FCC Form 499-A

The Universal Service Fund (USF) exists to make sure certain essential telecommunications services are provided to all, especially rural communities, schools, libraries health care providers and other public necessities. The USF is funded by required contributions from telecommunication service providers. It is one of several funds derived from these contributions, including telecommunications relay services (TRS), the North American Numbering Plan (NANPA) and local number portability administration (LNPA).

The FCC determines how much a company should be required to contribute from mandatory revenue disclosures made annually. A company makes those disclosures on a Form 499-A. Failure to submit this form, or mistakes in the form, can result in significant forfeitures and penalties.

Telecom Lawyer for FCC Form 499-A

Ben Bronston is a nationally recognized expert in telecommunications law with more than 20 years of experience practicing in the field. Ben Bronston helps clients identify and complete all necessary filings, including Federal Communication Commission’s Form 499-A. Failing to be in compliance could cost your company significant amounts of money. Ben Bronston will build your company a customized FCC compliance package. Contact Ben Bronston – Telecom/IT Lawyer today at 888.469.0579 to set up a consultation.

Ben Bronston – Telecom/IT Lawyer can assist you with Form 499-A filings, no matter where your company is based.


FCC 499-A Issues


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Who Must File a 499-A

If your company provides a telecommunications service, it is very likely that you are required to file a Form 499-A. The requirements cover all providers, including those that provide only in one state, those that provide interstate service and those that provide international service.

This includes private carriers, wireless telephony, wide area telecommunication services, subscriber toll-free and 900 services, satellite services, resellers and most VoIP providers, including all interconnected VoIP providers.

There are a few exemptions to law about who must contribute to the USF. If your contribution would be less than $10,000 and you are not a common carrier, then you are considered a de minimis telecommunication provider and you do not have to file or contribute. However, if you are a private carrier that provides service to the public or to a class of users that effectively makes your services available to the public, then you are not exempt.

You may also be exempt if you are a governmental entity, broadcaster or a system integrator that derives less than five percent of its revenues from telecommunications resale. However, it is a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable telecommunications attorney before assuming you are exempt. If you assume you are exempt and are not, then you could pay forfeitures. Forfeitures can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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Calculating Revenue from a 499-A

There are quarterly revenue reports you must file on a Form 499-Q, and contributions to the USF are based on projections from that form. However, the 499-A is the annual form from which all fund contributions are calculated.

The form has complicated equations to determine which funds a company must contribute to and exactly how much these contributions will be.

When you file, you must certify that all information you are providing is accurate and complete. Failure to provide complete accurate information can lead to penalties, including forfeitures. As mentioned, those forfeitures can be up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore it is critical that you get these filings right.

An experienced telecommunications attorney can help you prepare your filings.


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Assisting Telecom Companies With FCC 499-A Filings

Ben Bronston has more than 20 years of experience practicing in telecommunications law, including dealing with the occasionally difficult regulatory structures that can be involved. He can built a customized compliance package for you, including any necessary 499-A filings. Ben Bronston can help you determine what forms you need to file and help make sure they are correctly and completely filed. Call 888.469.0579 today to set up a consultation.

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