On May 4, 2017, USAC CEO Chris Henderson announced he is stepping down effective immediately. Chris Henderson was appointed by the USAC Board
on August 26, 2014 and began his responsibilities on September 3, 2014. USAC is the organization that administrators the $10 billion Universal Service Fund. The Fund consists of four programs, including the Schools and Libraries Program, generally referred to as the E-rate, which provides discounts to schools and libraries for high-speed Internet connections.
The FCC reformed the E-rate program under Chris Henderson’s tenure as USAC CEO and he was leading USAC to implement many reforms mandated by the FCC. E-rate stakeholders have been frustrated by USAC’s roll out of its online E-rate Productivity Center ("EPC"). The new system has resulted in significant challenges and delays in receiving E-rate discounts. On April 19, 2017, FCC Chairman Pai wrote a letter
to Chris Henderson and USAC outlining his displeasure with the continuing difficulties and high costs of the EPC system.
The current E-rate filing window is scheduled to close on May 11, 2017. Mr. Henderson's resignation is unlikely to have any immediate impact on the day-to-day operations of the E-rate program.
USAC has appointed Vicki Robinson, Vice President and General Counsel of USAC, to serve as the Acting CEO until a permanent replacement can be found. The USAC resignation announcement can be viewed here