Dec. 30, 2011 SLD News Briefs

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) is continuing to review applications during the winter contact period. We strongly urge you to respond to PIA requests for information if you or your designee is able to do so in order to continue the processing of your application.

Commitments for Funding Years 2011 and 2010

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 28 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) January 4, 2012. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90%. As of December 30, FY2011 commitments total just under $1.45 billion.

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 80 FCDLs January 5, 2012. This wave can include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at all discount levels. As of December 30, FY2010 commitments total just under $2.92 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.

January Reminders

Below are some reminders of events and deadlines that will occur in January 2012.

The FY2012 application filing window will open at noon EST on Monday, January 9, 2012. If you have not already started your preparations, you can review SL News Briefs from the last few months for information about preparing technology plans, filing FCC Forms 470, and running open and fair competitive bidding processes. We will also issue our customary Letter to the Field when the window opens to provide more specific information on window-related activities.

The last day to file an invoice for FY2010 non-recurring services is January 30, 2012. Note that you can request an invoice deadline extension if you are not able to complete and submit all of your invoices to USAC by the January 30 invoice deadline.

•Applicants file an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form if they have paid for services in full and want to request reimbursement for the discount amount. Applicants that have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) can file this form online. Applicants that do not have a PIN must file on paper.
•Service providers file an FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form if they provided discounted bills to their customers and want to request reimbursement for the discount amount. Service providers can file this form online, electronically, or on paper.
The winter contact period ends January 6, 2012. After this date, Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) will resume attempts to contact you for more information about your application if they were unable to make a successful contact on or after December 23. After January 6, you must respond to requests within 15 days or PIA will act on the information it has available, which may result in a reduction or denial of funding. For more information about the winter contact period, refer to last week’s SL News Brief.

New Look and Feel for SL News Briefs and Service Provider Call Agendas

Starting in early January, we will be introducing a new look and feel for the weekly SL News Briefs and the monthly service provider call agendas to make them more functional and easier to read.

Weekly SL News Brief (issued Friday afternoons with occasional special editions during the week)

•There will be a pre-header above the banner with a short text description and subscription options.
•The banner graphic has been redesigned in blue, with the color of the header and article titles changed to match.
•The font size has been increased throughout for better legibility.
•The footer has been updated. In addition to the current information and options, the footer also provides the email address for your subscription and our Washington DC address.
Monthly service provider call agenda (issued on the Monday immediately preceding the Wednesday call)

•The banner graphic has been expanded, with blue the predominant color, and the call information is prominently featured in a separate text box.
•The font size has been increased throughout for better legibility.
•Information about the call appears in multiple places.
•A new feature has been added – a calendar item that allows you to add the call dates for the year to your Outlook calendar. (Please note that calls are sometimes moved out a day or a week to accommodate staff travel – the calendar item will direct users to the service provider conference call webpage for the most current information.)