E-Rate News and Tip of the Week from USAC – Dec. 17, 2010

E-rate Deployed Ubiquitously (EDU) 2011 Pilot Program applicants: The FCC’s website will be down starting at 6pm EST this Friday, December 17, 2010; therefore, if you are using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to submit your application, it must be submitted by 6pm EST to be considered as filed by the deadline posted in Public Notice DA-10-2128 

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you file a paper Form 470 using the current (October 2004) version of the form, send it to USAC to be received no later than January 4, 2011 (see below). Forms 470 received after this date that use the current version may require additional work by the applicant before they are posted to the USAC website and the applicant’s 28-day clock starts.

Commitments for Funding Years 2010 and 2009

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 31 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 21. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 85% and above. As of December 17, FY2010 commitments total just over $1.91 billion.

Funding Year 2009. USAC will release FY2009 Wave 76 FCDLs December 22. This wave will include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 77% and above and denials at 76% and below. As of December 17, FY2009 commitments total over $2.79 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.

FCC Updates

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released DA 10-2355 clarifying the eligibility of basic maintenance and the new E-rate program gift rules adopted in the Sixth Report and Order. On this same date, the Bureau also released public notice DA 10-2356, providing further guidance to E-rate program participants, listing effective dates of the proposals adopted in the Sixth Report and Order and answering frequently asked questions (FAQs). 

December Reminders

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before the end of the calendar year:

Get paper Forms 470 to USAC by January 4, 2011, if you are using the October 2004 version.

USAC will post a revised version of the Form 470 to the website by January 11, 2011. Once the revised version of this form replaces the current (October 2004) version on the website, applicants will not be able to file – and USAC will not be able to process – the October 2004 version of the form.

If you want to file Form 470 on paper for FY2011 using the current version of the form, USAC must receive your paper form by January 4, 2011, in order to review it and complete data entry. If we cannot complete data entry of your form before the revised form is up on the website, we will contact you to get the missing information that the revised version of the form requires prior to posting your Form 470.

COMPLETE Forms 470 started online before January 11, 2011…

When the revised Form 470 is available on the USAC website, current online Forms 470 started but not completed before that time will no longer be accessible. (You will not be able to view or complete your unfinished form.) To avoid any problems:

  • If you have started or intend to start a Form 470 online using the current form, you must complete your entries and push the “Submit” button before the revised Form 470 replaces the current one. If you don’t, you will have to start over again with the revised form.
  • Because the window is scheduled to close on March 24, 2011, applicants waiting until January 11, 2011, to file with the revised Form 470 will have time for the form to be posted for 28 days before filing a Form 471. You will also be able to continue an incomplete form online using the “Continue Incomplete” button and certify a form online or on paper using the “Certify Complete” button.

Forms 470 must be posted to the USAC website no later than February 24, 2011, and be posted for 28 days prior to filing Form 471 for FY2011.

…AND CERTIFY Forms 470 filed online before January 11, 2011.

When the revised Form 470 is available on the USAC website, the certification function will only work for the revised form. You will not be able to access current Forms 470 filed online before that date nor will you be able to certify them online.

  • If you certify on paper using the current form, we recommend that you send your certification in time for USAC to receive it by January 4, 2011. This will give us time to verify that all of the entries are consistent with your online entries and process your certification before the revised Form 470 replaces the current one.
  • If you certify online using the current form, we recommend that you certify your form no later than January 10, 2011.

Remember that the winter deferral period starts today.

If you have filed a Form 470 on paper and we cannot complete data entry of your form because of missing, incomplete, or inconsistent information, we will attempt to contact you using your preferred mode of contact.

If we have not made a successful contact with you before today, December 17, we will stop trying to contact you until the winter deferral period is over on January 7, 2011. This means that your Form 470 may not be posted to the website before the revised Form 470 becomes available, and if your form is not posted by that time you will be required to file the revised form.

If it has been at least two weeks since you sent your paper form to USAC and it has not yet been posted to the USAC website, call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 1-888-203-8100 to check on the status of your form. Also, you should check on the status of paper forms you file now to be sure we have all the information we need to post your form.

Review the revised Forms 470 and 471 and instructions.

If you review the revised Form 470 and the revised Form 470 Instructions, you will be better able to decide whether you want to file a Form 470 now or wait for the revised form to become available. Either version of the Form 470 can be cited on a Form 471 Block 5 funding request for FY2011; however, only the revised version of the Form 471 will be accepted for FY2011.