January 7, 2011 USAC News Briefs

FUNDING YEAR 2011 FILING WINDOW OPENS NEXT TUESDAY

This SL News Brief is to alert you that the Funding Year 2011 (FY2011) application filing window opens at NOON EST on Tuesday, January 11, and to provide some helpful tips and reminders for filing applications. The application filing window will close at 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, March 24. 2011.

Commitments for Funding Years 2010 and 2009

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 33 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) January 11. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 81% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of January 7, FY2010 commitments total over $2.07 billion.

Funding Year 2009. USAC will release FY2009 Wave 78 FCDLs January 12. This wave will include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 77% and above and denials at 76% and below. As of January 7, 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.

FY2011 Begins July 1, 2011 and Ends June 30, 2012

Program forms have changed from last year. You should review the new Form 470 and Instructions and the new Form 471 and Instructions before starting the application process. These forms and instructions will be available on Monday, January 10 on USAC’s Required Forms web page. Note that if you have already filed a Form 470 for FY2011 using the old version of the form, you can still cite that form on FY2011 Form 471 Block 5 funding requests.

Some program rules and requirements have changed as well. For more information, we suggest you review the following materials:

  • FCC Sixth Report and Order (FCC 10-175, released September 28, 2010) includes information on the eligibility of dark fiber, community use of schools’ E-rated services, funding for certain residential facilities, technology plans, the competitive bidding process, gifts, SPIN changes, eligible services, and disposal of equipment.
  • FCC Order (DA 10-2355, released December 15, 2010) addresses questions about the eligibility of basic maintenance and the newly codified E-rate program gift rules.
  • FCC Public Notice (DA 10-2356, released December 15, 2010) provides a list of effective dates for the proposals adopted in the Sixth Report and Order and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

You can also review a summary of this information in the October 1, 2010 SL News Brief

For FY2011, pay special attention to your Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections requests. Eligibility for some products and services has changed. You should review the FY2011 Eligible Services List for more information.

We also encourage you to explore USAC’s website and to review previous News Briefs for important “do’s and don’ts” in addition to the helpful tips and reminders below.

Helpful Tips and Reminders

File Early – We encourage applicants to file and certify Forms 470 and 471 and Item 21 attachments early in the window. Early filing allows applicants time to:

  • Correct errors and avoid delays later during application review
  • Meet Program deadlines
  • File a new form if Program rules do not allow corrections to an existing form 

File Online – We encourage you to file and certify Forms 470 and 471 online. Online filing ensures that you meet form Minimum Processing Standards and allows for early acknowledgment and quicker decisions. The first time you sign a Form 470, 471, or 486, USAC will issue you a PIN that you can use to certify subsequent program forms online.

Use the Online Item 21 Attachment – We cannot begin reviewing an application until it is certified and we have the Item 21 attachment(s) for the funding requests on that application. USAC’s Online Item 21 Attachment tool can help you submit a complete and timely Item 21 attachment. For FY2011, the Item 21 attachment is a window filing requirement.

Retain All Documents Program rules require that you retain documents for FIVE YEARS after the last day of service delivery to demonstrate Program compliance.

Review Program Guidance Materials – Some information has been consistent from year to year and other information has changed. Before you begin, make sure to review all relevant Program guidance.

IMPORTANT DATES FOR FY2011

January 11, 2011 – The FY2011 Form 471 filing window opens at noon EST and will remain open for 73 days.

February 24, 2011 – This is the last POSSIBLE date to post a Form 470 on USAC’s website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date. 

  • If you submit your Form 470 online, it is posted immediately. 
  • If you submit your Form 470 on paper, USAC will make every effort to post it by February 24 if it is RECEIVED on or before Thursday, February 17, 2011. 

Note: Whether filing online or on paper, the applicant is responsible for meeting the 28-day posting requirement.

March 24, 2011 – The FY2011 Form 471 filing window will close at 11:59 pm EDT. For the Form 471 to be considered as filed within the filing window, it must be submitted online, received by USAC, or postmarked no later than the filing window closing date. Beginning with FY2011, your Item 21 attachment(s) must also be submitted online, received by USAC or postmarked no later than the filing window closing date.

If you are filing online, we encourage you to certify your Form(s) 470 and 471 right after you submit them. The online system gives you both electronic and paper certification options on the screen following the submission screen.

Ask for assistance. If you have questions, please contact our Client Service Bureau. In addition to Program information, they can provide information on the status of your forms.

E-mail:
Toll-free Fax:
Toll-free Phone:
Use the Submit a Question link on USAC’s website
1-888-276-8736
1-888-203-8100