OUSF

The Oklahoma Universal Service Fund (OUSF) was created by the Oklahoma Telecommunications Act of 1997. On May 9, 2016, House Bill 2616 went into effect. Applicants applying for reimbursement from the OUSF must meet certain eligibility criteria. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is the governing entity over the funds. The information below will help you with your application. If you have questions concerning eligibility, please contact the Oklahoma Corporation Commission at 405.521.4114.

Funded Services

Health Care

  • Telemedicine line, reasonable installation and network termination equipment owned and operated by the eligible provider that is necessary to provide the eligible telemedicine service (17 O.S. § 139.109.1(A)(1))

Schools and Libraries

  • Category one services on the FCC eligible services list (17 O.S. § 139.109.1(A)(2)-(3))

Funded Bandwidth – Health Care

The provision of bandwidth per standards as recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (17 O.S. § 139.109.1(A)(1)):

A) Department of Corrections shall be eligible for funding up to 100 Mbps

B) Federally Qualified Health Centers shall be eligible for funding as follows:

  • Urban locations up to 500 Mbps
  • Rural locations up to 100 Mbps

C) County Health Departments shall be eligible for funding as follows:

  •  Urban locations up to 500 Mbps
  •  Rural locations up to 100 Mbps

D) City-County Health Departments shall be eligible for funding as follows:

  •  Urban locations up to 500 Mbps
  •  Rural locations up to 100 Mbps

(E) Not-for-Profit Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities (certified facilities pursuant to OAC 450, Chapters 17 and 24) that are not staffed 24 hours each day shall be eligible for funding up to 100 Mbps

(F) Eligible health care entities that are staffed 24 hours each day, including academic facilities, large medical centers, hospitals and mental health and substance abuse facilities (certified facilities pursuant to OAC 450 Chapter 23) shall be eligible to receive bandwidth, based on licensed or certified beds as follows:

  •  1 to 50 beds shall be eligible for funding up to 500 Mbps
  •  51 to 100 beds shall be eligible for funding up to 1 Gbps
  •  101 to 200 beds shall be eligible for funding up to 3 Gbps
  •  201 or greater beds shall be eligible for funding up to 10 Gbps

The OUSF administrator may fund greater bandwidth with good cause shown.

Funded Bandwidth – Schools

Funded Bandwidth – Libraries

  • The provision of bandwidth sufficient for providing library services per standards as recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (17 O.S. § 139.109.1(A)(3))
  • FCC recommendations:
    • At least 100Mbps for libraries that serve fewer than 50,000 people
    • At least 1Gbps for libraries that serve 50,000 people or more

Eligible Oklahoma Beneficiaries

Public Schools (17 O.S. § 139.102(37))

  • PreK-12 public schools
  • Career technology centers
  • Does not include private schools, virtual schools or home schools

Public Libraries (17 O.S. § 139.102(36))

  • Open to all under identical conditions and supported by public funds
  • Does not include libraries operated by universities, colleges or schools; museums; Oklahoma Historical Society; or county law libraries

Health Care

  • Not-for-profit hospitals
  • County health departments
  • City-county health departments
  • Not-for-profit mental health and substance abuse facilities (not solely administrative)
  • Federally qualified health centers
  • Certain Department of Corrections facilities

Not-for-profit hospitals (17 O.S. § 139.102(27))

  • Licensed as a hospital for medical care, surgical care or obstetrical care and
  • Tax exempt non-profit, or
  • Owned by municipality, county, state or public trust

Federally Qualified Health Centers (17 O.S. § 139.102(16))

  • FQHCs as defined federally, or
  • Outpatient health programs or facilities operated by a tribe, tribal organization or urban Indian organization

Not-for-profit mental health and substance abuse facilities (not solely administrative) (17 O.S. § 139.102(28))

  • Facilities operated by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, or
  • A facility certified by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as a community mental health care center, community-based structured crisis center or community comprehensive addiction recovery center

Affidavits can be found at the following link: http://www.occeweb.com/pu/OUSF/OUSF.htm

Competitive Bidding Requirements (See 17 O.S. § 139.109.1(B)(5) )

Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiaries shall conduct a fair and open competitive bidding process to select the services and carrier eligible for support. The competitive bidding process shall meet the following standards:

  • The solicitation of bids shall clearly identify the bandwidth range requested by the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary or consortium,
  • The Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary shall not limit bidders based upon technology,
  • The bidding shall be open to all carriers authorized to receive OUSF funding in the telephone exchange where the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary is located or where the members of the consortium are located, and
  • The bidding shall not be structured in a manner to exclude carriers eligible to receive OUSF funding in the telephone exchange where the Oklahoma Universal Services Fund beneficiary is located.
  • Eligible services that are exempt from competitive bidding pursuant to state law or the rules of the Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms or successor program or programs shall be exempt from the Special Universal Services competitive bidding requirements set forth in this subsection, and the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary must provide evidence of such exemption as part of the funding request.
    1. In the interest of fostering a fair and open bidding process from all qualified bidders eligible to receive OUSF funding under the Oklahoma Telecommunications Act, the following are requirements for requests for bids:
      1. The bidder must be an eligible provider, as defined in 17 O.S. § 139.102.
      2. Bidding shall not be structured in a manner to exclude carriers eligible to receive OUSF funding where the OUSF beneficiary is located.
        1. The bid request must require ineligible services be priced separately from OUSF eligible services.
        2. The bid request shall not require that the internet and WAN be provided by the same eligible provider.
        3. The bid request shall clearly identify the bandwidth range requested by the OUSF beneficiary.
    2. Bids must contain all costs to provide the Special Universal Services. Any bid containing estimated costs other than fees and taxes to be paid to a third party, will be disregarded as not meeting the bid requirements.
    3. Bidders are presumed to know statutory requirements for contracts for public entities; bids that do not conform to requirements for public entities may be disregarded.

See O.A.C. 165:59-7-19.

Special Construction Rules and Evaluation

Special construction costs – category one services:

In the event that federal universal service funding programs offer to match state funds for special construction costs, OUSF beneficiaries will post bid requests with sufficient lead time for the OUSF administrator to timely provide preapproval of the selected bid.

  1. Prior to posting the request for bids, OUSF beneficiaries are required to seek OUSF administrator approval and review of any bid evaluation criteria for any projects involving special construction costs. Approval of the request for bids and bid evaluation criteria does not guarantee approval of funding.
  2. Cost effectiveness evaluation for projects with special construction costs may extend up to seven years, provided the OUSF administrator may, upon request, extend the period up to three  additional years upon good cause shown. The OUSF administrator will approve and review the cost comparison as part of the request for bids approval process.
  3. Special construction costs will not be included in monthly recurring costs.
  4. Eligible providers that receive special construction cost funding for installation shall maintain or reduce monthly recurring costs, unless good cause is shown.

See O.A.C. 165:59-7-10.

Preapproval

Beneficiaries can submit for preapproval.

The OUSF administrator has 90 days to provide a preapproval letter.

Providers must file within 60 days of starting service.

Lowest Cost Reasonable Qualifying Bid (LCRQB) 17 O.S. § 139.109.1(B)(7)

Lowest cost reasonable qualifying bid means a bid that:

  • represents the lowest total cost proposal including monthly recurring and nonrecurring charges for eligible services,
  • is reasonable to meet the needs of the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary as listed in the request for bids,
  • is submitted during the same competitive bidding period as the awarded bid,
  • is for a bandwidth within the range requested for bid and selected by the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary,
  • is for the same contract term as the bid that was selected by the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary,
  • meets the requirements specified in the request for bid by the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund beneficiary, and
  • was the result of a fair and open competitive bidding process as defined in the act.

Funding Determination – 125% of LCRQB 17 O.S. § 139.109.1(B)(6)

For Special Universal Services that are competitively bid in compliance with this act, the credit amount shall be not more than 25 percent greater than the lowest cost reasonable qualifying bid of the total prediscount amount of eligible services plus installation charges, less federal funding support for the same services including installation charges issued in a funding commitment letter or similar approval document for the Federal Universal Service Support Mechanism or successor program or programs for the applicable funding year.


OneNet Knowledge of Oklahoma Universal Service Fund

OneNet staff has been involved in the Oklahoma Universal Service programs since the beginning of the program.  OneNet is an active participant in the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund technical conferences held at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission throughout the year.

For questions concerning OUSF, please contact:
Ami Layman
Business Director
Toll-free: 888.5.OneNet
In Oklahoma City: 405.225.9413
alayman@onenet.net

Shelley Sanderson
Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Toll-free: 888.5.OneNet
In Oklahoma City: 405.225.9480
ssanderson@onenet.net

billing@onenet.net

405.225.9470

1.888.566.3638