rural road

USAC has revised its search tool for Universal Service Fund (USF) high-cost program disbursements. The goal is to be more user friendly and make it easier for users to access details about total dollar amounts carriers have received through the program.

USAC is charged with disbursing Universal Service funding to service providers in conformance with FCC directives and confirming that providers meet buildout and service requirements.

High Cost is one of four different USF programs and is designed to help consumers in high cost rural areas to obtain access to updated communications services at competitive rates. The program is designed to subsidize carrier offerings in areas where it would otherwise be too expensive to provide service.

The FCC has revised the program, which had historically been targeted to support voice communications to also support broadband.

The updated disbursement search tool contains payment information dating back to January 2003. It is part of USAC’s Open Data initiative and is located on the High Cost tools section of the USAC Open Data site.

The tool includes disbursement data by year and month; fund type; Form 498 ID, formerly known as service provider identification number (SPIN); study area code (SAC) and state.

USAC is still operating the legacy High Cost disbursement tool, but will be retiring it in the next few months because the new tool includes all of the same information as well as the following enhancements:

  • A menu of drop-down filters along the right-hand side of the screen
  • Results displayed in a bar chart, with the underlying data appearing beneath the bar chart
  • Data columns are sortable
  • The “export” button is above the search menus

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