purchaser to report both revenues, even if the purchaser is a contributor. Jennifer Ullman: Now this is a good question I think we should also look at. If the affiliate is not a telecommunications company or provider, would the other company still have to check the box? Fred Theobald: Well, you ve either got to check the box or put in the name. There is either one you ve got to do. Normally, if you ve got affiliated relationships with other companies, it s probably best to put in the name and the EIN on Line

15 The next slide that we ll be talking about is revenue from affiliates. The FCC has revised the instructions a bit. Just to give you a little background. In 2005, the FCC added language to the FCC Form 499 instructions limiting the definition of gross billed revenues, which is what you re supposed to report on your 499 forms. They basically say that gross billed revenues also do not include revenues, imputed or otherwise, for services provided to the filer itself, or from wholly owned affiliates to another, unless the filer is required to record such revenues for some other federal or state purposes, or the filer is providing services to an affiliate for resale and the affiliate is not a USF contributor. 15

16 Basically, the FCC has taken out this language. The FCC has seen this, with the instructions, the language that was added was not based upon any FCC rule or decision. The FCC has stated in the public notice that it s clear from the 499 instructions that companies are supposed to report their gross billed revenues as either carrier s carrier or from all other sources considered end user. We will discuss those distinctions a little bit later on. Just to also let you know that this revision is being applied respectively beginning with the 2013 year. So it will be in effect when you file your 2014 FCC Form 499-A. So make sure that you re filling out your 499-Qs correctly. This will not be in effect if you have not been reporting this revenue on your projected 499-Qs on calendar year So this is just going forward. So if you have excluded this revenue on your November 2011, February 2012, May 2012, and August 2012, you do not have to report that on your A. But any 499-Q filing or any filing after those will be you will have to report that revenue from your affiliates. 16

17 The next area that the FCC would like to focus on is exchange service, which is on slide 17. On line 304, the FCC has basically added that for origination or termination of VoIP or VoIP-PSTN traffic is to be included on Line 304. This has not really changed; but just a clarification. It does not require filers to split out reporting of charges relating to VoIP- PSTN traffic over switched networks. 17

18 Continuing on with the VoIP trend, the FCC has added a little bit of language to clarify the reporting of bundled services for interconnected VoIP providers. In the new language, Internet VoIP providers that are not reporting based upon safe harbors that bundle fixed local exchange service with interstate toll services at a unitary price must determine the appropriate portion of revenues to allocate to interstate and international toll service, in a manner that is consistent with the books of account. So again, if you weren t using safe harbor, it was a requirement to break out your interstate and international and the FCC are just fully clarifying that here in the instructions. 18

19 The next area is subscriber line charge. This is a little bit of a change. The FCC has taken out a section of language, and if you ve been listening to our presentations in the past, we ll walk through that now because it s a little bit of a change here. The language deleted from the FCC 499 instructions, and basically, it s concerning the subscriber line charges with CLECs and non-ilec type companies. Neither the FCC s formal separation process governing how incumbent local exchange carriers assigns their cost of intrastate and interstate jurisdictions, nor the access charge rules that govern how ILECs recover costs apply to non-ilec contributors. Non-ILECs are not required under FCC rule or order to charge a SLC to their customers. 19

20 If we go to the next slide, basically what they had in the instructions was a note that federal subscriber line charges typically represent the interstate portion of fixed local exchange services; these amounts are separate from toll revenues and correspond to the revenues received by incumbent telephone companies to recover part of the cost of networks. The important part: filers without subscriber line charge revenues must identify the interstate portions of fixed local exchange revenues in column (d) on the appropriate line of Line 404. USAC, in the past, has basically taken these instructions and we have basically told you that you need to break out a portion of that. The FCC has taken out that language. People that are non-ilecs, that are providing local services, are not required to, if they re not charging a subscriber line charge, are not required to break out a portion of their fixed local revenues as interstate. 20

21 The FCC has stated in the next slide, in the little bit added on, I m not going to go into it, but towards the middle of it, it says, To the extent non-incumbent contributors choose to assess a separately stated charge for the interstate portion of fixed local exchange service or interstate, they are required to report that revenue on Line 404 and allocate those revenues to the interstate jurisdiction. For anybody like a CLEC or a local provider, who is not charging a subscriber line charge, you do not have to report a portion of your fixed local revenues as interstate. But if you have on the invoice, a federal subscriber line charge that you are charging to your customers, that revenue does need to be reported on Line 405 as 100 percent interstate. Jennifer Ullman: I think we should address a broad question this is coming in on the instruction changes from the FCC. So Fred, one person is asking If these changes to the instructions are clarifications of FCC rules, would they apply to prior 499 filings? So therefore, could a carrier make a revision reflecting the new, clarified instructions, and/or changes that have come about? Fred Theobald: At this point, as everybody s well aware, the revision period for the 499-A is March 31st, so the only form open now for any company to file a revised filing is the 2012 FCC Form 499-A and that window to file a revision is on March 31st of And that s for downward revisions. You can file an upward revision at any time, but if you want to downward revise your form, you need to get that in to us, received by USAC, by March 31st. Jennifer Ullman: Now going back to SLC charges on Line 405, Fred, there s a great question about regarding non-ilecs that do not charge a SLC or a SLC-like charge, but were forced to identify a portion of a local service, as local by us, USAC, can they revise all past 499 filings? Fred Theobald: Based upon that, right now USAC does not have the authorization to waive the revision deadline. If you used our guidance and filed according to us, you would need to appeal directly to the FCC to be able to revise those forms downward. So yes. USAC does not, as the administrator, does not have the authorization to open the revision period for any filings at any time. But yes, please do get your 12 revised forms in there, because you still have time to do that. 21

22 Moving on to the next thing. Recovery access charges. ARCs. This is a new charge that got started billing this year by companies. If you are a company that is charging an ARC, this revenue should be reported along with your subscriber line charge on Line 405, and just like your subscriber line charge, it would be reported as 100 percent interstate on your form. Jennifer Ullman: Going back to ARC, we have an audience question that I think we should clarify. Is the ARC actually considered interstate revenue? Fred Theobald: Yes it is. The access recovery charge is just like a SLC and is reported as 100 percent interstate on your 499-A form. 22

23 Moving on to slide 23: special access on a common carrier basis. The 499 instructions for filling out Line 406 have been revised to remind filers that revenues derived from the sale of special access services on a common carrier basis to providers of retail broadband should be reported on Line 406. And again, that s important that it s on a common carrier basis. Basically, the revisions do not require alter in any way the treatment of broadband Internet access as an information service that is not subject to USF. Just more of a clarification that you ll see here. 23

24 On slide 24, the new language specifically asks filers to report on Line 406 the revenues derived from the sale of special access on a common carrier basis to providers of retail broadband Internet access service. On this, you definitely want to underline the words common carrier. You also want to look at Note 44, pursuant to the Wholesaler-Reseller Clarification Order, which is an order we ll be discussing more in detail later on in the presentation. Prior to January 1st, 2014, providers may report revenues from special access services provided on a common carrier basis consistent with the reliance on reseller certifications based on sample reseller certification language in the 2012 FCC Form 499-A. We will be addressing a lot of wholesaler-reseller changes here. There was an order, as I stated, the Wholesaler-Reseller Clarification came out in So we re getting on with that a little bit later in the presentation. Jennifer Ullman: So Fred, before we move on to other aspects of the changes, I wanted to go back to Line 405 and SLC, because there s a good question coming in on intrastate SLC. Will USAC now recognize an intrastate SLC? What if the carrier has a separate charge, but treats it as an intrastate charge, not an interstate charge? How are we planning to handle that? Fred Theobald: Again, if the state has an intrastate SLC, we ve always recognized that as being an intrastate charge. Just be careful when you re doing a SLC charge. There are companies out there that charge like a $6.50 SLC charge, and to me that looks like a federal charge. Just be careful how you re setting up your charges. But yes, USAC will always recognize a state SLC charge. 24

25 Moving on to carrier s carrier revenues. The FCC Form 499-A instructions were revised to provide additional examples of intercarrier compensation reported in Block 3. Basically, they ve added more and actually made it a little bit easier for everybody. There are lines and revenues that are reported on Block 3 that do not need the filer to maintain the requirements for carrier s carrier. Basically, you don t need to maintain Filer IDs, you don t need to get certifications, you do not need to check websites, for these types of revenues that they ve come out. 25

26 As seen here in the next section on slide 26, the following categories of revenues are intercarrier compensation that are reported on Block 3 like per-minute switched access charges and reciprocal compensation like your cash billing, revenues received by payphone providers from carriers for their dial around, which is reported on Line 306. Any revenues received from universal service support for either High Cost or Rural Health Care do not need a Filer ID because USAC doesn t have a Filer ID. I hate to say, we just don t have one. And the final one is basically revenues from other carriers for roaming services for other customers on your network. For these revenue items, the filer is not required to retain Filer ID information or verify the customer is a reseller. While we re here, I just want to point out that the revenues on Line 308 would also include your CAF revenue, and a quick, easy way of doing that is that any revenues that you received from USAC for either High Cost or Rural Health Care is reported in Line 308 as 100 percent interstate. 26

27 Moving along with the carrier s carrier revenue, the FCC has affirmed and clarified, and made some changes regarding the wholesaler-reseller revenues. For 2013 Form 499-A, there haven t really been any changes for right now because the changes that happened on the 2012 wholesaler-reseller go into effect starting January 1st, The new language put in there is pursuant to the recent 2012 Wholesaler-Reseller Clarification Order. Providers may demonstrate a reasonable expectation through December 31st, 2013 that particular customers were resellers relying on certificates that were consistent with the sample language included in the 2012 Form 499-A instructions. Also, people that rely on the printouts from the FCC website, you can still use those procedures through up until December 31st, 2013, and we ll discuss what happens after that date a little bit later in the presentation. 27

28 The FCC Form 499 instructions, as far as traffic studies and safe harbor, were revised, that just to remind you again, this is sort of the same requirement that if you re using traffic studies or safe harbors on your Q forms for a couple of quarters and then switch your methodology halfway through the year, your A must mirror your Q filings. So if you use a traffic study in the first quarter of 2012 to report on your 499-Q form, your 499-A for the first quarter must reflect your actual revenue base and your interstate and international revenues broken out by the safe harbor percentage. So you can t change your methodology on your A form but it must match what you ve done on your Q form. And what has been added to the 499-Q form is actually now is a checkbox that is now a requirement for people who are using safe harbor on their Q forms to check what kind of safe harbors that they re using. 28

29 Again, we get into it with the new language. The filer should use the same methodology, traffic study or safe harbor, to report interstate and international jurisdiction on the FCC Form 499-A as used on the FCC Form 499-Q to forecast revenues in each quarter of the applicable year. That s basically what we re talking about here. 29

30 Again, these were updated both on the 499-A and on the 499-Q instructions. The revisions as far as submitting a traffic study, the FCC has told you how, in the form, how to submit your traffic study which basically asks to include the Filer ID number and the quarter that you re reporting. And again, USAC takes all of these traffic studies and hands them over to the FCC for further analysis. 30

31 As you can see on slide 31, it gets really into it, it says you have to include your Filer ID, company name, holding company, and this is on top of each page of the traffic study. This will allow us USAC and the FCC to match traffic studies filed by the contributors and to their 499 filings. Now just to let you know a little bit, again, about traffic studies. You ve got safe harbor and you ve got traffic studies. One of the things, like I said, USAC will hand over to the FCC a list of anybody who is not using a safe harbor and we will say, here s your list. And then we ll let them know exactly who we received traffic studies from. As you know, you are allowed to use actuals. If you re using a managed use analysis, it s probably in your best interest to file those as with traffic studies with USAC once a quarter. 31

32 The next slide basically shows you that the Q instructions are basically the same as the A instructions. 32

33 The final area on the 499-A is that they ve updated the language for Lines 503 to 510, which is for LNP regions. It basically states that you re allowed to use the billing address in order to determine your percentage of revenues. If you ve got all your customers and you re billing all your customers in Utah, then you would put 100 percent into that region. I get questions throughout the year of, I ve got customers on cell phones. They re roaming all over the place. How do I how the revenue is breaking down? You just take your billed information, you take the revenues and you split it out by that. Jennifer Ullman: Okay Fred, if can just pause here and go back to some of the Block 3 carrier s carrier revenue reporting. We have a question coming in related to Line 308 of the form. And Line 308 of the annual form is basically where you would report revenues received from federal or state sources. So the question is, Can you revisit the discussion for Line 308, for revenues that filers receive as universal service support from either states or the federal government? Are the companies, as a service provider, supposed to report their Rural Health Care funds that they pass on to customers that they re receiving the funds for on this line? Fred Theobald: Actually, I apologize for that. I think I said Rural Health Care. It s actually High Cost and Low Income that is reported on Line 308, not Rural Health Care. Rural Health Care and Schools and Libraries is considered end-user revenue and must be reported on the applicable line in Block 4. So I apologize for that because I m remembering that I did say Rural Health Care. It s actually not Rural Health Care. It is High Cost and Low Income that gets reported on Line 308. Jennifer Ullman: There are a couple of buckets of traffic study questions. A couple of them I think we need to look at are, What if a company is using a good faith estimate? Does the company need to file a traffic study? And then the other question is Fred Theobald: As far as the good faith estimate, what I would suggest you do is give us a call and describe your methodology for determining your good faith estimate and see what you re doing. There are chances where a good faith estimate you would not have to report, but each case is completely separate. I remember I ve had customers that called me up and had such little cellular revenues that they reported their good faith estimate was just 100 percent of interstate. In that case, there wasn t a traffic study because that was just their methodology. But again, give us a call. Let us discuss exactly what you re doing because each methodology could be a little different. Jennifer Ullman: And then the other traffic study question pertains to non-de minimis filers. So if you re non-de minimis, should an entity file a traffic study or not? Fred Theobald: Yes. Everybody who is not using safe harbor must file a traffic study. For non-de minimis companies, you need to file it every quarter. You are not required to do it on the A. If you re a de minimis company, you need to file it on the A to show that this is your traffic study, and we ll send it for further analysis. And we outreached to a lot of people about this and a lot of people come back to us and say that they ve got $50 from anywhere in the United States and we ll look at their minutes of use, their total minutes of use, to break down USAC sees that as a traffic study and we would expect to see a traffic study submitted with your filing. We do outreach to you to remind you to submit your traffic studies so we can send those over to the FCC. 33

34 The next slide just basically gets into the exact language of the revenues billed per region. Like I said, you re allowed to use the billing address, and it s just a quick, crazy query. All you do is take your billing system, you sort it by state, group them, sum them up, and then you ll be able to determine your percentage quite quickly. 34

35 Now the 499-Q, I m going to review that right now. They ve added on a couple of things here and made some improvements. As you will see here on Line 105, which is the holding company. They have included that checkbox that we showed you on the 499-A. Again, this is a required field now. You re either going to have to identify a holding company or check the box that you have no affiliates. To be consistent with the A, they have added the holding company IRS Employee Identification Number so now you re reporting that both on your A and your Q. So this is something that the FCC has also added on, but again, it s not really a new requirement because you were always giving it to us on the 499-A. 35

36 The next thing I m actually really excited about this change. The FCC has gotten rid of the original Line 113, which is the year of historical revenue data. This was always a very confusing box. So what happened in the past is that you d check off that this is a November filing, and then you d have to type in, let s say this is the form due on February 1st, 2013, you d have to write in Sometimes that got done or not. So the FCC has made this simpler by actually putting the date next to the filing name, so all you have to do is check off the box exactly which filing this is, and as you can see in this box, that this represents the November 2012, the February 2013, the May 2013, and the August So this 499-Q form is specific for calendar year Remember, we re billing you off your forecast off the projected revenues on Line 120 to determine your interstate and international revenues. 36

37 The last section is something I told you about earlier in the presentation. This is the checkbox that you need to check off, if you re using one of these safe harbors in determining those revenues for projecting your revenues on Line 119 and 120. This is something that you re required to do if you re using a safe harbor. 37

38 That was pretty much all about the exciting new stuff about the 499-A forms. We are now moving on to the 2012 FCC USF contribution proceedings. 38

39 The biggest one I think everyone s been talking about this year is FNPRM FCC 12-46, which is the notice of proposed rule-making as far as how we re going to do universal service contributions. Basically, they asked for comments, due July 9th, and reply comments that were due on August 6th. It basically covered how they were going to revamp contributions for universal services. And then it went into areas like who should contribute, how should contributions be assessed? It talked a little bit about numbers, maybe lines, revenues. They talked about different types of revenues that should be considered, recovery of the federal USF contributions from end users. So it really got into a lot comments and different things. Hopefully it s a sign of things to come that we ll have contribution methodology in the future. Again, you can visit the FCC website for details and copies of comments, etc. 39

40 The next thing that was very exciting was the FCC Wholesaler-Reseller Clarification Order. FCC Order This was released on November 5th, Basically, this clarification order talked about specifically the wholesaler-reseller classification on the 499 form. How do you report your revenue in Block 3? How do you report your revenue in Block 4? What do you need to maintain in order to justify that? 40

41 Basically, the FCC again affirmed the definition of reseller for the 499-A. Which is simply: a reseller is an entity that incorporates purchased telecom into its own service offering and 2) can reasonably be expected to contribute to universal service based on revenues from those offerings. And in order to classify revenues from wholesale service as being carrier s carrier revenues, the wholesale provider must have affirmative knowledge or a reasonable expectation that the customer is itself contributing to the universal services on revenues derived from the purchased wholesale services. So again, it s nothing new. It s basically, again, stating that you need to keep your backup documentation on your customers that you are reporting in Block 3 to make sure that you ve got the backup. The FCC has also clarified that the relevant time period for reasonable expectations is the period during which the wholesaler provider collects and submits the revenue data to USAC. So when you submit your 499-A filing on April 1st, 2013, that is when we need to see relevant documentation that you knew going into that filing that the company was reselling that service and was a direct universal service contributor. Again, caveat: except for those revenue line items that I told you before, like your cash billings, your cellular revenue from other carriers, for roaming, USF revenues, and payphone dial around compensation. Jennifer Ullman: So Fred, regarding the proceedings section, there s a question coming in on some FCC proceedings under docket which deals with, in general, contribution reform methodology and/or 09-51, possible changes in Commission policy that will require telecom providers currently exempt, such as cable operators with only international transit traffic to become USF contributors. So, since we re in this section on FCC proceedings, it will be helpful if you want to address that area. Fred Theobald: Again, these are all proceedings in front of the FCC. The FCC has complete authorization over these. USAC is the administrator of the universal service fund. We cannot interpret or make policy here at USAC. So this is a question that is better addressed to the FCC. USAC is not, at this time, able to answer it until they give us an order and tell us what to do. So, that s how that works. 41

42 Moving back to the FCC Wholesaler-Reseller Clarification Order, a wholesaler can meet the reasonable expectation by 1) complying with all the guidance in the 499 instructions, which means maintaining the Filer IDs, getting reseller certifications consistent with the 2012 form, FCC website printouts that shows that their customers are a direct USF contributor. It s very easy to sit there and have a current reseller certification number that includes the Filer ID. You have that in your filing cabinet and you re good. If you do not maintain that information, you will have to demonstrate that you have reasonable expectation by demonstrating with other reliable proof. Other reliable proof is USAC will review that on a case-by-case basis to determine that the filer has presented clear and convincing evidence that they had a reasonable expectation that its customer itself is contributing to universal services. Basically, we will look at anything you give us. Anytime when we go into an audit, you provide us with any sort of documentation, USAC will review it. The FCC has provided you here with a safe harbor that has told you exactly how you can have a safe harbor. If you ve got Filer IDs, if you ve got certifications, you re in a platinum, gold box that is perfect. With other reliable proof, again, you ll need to show us that you had a very good reasonable expectation that they were directly contributing to USAC. Not that they had an obligation, but that they were directly contributing. So that s just something to keep in mind. 42

43 Now, the FCC has also provided to USAC, in the order, provided guidance on how USAC is to proceed when a wholesaler demonstrates reasonable expectation for using the safe harbor. If a customer is contributing on revenues derived from services incorporating wholesale input, but the customer did not directly contribute, the FCC stated that the wholesaler, as long as they ve provided their other reliable proof, provided the reasonable expectation, done the safe harbor, the wholesale provider is not responsible for any outstanding contribution obligations. If we go in there and you ve got that certification, if you ve the Filer ID, if you ve got the FCC printout, and that Filer ID is not a direct contributor, you re not responsible. The FCC has also provided guidance just the opposite. Let s say, you don t have all the backup documentation, but your customer is a direct universal service contributor. We will not attempt to recover any additional contributions from the wholesale provider. It s more of a gamble, but if your customer is a direct universal service contributor, we will not try to make you responsible for any contributions that the other company has made. So we re not going to double bill you for just not having good procedures. But it is a gamble. I would also like to state that USAC is pretty much staying on this philosophy that if the customer was a direct contributor, if you did not have the documentation, we did not make the companies responsible for that type of revenues. Jennifer Ullman: So Fred, with respect to other reliable proof in the Wholesaler-Reseller Classification Order, there are several questions on this front. Could we provide some examples of other reliable proof? And another question pertains to if the billing entity is international, but the service is provided for domestic use, does this need to be reported on the form? Fred Theobald: Okay. Like I said, when you get outside of the safe harbor percentage, it gets very difficult, as far as other reliable proof. Sometimes what we have seen, let s say the company has provided an instead of that certification, we will look at that and see what s going on. Maybe the company A lot of different things need to add up for that and I d like to take a look on a case-by-case basis if you re not using the safe harbor method to see if you ve reached the reasonable expectation. Again, if you re asking me the question now to set up your system, the safe harbor is really the way to go with this. Get the Filer IDs, get the certifications, and set up your processes around them. 43

44 Again, one of the fun things about that, is that the FCC is changing this a little bit, as I alluded to earlier in the presentation, on slide 44, future changes for reasonable expectations. In Footnote 11, the FCC actually I m going to digress on that a bit. The instructions have been included to say, updated, that a wholesaler provider should include in its contribution rates only if it has affirmative knowledge or a reasonable expectation that a customer is contributing to the fund on revenues derived from the offering that incorporates the wholesale input. Written in Footnote 41, it says that the FCC, we do not read the existing definition of reseller so broadly that it would enable a company to certify it is a reseller if it contributes on any of its products offering that may incorporate wholesale inputs. Moving on to an example, if a customer purchases a DS1 line and incorporates that service into an offering of broadband Internet access, it is not a reseller for purposes of that line because it has no obligation to contribute on that broadband Internet access revenue. This is true even if the customer contributes to the fund based upon other revenues. Before, in 2012, the reseller certification letter language was more of a broad, general company contributor-type specific. Now the FCC is getting down more into the exact product in making sure that that happens. So the FCC really does not feel it is right for you to be contributing or getting exemptions from any DS1 lines that you are purchasing on a common carrier basis, but not directly contributing. Jennifer Ullman: So Fred, before we move on to slide 45, there s a question regarding all the changes with respect to this November 2012 order on wholesale-resale issues. So the question is, What is USAC s view of what will be clear and convincing evidence that a reseller actually contributed? Is evidence that the reseller filed a 499 annual form and contributed on end-user services enough? If not, how will a wholesale carrier know if the reseller contributed on revenues derived from the wholesale instrument? Fred Theobald: Again, right now, if you ve got up until December 31st of 2013, you are allowed to rely upon the FCC website that shows if they are a contributor. You are allowed to rely on the certifications. As far as what s happening in the future, this is where we re heading, and again, I m not quite sure if I m prepared to talk about that at this point. 44

45 And again, the next slide just shows, again, the FCC will consider it sufficient for providers to demonstrate a reasonable expectation that particular customers were resellers by relying on certificates that are consistent with the sample language of the 2012 form through December 31st,

46 Moving on to the true up process. Again, I m going to run through this quite quickly for people since this is a stable part of the presentation. 46

47 It sort of will go through the numbers that are important for you to calculate the 499 A/Q true up. The basic slide above shows the revenues between the A and the four Qs for this quarter, and the 4 Qs related to 12 are on the November 11, February 12, May 12, and August 2012 forms. They are relying on revenue reported on Line 120 (b) + (c). That s what generated your contribution base. With the calendar year of 2012, USAC is going to be using an average of the highest two contribution factors which turned out this year to be If we need to make an adjustment, we will be relying on the lowest contribution factors of 16.55, if we re going to give you back credit. And of course that gives you the circularity factors. The average of all four contribution factors of 17.1 and 14.8 is what we use to determine if a company is de minimis or not. 47

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

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