USF Requirements for ETCs

Eligible Telecommunications Carriers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on November 18, 2011, updating the rules and requirements for the Universal Service Program.  This program ensures access to affordable telecommunications for communities across the country, specifically in rural, hard to reach areas and providing discounted basic local telephone service for low-income individuals or families.

The Michigan Public Service Commission issued an Order on December 20, 2012 in Case No.'s U-14535, U-16959, and U-17182, updating Michigan's requirements for new ETC applicants and currently designated companies seeking to re-apply.

For 2019, all Universal Service Fund related filings will be accepted in docket U-20357. Carriers seeking to recertify their Lifeline program must submit a copy of FCC Form 555 by January 31, 2019. Carriers seeking USF support in either the Lifeline/Tribal Linkup or High Cost must submit the financial and operations information pursuant to the FCC form 481 and any information specific to the state of Michigan to the MPSC by July 1, 2019. Carriers should follow Form 481 and its instructions.

For initial ETC applications, please follow the federal orders, the Commission order, and the Attachment A guide.

FCC ETC Filings Required to be Filed at the MPSC

Lifeline ETCs

High Cost ETCs

Previous ETC Dockets

U-15937 (2009)

U-16252 (2010)

U-16576 (2011)

U-17022 (2012)

U-17182 (2013)

U-17545 (2014)

U-17815 (2015)

U-17997 (2016)

U-18216 (2017)

U-18490 (2018)

Michigan Lifeline Eligibility Database

Telecommunications providers can verify a Michigan consumer’s eligibility for the Lifeline Telephone Assistance Program through the Michigan Lifeline Eligibility Database (MLED).   MLED will provide Eligible/Not Eligible qualification for a customer for Lifeline by confirming the consumer’s participation in one of the following five programs:  Medicaid, Food Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the State Emergency Relief (SER) and Home Heating Credit (HHC) components of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  In addition to qualifying original Lifeline applications, Michigan providers can also use MLED to assist in their annual recertification of Lifeline customers.

The Federal Communications Commission’s February 6, 2012 Lifeline Reform Order requires eligible telecommunications carriers to access a Lifeline eligibility database to determine whether prospective subscribers qualify for Lifeline when one is available.

For further questions regarding ETCs please contact Barry Harmon at