FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,151
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Section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, provides that only carriers that
have been designated as ETCs are eligible to receive federal universal service support.' Section
214(e)(1)(B) requires ETCs to "advertise the availability of [supported] services and the charges
therefore using media of general distribution."' Section 54.201 (d)(1) of the Commission's rules
requires each ETC to "[o]ffer" the services identified in section 54.101 of the Commission's
rules, and section 54.201(d)(2) repeats the statutory requirement that the ETC "[a]dvertise the
availability of such services and the charges therefore using media of general distribution."9
Nothing in the Commission's rules require an ETC to separately identify each supported service
in its advertisements. The nine supported services set forth in the Commission's rules are, from
the consumer's perspective, all components of a single service: voice telephony service. Thus,
when an ETC advertises the availability of voice telephony service that includes all of the
supported services, the ETC is effectively advertising the availability of the enumerated
supported services. Moreover, requiring ETCs to separately identify each supported service,
including services like "dual-tone multi-frequency signaling or its functional equivalent" would
likely serve little purpose other than to cause confusion for at least some consumers.'o
Please note that while this letter confirms that section 54.20 l(dX2) of the Commission's rules
does not require ETCs to separately identify supported services, section 54.405(b) of the
Commission's rules does impose a separate duty to publicize the availability of Lifeline
96-45. Lifeline and Link-Up WC Docket No. 03-109, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, FCC I 1-13 (rel. Feb. 9, 2011) ("USF-ICC Transformation NPRM"). Because the USF-ICC
Transformation NPRA remains under consideration, however, this letter clarifies the scope of the rule today to
provide USAC with requested guidance. However, nothing in this letter prejudges or impacts how this rule may
be modified in the pending proceeding.
747 U.S.C. 254(e) ("only an eligible telecommunications carrier designated under section 214(e) [of the Act]
shall be eligible to receive ... Federal universal service support"). The Act authorizes state commissions to
designate telecommunications carriers as ETCs and permits the Commission to designate ETCs where state
commissions do not have jurisdiction to do so. 47 U.S.C. 214(e)(2). (6).
S47 U.S.C. 214(e)(l)(B).
9 47 C.F.R. 54.201(d)(1), (2).
'0 In the USF-ICC Transformation NPRM, the Commission noted that "[t]he existing rules, as formulated, suggest
that ETCs must advertise specific components of voice service (e.g., operator services. [dual tone multi-frequency
signaling])." See USF-ICC Transformation NPRM, FCC 11-13 at 37, para. 96. The guidance provided herein
makes clear that even if the rules could be read to "suggest" each service must be advertised, the plain text of the
rule does not require such a result. Indeed, in the USF-ICC Transformation NPRM the Commission also noted
that, notwithstanding the potential for confusion on this point, "carriers likely advertise the supported services
using much more generic language," a practice the Commission did not question. Id. As the Commission
observed, the separately identified supported services, all of which are components of voice telephony, "may not
be familiar to the average American consumer." Id.
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011, book, April 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc52169/m1/323/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.