Aug. 26th Tips and News from USAC

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you use the Form 471 Application Status tool, remember that the status of each form appears at the top of your search results, to the right of its application number and applicant form identifier. For an explanation of a status, refer to the Explanation table below your search results.

Commitments for Funding Years 2011, 2010, and 2009

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 11 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) August 30. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of August 26, FY2011 commitments total over $755 million.

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 64 FCDLs August 31. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 81% and above. As of August 26, FY2010 commitments total over $2.59 billion.

Funding Year 2009. USAC will release FY2009 Wave 92 FCDLs August 31. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 77% and above and denials at 76% and below. As of August 26, FY2009 commitments total over $2.86 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Update on Fall Applicant Training Sessions

Registration is still open for the training sessions in Minneapolis MN, Portland OR, and Orlando FL. To register for a training session or to get hotel information, go to the Training Sessions and Presentations page on the USAC website.

Remember that you must also make a room reservation if you want to stay at the conference hotel. The table below shows the last day to make a reservation at the negotiated conference room rate. Rooms may not be available – or may be more expensive – if you try to make a reservation after these dates. 

Hotel Deadline for Hotel Reservations
 Renaissance Arlington Capital View  September 5
 Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott  September 21
 Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America  September 19
 Hilton Portland & Executive Tower  September 21
 Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel  September 26
 Sheraton New Orleans Hotel  October 5
 Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel  October 11
 Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport  October 17

 If you have questions or wish to cancel your reservation, please email USAC.

Extending Contracts for Non-recurring Services

In the August 19 SL News Brief, we discussed requesting a service delivery extension for non-recurring services and the importance of requesting the extension no later than the deadline for receipt of those services.

In many cases, contracts must also be extended and the new contract expiration date reported to USAC. This is important because USAC will not pay invoices for eligible non-recurring services delivered or installed after the last day to receive service (the service delivery deadline), or the last day your contract is valid (the contract expiration date), whichever is earlier.

Extending a contract expiration date for non-recurring services

Applicants report the contract expiration date in Item 20b of each funding request on the Form 471. USAC will not pay invoices for products and services installed and/or delivered after the contract expiration date on file with USAC. If a service delivery extension has been approved – either automatically or upon request – applicants and service providers will need to change the contract expiration date on file with USAC if products and services will be delivered after the date currently on file.

Please note: The contract extensions we discuss here are solely for the purpose of completing the delivery of services for commitments on Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for the original funding year, not for extending the services to a new FRN for an upcoming funding year (see below).

If a contract expires before services will be delivered, applicants should do the following:

  • Check the FRN Extension Table to verify that USAC has extended the service delivery deadline for the FRN.
  • Determine that an extension of the contract is allowed under the terms of the contract and under state and local procurement rules and regulations.
  • If an extension of the contract is allowed, negotiate an extension with the service provider.
  • File a Form 500, Adjustment to Funding Commitment and Modification to Receipt of Service Confirmation Form, to change the contract expiration date on file with USAC.
  • After USAC issues a Form 500 Notification Letter, the products and services can be delivered and installed and USAC can be invoiced.

Note that this kind of contract extension is different from a “contract with voluntary extensions.” A contract with voluntary extensions allows the applicant to extend an existing contract with the service provider and apply for discounts on services in an upcoming funding year without filing a new Form 470 and opening a competitive bidding process for the services covered under that contract. For information on contracts with voluntary extensions, refer to the Contract Guidance document on the USAC website.

Tips for funding commitments that include non-recurring services

To make this process easier, consider the following:

  • If possible, set your contract to expire on September 30 rather than June 30 if the contract contains non-recurring services. This eliminates the need to file a Form 500 if the work will be completed by the original deadline.
  • Communicate regularly with your service provider, especially if there may be delays. Knowing early that a problem exists gives you more time to plan for the best solution.
  • An approved service delivery deadline extension does not automatically extend a contract or change the contract expiration date on file with USAC. Similarly, a Form 500, which you would use to change the contract expiration date on file with USAC, does not act as a service delivery extension request or extend the service delivery deadline.
  • Act promptly if you need to extend a contract or request a deadline extension. USAC receives a higher volume of requests when deadlines approach and it may take longer for USAC to process your request if you wait until the last minute.
  • Remember that USAC cannot act on a service delivery extension request filed after the last date to receive service, which is generally September 30.