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7/25/2014News Brief Issued


The 07/25/14 issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

7/23/2014FCC Adopts Landmark E-rate Modernization Order


The Federal Communications Commission adopted an E-rate Modernization Order that will expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries across America. The new rules are the next major step in a comprehensive modernization of the E-rate Program, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st Century broadband connectivity, ensuring E-rate Program money is spent smartly, and improving program administration. The reform will expand Wi-Fi to more than 10 million students in 2015 alone.

For more information, read the FCC's press release, or read the FCC's quick fact sheet.

7/16/2014Apply Online Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, July 18


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT Friday, July 18, for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

7/8/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, July 11


USAC’s E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, July 11, from 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, and Rural Health Care programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

6/16/2014Reminder: Early Filing for FCC Form 486


Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 before services start if they have received a funding commitment, if their services will start in the month of July, and if they can accurately make all the relevant certifications at the time they certify the FCC Form 486.

Note that applicants filing FCC Form 486 before July 1 MUST check the early filing box (Item 6a) in order to successfully file this form.

6/10/2014Registration Open for E-rate Program Applicant Trainings


This fall, join USAC for an all-day training focused on applicants who participate in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Register Today!

5/21/2014System Maintenance: 9:00-11:59 PM EDT Friday, May 23


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT Friday, May 23, for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

5/8/2014USAC Issues First Funding Wave for FY2014


On Thursday, May 15, USAC will issue notification letters for the first funding wave for Funding Year (FY) 2014. This wave will include over $607 million in Priority 1 funding commitments for over 14,600 applications. This compares to over $128 million in funding commitments issued in the first funding wave for FY2013 on May 29, 2013.

Also, the first FY2014 wave will contain over six times the number of applications requesting broadband services compared to the first wave of FY2013, and will include commitments to large, medium and small applications for both schools and libraries.

Read the press release.

5/8/2014FCC Form 486 for FY2014 Available May 15


The FCC Form 486 for FY2014 will be available for online filing starting Thursday, May 15. FCC Form 486 Notification Letters will start going out soon after the first forms are filed.

Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 early (before services have started) if:
  1. They have received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter with a positive funding commitment,
  2. Their services will start in the month of July, and
  3. They can accurately make all of the certifications required on the form.

5/6/2014May 27 Deadline for Item 21 Attachments and FCC Form 471 Certifications


Each year, USAC issues two sets of letters – one to applicants that filed an FCC Form 471 online before the close of the filing window but did not complete the certification process, and the other to remind applicants to submit their Item 21 Attachments. Both sets of letters were issued today, May 6. Appropriate actions must be taken on or before May 27, 2014.

To check whether or not you need to take action, review the List of FY2014 FCC Forms 471 Not Yet Certified and the List of FRNs for FY2014 Missing Item 21 Attachments. Note that these lists are static – you can find information at the top of each list about the dates the entries on the lists were identified and which forms or FRNs are included.

What do I do if I receive a Notification of FCC Form 471 with No Certification?
You must certify your FCC Form 471 on or before May 27 if you have not already done so. If you do not meet this deadline, the form will be considered out-of-window. You can certify an FCC Form 471 online or on paper.

The list of uncertified FCC Forms 471 contains all forms that were timely filed but not certified as of 9:30 AM EDT on May 5, 2014. The list is in alphabetical order by state.

If you believe your form has been certified, go to the View 471 Status tool, enter your Billed Entity Number and choose FY2014, and review the search results. If you have any questions, please call our Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

What do I do if I receive an Item 21 Attachment Urgent Reminder Letter?
You must submit an Item 21 Attachment for each of your Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) on or before May 27, 2014 if you have not already done so. FRNs that are missing Item 21 Attachments or have Item 21 Attachments submitted after May 27 will be denied for being out-of-window.

The list of FRNs contains all FY2014 FRNs in the USAC database that we believe are missing Item 21 Attachments. This list is in alphabetical order by state. The first tab is A-F, the second is G-K, the third is L-P, and the fourth is R-Z.

Your FRN will be on the list if:
  • You did not file an Item 21 Attachment and should have filed one.
  • You started an Item 21 Attachment online but did not submit it by May 5, 2014. (Clicking the “Save and Exit” button does not submit your attachment.)
  • You submitted an Item 21 Attachment by email, fax, or on paper, but you did not correctly identify the FRN, the FCC Form 471 application number, or both in time for USAC to log it by April 17.
  • Your Item 21 Attachment and the Item 21 Attachment Urgent Reminder Letter crossed in the mail.

If you believe your FRN is on this list in error because you have submitted an Item 21 Attachment online, go to the Item 21 Attachment tool; enter your Billed Entity Number, FCC Form 471 application number, and security code; and click “Continue.” If an FRN shows any status other than “submitted online,” click the status, complete your attachment, and click the “submit” button. This action will complete the process and submit your attachment.

If you believe your FRN is on this list in error because you have submitted an Item 21 Attachment by email, fax, or paper, first review your copy of the submission for accuracy. You can then call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100 to check the status of your submission. Be sure to have your FCC Form 471 application number, the method of submission (email, fax, or paper), and the date of submission.

4/30/2014Certain Online Forms Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Friday, May 2 through Saturday, May 3


Certain online forms will be unavailable beginning Friday, May 2 at 8:00 PM through Saturday, May 3 at 5:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Including forms in the:
  • High Cost Program system,
  • Lifeline Program system,
  • Rural Health Care Program My Portal system, and
  • Schools and Libraries Program Apply Online system.
These online forms will not be accessible for eligible telecommunications carriers, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, search for certain forms online, and use online applications or tools.

The FCC Forms 499-A/Q, FCC Form 498, and the NLAD system will still be available. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/17/2014USAC Provides Demand Estimate for Funding Year 2014 to FCC


On April 17, 2014, the Schools and Libraries Program of the USAC reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that $4.825 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking discounts for Funding Year 2014. This estimate is based on the dollars requested in 45,731 applications received or postmarked on or before March 26, 2014, the close of the FY2014 FCC Form 471 application filing window.

There are several factors that will reduce ultimately the funds requested from the estimated level. First, USAC will find duplicate funding requests as these funding applications are reviewed and processed. Second, USAC's efforts to assure that funds are committed only for eligible services and equipment for use by eligible entities with the appropriate discount rate and are otherwise consistent with FCC rules, will further reduce the demand estimate.

For detailed information, please refer to the FY2014 Demand Estimate.

4/10/2014System Maintenance: 9:00-11:00 PM EDT Friday, April 11


The Apply Online page, including Submit a Question, online forms, and most search tools will be unavailable from 9:00-11:00 PM EDT Friday, April 11, for system maintenance. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

4/3/2014Certain Online Forms Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, April 5


Certain online forms will be unavailable Saturday, April 5, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Including forms in the:

  • High Cost Program system,
  • Lifeline Program system,
  • Rural Health Care Program My Portal system, and
  • Schools and Libraries Program Apply Online system. 

These online forms will not be accessible for eligible telecommunications carriers, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, search for certain forms online, and use online applications or tools.

The FCC Forms 499-A/Q and FCC Form 498 will still be available.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/3/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, April 4


The E-File system, including the Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, April 4, from 9:00-11:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/1/20142013 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2013 Annual Report highlights USAC's efforts to provide support and guidance for program participants as they navigate ongoing changes in the landscape of universal service. With responsiveness and flexibility, USAC worked in 2013 to show beneficiaries a clear path towards affordable access to telecommunications and Internet services.

3/27/2014Update on Demand Estimate Preparation


As of the close of the FY2014 application filing window last night (at 11:59 PM EDT), the following are totals at that point in time. It should be noted that these numbers are not final as we need to receive, finish data entry, and total all applications postmarked by the close of the filing window that were mailed to us. That process will take more than two weeks.

 

Priority 1

Priority 2

Total

Number of applications

38,480

8,543

47,023

Funding requested

$2.643 billion

$2.225 billion

$4.868 billion


Number of online item 21 attachments filed: 89,837

These preliminary numbers include all FCC Forms 471 that were either complete or certified as of the close of the window plus all paper forms that had finished the data entry process. In the next few weeks, we expect to receive and process more paper applications that were postmarked on or before the window close.

3/27/2014You Can Still File Your Item 21 Attachment


This notice is to remind applicants that they are still able to submit Item 21 attachments online or by email, by fax, or on paper. To submit online, go to the Apply Online page, click the “Item 21 Attachment” button, enter your Billed Entity Number, FCC Form 471 application number, and security code, and enter your data.

Filing an Item 21 attachment immediately after the window closes will not disadvantage your application nor cause your application to be considered as outside the window. However, we encourage you to file your Item 21 attachments as soon as possible.

FCC Order DA 11-88, released January 14, 2011, directs USAC to inform applicants in writing of any missing Item 21 attachments and give them 15 calendar days after receipt of the written notice to submit the missing Item 21 attachments. These letters will be issued in the next few weeks.

3/26/2014FY2014 Filing Window Statistics Updated Daily


In order to keep you informed about applications submitted during the FY2014 application filing window, check back here each day to find updates on high-level data from FCC Forms 471 filed both online and on paper.

Category

FY2014

FY2013*

Certified Applications Filed

36,308

45,210

Total Requested

$3,428,453,406

$4,978,880,862

Priority 1 (P1)

$1,917,910,770

$2,675,792,904

Priority 2 (P2)

$1,493,273,388

$2,188,877,235

Total P1/P2

$17,269,248

$114,210,723

Percent P1

55.9%

53.7%

Percent P2

43.6%

44.0%


*FY2013 data cumulative as of April 19, 2013

These statistics are updated on a daily basis.

3/20/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, March 20


The E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, March 20, from 10:00-11:59PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/18/2014Client Service Bureau Extended Hours For Last-minute Filers


The Client Service Bureau (CSB) is once again offering extended hours during the last week of the filing window. CSB is generally busiest on weekdays between 11:00 AM and 5:30 PM EST, so we suggest you call them at (888) 203-8100 before or after those times, or during this coming weekend.

Here is a list of CSB's extended hours for the FY2014 filing window:

DayDateOpenClose
Saturday March 22 9:00 AM EDT 6:00 PM EDT
Sunday March 23 9:00 AM EDT 6:00 PM EDT
Monday March 24 8:00 AM EDT 8:00 PM EDT
Tuesday March 25 8:00 AM EDT 10:00 PM EDT
Wednesday March 26 8:00 AM EDT 11:59 PM EDT




3/6/2014"470 No 471" Email Notifications Issued


Each year, USAC sends a notification to applicants that have timely posted an FCC Form 470 to the USAC website but not yet filed an FCC Form 471 funding request citing that FCC Form 470.

On March 6, USAC prepared an email to each FCC Form 470 contact person or authorized person with a timely posted FCC Form 470 not cited on any FCC Form 471 Block 5 funding request (Item 11 on the form) as of March 3. For each unique email address, this email contained all affected FCC Form 470 application numbers and all Entity Numbers.

  • If the contact person email address appeared in Item 6e of the form, the email was sent to the contact person.
  • If the contact person email address was blank but the authorized person email address appeared in Item 27f of the form, the email was sent to the authorized person.
Each Form 470 featured at least one of these addresses.

2/28/2014Registration Open for 2014 Service Provider Trainings


This spring, join USAC in Tampa or Los Angeles for a training focused on service providers who participate in the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. The training will cover general topics for service providers.

Register early! Space is limited. Both service provider trainings present the same information, so please select only one. Registration is complimentary.

2/27/2014Special Edition News Brief - FY2014 Funding Decisions, Help Us Help You


The 02/27/14 Special Edition issue of the News Brief is now available. Receive E-rate Program tips, deadline reminders, and answers to your questions in this weekly newsletter. Subscribe to it and receive it each week in your inbox.

2/27/2014Update on Priority 2 Commitments for FY2013


On February 7, 2014, the USAC Schools & Libraries Committee approved a resolution that authorized USAC to deny all FY2013 Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at the 90 percent discount level upon FCC approval. On February 24, the FCC authorized USAC to proceed. These denials will start with FY2013 Wave 41, dated March 5, 2014.

Previously USAC had been authorized to deny all Priority 2 applications at the 89 percent discount level and below. As a result, USAC will fund no Priority 2 applications for FY2013.