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Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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Federal Communications Commission.


Notice and request for comments.


As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.


Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before August 5, Start Printed Page 258072019. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.


Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email and to

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For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele, (202) 418-2991.

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OMB Control Number: 3060-1228.

Title: Connect America Fund—High Cost Portal Filing.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,599 unique respondents; 3,730 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours-60 hours.

Frequency of Response: On occasion, quarterly reporting requirements, annual reporting requirements, one-time reporting requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, 405, 410, and 1302.

Total Annual Burden: 68,607 hours.

Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: We note that USAC must preserve the confidentiality of certain data obtained from respondents; must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs or other purposes specified by the Commission; and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission. Respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission or the Administrator believed confidential to be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the FCC's rules.

Needs and Uses: The Commission is requesting approval for this revised information collection. In March 2016, the Commission adopted an order reforming its universal service support program in areas served by rate-of-return carriers. Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90 et al., Report and Order, Order and Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 16-33 (2016 Rate-of-Return Order). In May 2016, the Commission adopted rules to implement a competitive bidding process for Phase II of the Connect America Fund. Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 16-64 (Phase II Auction Order). In August 2016, the Commission adopted a plan tailored to certain carriers, both fixed and mobile, serving Alaska. Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 16-115 (Alaska Plan Order). In January 2017 the Commission adopted an order which granted New York State waiver of the Connect America Phase II auction program rules, subject to certain conditions. Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90 et al., FCC 17-2 (New York Auction Order). Also, in December 2018, the Commission adopted reforms that included additional offers of model-based support and increased broadband deployment obligations. Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order on Reconsideration, FCC 18-176 (2018 Rate-of-Return Order).

This information collection addresses the requirement that certain carriers with high-cost reporting obligations must file information about their locations which meet their broadband deployment public interest obligations via an electronic portal (“portal”). The 2016 Rate-of-Return Order required that the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) establish the portal so that carriers could file their location data with the portal starting in 2017. The 2016 Rate-of-Return Order required all recipients of Phase II model-based support and rate-of-return carriers to submit geocoded location data and related certifications to the portal. Recipients of Phase II model-based support had been required to file such information in their annual reports due by July 1. The Phase II Auction Order, Alaska Plan Order, and New York Auction Order require carriers to build-out networks capable of meeting their public interest obligations and report, to an online portal, locations to which auction winners had deployed such networks. The Alaska Plan Order also made portal reporting requirements for carriers to submit fiber/microwave middle-mile network maps. This information collection also addresses the new additional offers of model-based support and increased broadband deployment obligations, and other improvements to the portal. With the new additional offers, there will be more carriers subject to the model-based deployment milestones and fewer carriers remaining on legacy support.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2019-11534 Filed 6-3-19; 8:45 am]