Latest news from USAC/SLD 5-6-2011

TIP OF THE WEEK: Monitor your preferred mode of contact in case PIA attempts to contact you with questions about your Form 471. TAKE NOTE – the deadline for submitting your FY2011 Item 21 attachments is May 17 (see below) – PIA reviewers will not be requesting your Item 21 attachment(s) as part of the review of your application as has been done in the past.

Fall 2011 Applicant Training Dates and Locations Available Next Week

Each fall, USAC conducts training sessions for applicants around the country in advance of the Form 471 application filing window. The dates and locations for the eight fall applicant training sessions will be available early next week on the Training Sessions and Presentations page of the USAC website. We suggest that you register as soon as possible for the session you would like to attend as we expect some of the locations to fill up quickly.

If you would like to reserve a hotel room at the conference rate, the Training Sessions and Presentations page will also have links to hotel websites, conference codes, and/or telephone numbers specific to each location.

Service Provider Conference Call Date Change Reminder  

The service provider call for May has been moved to 3:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. The call-in number and passcode will remain the same.

May 17 Deadline for Item 21 Attachments and Form 471 Certifications 

The May 17 deadline for submitting FY2011 Item 21 attachments and FY2011 Form 471 certifications is fast approaching. We have included information below for those applicants that have not completed one or both of these important steps in the FY2011 application process.

  • If you do not submit an Item 21 attachment on or before May 17, the Block 5 Funding Request Number (FRN) associated with that Item 21 attachment will be considered out-of-window. You can submit an Item 21 attachment online, by email, or by fax on or before May 17; you can also postmark a paper Item 21 attachment on or before May 17.
  • If you do not certify your Form 471 on or before May 17, your Form 471 will be considered out-of-window. You can certify a Form 471 online on or before May 17 if you have a PIN; you can also postmark a paper certification on or before May 17.

– ITEM 21 ATTACHMENTS

The Item 21 attachment contains a detailed description of the products and services you are requesting. You provide an attachment number in Item 21 of each Form 471 Block 5 funding request that will correspond with your Item 21 attachment, and then you submit that Item 21 attachment separately from the application.

NOTE: You must provide an Item 21 attachment for EACH FRN on your Form 471. Also, if you are filing your Item 21 attachment online, you MUST click on the Submit button on the last page for your Item 21 attachment to be considered submitted.

Following are some specific tips for Item 21 attachments for each of the four categories of service – Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. If you include the information suggested in the tips, your PIA reviewer will be able to more easily make determinations of the eligibility of the components of each of your funding requests. For details on each of these tips, refer to the March 11, 2011 SL News Brief and the Item 21 Attachments guidance document on the USAC website.

Telecommunications Services

  • Provide the specific type(s) of service requested.
  • Provide the number of lines, including the number of extensions.
  • For digital transmission services, provide the bandwidth.
  • If you are submitting a copy of your bill as all or part of your Item 21 attachment:
    • Pick a bill that represents your typical monthly costs. One month is generally sufficient.
    • Make sure the dollar amount of the bill is typical of your monthly costs and supports your request.
    • Include the page(s) that detail any miscellaneous charges and/or credits.
    • Identify any ineligible charges.

Internet Access

  • For digital transmission circuit(s) for basic conduit access to the Internet, provide the bandwidth of the services you are requesting.
  • If you are requesting web hosting services, ask your service provider for a cost allocation and provide it as part of your attachment.
  • Clearly identify the total cost of the service as well the percentage of the total cost for which you are seeking funding.

Internal Connections

  • For all Internal Connections requests, provide the make and model number and the quantity of any equipment included in your funding request.
  • For bundled products, in addition to the make and model numbers, provide the SKU (stock-keeping unit, a unique identifying number assigned by a company to each of its products and/or services).
  • Equipment that can be used in both eligible and ineligible ways should have its function or functions clearly identified.
  • If you are requesting discounts on equipment such as cabinets, racks, and UPSs, identify the equipment they are supporting.
    • If only eligible equipment will be supported or housed, you should state that and provide the make and model numbers of the eligible equipment.
    • If both eligible and ineligible equipment will be supported or housed, you should provide that information together with an appropriate cost allocation.

Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections

  • Provide a list of all of the equipment being supported by the basic maintenance.
  • State the basic maintenance tasks that will be performed and the costs associated with those tasks.
  • If your basic maintenance contract includes both eligible and ineligible equipment, be sure you can provide a clearly identifiable price for the ineligible equipment.

It is entirely appropriate to involve your service provider in the process of creating your Item 21 attachment. Your service provider may have specific details that USAC needs or be able to easily provide network diagrams, SKUs, or other information not readily available to you. Be sure also to share with your service provider a copy of the Item 21 attachment you submit to USAC.

Submitting your Item 21 attachment(s)

Here are your options for submitting your Item 21 attachment(s):

1. File online using the Item 21 Attachment button in the Form 471 column on the Apply Online page. You will need your Billed Entity Number, your Form 471 application number, and your Form 471 security code. (You cannot file your attachment online if you submit your Form 471 on paper.)

2. Attach your submission to an email message and send it to:

attachments@sl.universalservice.org

3. Fax your submission to:

(973) 599-6511

4. Mail your submission to:

SLD Forms
Form 471 – Item 21 Attachment
P.O. Box 7026
Lawrence, KS 66044-7026

5. Send your submission by delivery service to:

SLD Forms
ATTN: Form 471 – Item 21 Attachment
3833 Greenway Drive
Lawrence, KS 66046
TELEPHONE: 1-888-203-8100

If you are using the Form 471 Application Status tool to check your status, remember that the tool will only show the status of a Form 471, not the status of each FRN on that form.

– FORM 471 CERTIFICATIONS

To certify online, you must have a PIN and the security code for the Form 471 you filed online:

  • Go to the Apply Online page and click on the Certify Complete button in the Form 471 column.
  • Enter your Form 471 application number and security code and click on Electronic Certification.
  • You will see your Block 6 certification page with the information you entered when you submitted your form online. You must enter your PIN and check the box to affirm that you understand that the use of your PIN is the same as your written signature.
  • When you click on the Done button at the bottom of the page, the system will return a CertID, a unique number that confirms your successful certification. We suggest that you click OK on the popup box and then print a copy of the resulting certification page, which will feature your CertID in the signature line as proof of your successful online certification.

To certify on paper:

  • Go to the Apply Online page and click on the Certify Complete button in the Form 471 column.
  • Enter your Form 471 application number and security code and click on Paper Certification.
  • You will see your Block 6 certification page with the information you entered when you submitted your form online. Print out a copy of the page, sign and date it, and send it to the address at the bottom of the page. You are advised to keep proof of postmark or delivery.

After you successfully certify your Form 471, the status of that form will change to “Certified – Out Of Window” on the Form 471 Application Status tool. Once all of the paper certifications postmarked on or before May 17 have been processed, USAC will move all applications with timely filed certifications (both online and on paper) in-window.