On November 15, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Fourth Report and Order DA 22-87 for the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Transparency Data Collection. This data collection will offer the FCC a more valuable determination of the ACP benefits to households. All ACP participating providers will be required to submit the new ACP Transparency Data Collection by November 9, 2023 and reporting data as of the snapshot date of August 1, 2023 (July 2023 service month).
The new ACP Transparency Data Collection filing system was set to open September 8, 2023 for ACP providers to begin submitting their internet price and subscription rate plan offering data. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will provide additional or updated information on how to prepare the ACP Transparency Data Collection once it is out of the staging environment. Resources and information will be posted on USAC’s webpage1 as they are available or updated.
In this order, the FCC states the internet price and subscription rate plan offerings need to show various characteristics to be acceptable: actual speed, advertised speed, base monthly price, bundle, data cap, latency, legacy plan, personally identifiable information, plan, and unique identifier. The FCC’s citation 47 CFR 54.1813 describes the characteristics in more detail. The data collected will be at a ZIP code-level approach and not by subscriber-level approach.
The FCC has stated the filing will be annually. Only 497 officers or agents can access, submit, and download data within the ACP Transparency Data Collection filing system, which can be found within the USAC One Portal.2 Per the FCC’s citation 47 CFR 54.1813 Section (f), failure to submit the ACP Transparency Data Collection by the laid-out compliance date will have an impact at the state level where the state will forfeit the lesser of $22,000 or the latest monthly claim amount.
For more information on submitting the ACP Transparency Data Collection, USAC has put together an ACP Transparency Data Collection System User Guide.3 This user guide shows how to navigate to the ACP Transparency Data Collection system, what data needs to be gathered and how it needs to be uploaded, how to submit data, and reviewing and certifying. One item to note in this user guide is the importance of making sure that if a bulk submission is being used, providers are encouraged to submit data for all template fields including optional fields to help ensure that all required fields have been completed and will be submitted without being flagged.
If the FCC identifies any data insufficient, after the submission date, there will be an email notification sent to the service provider stating the reason the submission was flagged and it will have 30 days to correct. Revisions to the ACP Transparency data, not flagged by the FCC, must be done within 30 days of the submission closing date and must be sent to ACPDataCollection@FCC.gov before any changes can be made.
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