USAC recognizes that some telecommunications providers will disagree with its actions or decisions regarding contributions. As is the case with any administrative action or decision made by USAC, parties affected by USAC actions or decisions regarding billing, collection, or disbursement matters may appeal those decisions. The procedures for filing an appeal with USAC or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are outlined below.
Contact us. There may be an administrative remedy to your dispute that does not require a formal appeal decision.
While you may appeal directly to the FCC without first presenting your appeal to USAC, for disputes regarding contributions or billing and collection issues, USAC recommends that you appeal first to USAC to allow USAC an opportunity to resolve the appeal and, if appropriate, provide the requested relief. Instructions for filing an appeal are below.
An appeal must be filed within 60 days of the action taken by or issuance of the decision from USAC. Pursuant to FCC rules, failure to meet this requirement may result in automatic dismissal of the appeal. See Sections 54.719-54.725 of the FCC's rules for further information regarding filing an appeal.
If you have a balance on your federal universal service account but are awaiting a decision from a pending USAC or FCC appeal, you are still responsible for keeping your account balance current. If the amount billed for the current month is not paid in full, you will receive a late payment fee and the late payment fee will not be waived unless the disputed charges are later found to be the result of an error by USAC.
If your debt is under appeal, either at USAC or the FCC, and you have provided USAC with a copy of your FCC appeal (if applicable), your outstanding balance will not be transferred under the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-365) and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134), as amended (the DCIA) to the United States Department of Treasury for further collection while your appeal is pending. The disputed debt will not be subject to the Red Light Rule, which is included in the additional collections and disbursements rules associated with the Debt Collection Improvement Act, codified at 47 C.F.R. Parts 0 and 1. (See sections 1.1112, 1.1116, 1.1161, 1.1167, and 1.1910 of the FCC's rules).
However, please be advised that you will continue to receive USAC collection letters while your appeal is pending and, if your appeal is denied, you will be subject to Red Light status and to transfer under the DCIA.
Be sure to include:
Provide an explanation of the basis for your appeal and include copies of all relevant documentation with as much detailed information as possible.
Letters of appeal must be sent via U.S. mail, express delivery service, or hand delivery. Mail your letter to the following address:
Universal Service Administrative Company
Letter of Appeal
Billing, Collections, and Disbursements
2000 L Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
A telecommunications provider may file an appeal with the FCC if the telecommunications provider disagrees with a USAC administrative action or decision, including USAC's response to a letter of appeal. Please be sure to reference WC Docket No. 06-122 on all communications with the FCC.
The FCC recommends filing appeals with the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to ensure timely filing. Instructions for using ECFS can be found on the ECFS page of the FCC website and in the USAC guide to the ECFS. Electronic appeals will be considered filed on a business day if they are received at any time before 12:00 AM ET.
For more information about submitting appeals to the FCC, including options to submit the appeal via U.S. mail or hand-delivery/messenger delivery, visit the FCC's website. See Sections 54.719-54.725 of the FCC's rules for further information regarding filing an appeal.