SLD News – 7/18/14 – Focus: E-rate Modernization Order Section Added to USAC Website

On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the E-rate Modernization Order that will expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries across America while ensuring that support continues for broadband connectivity. USAC has created a separate section of its website devoted exclusively to this Report and Order. We suggest that you check this section and the other pages relating to the E-rate program often for any newly released documents relating to the Report and Order and for updates to existing ones.

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are filing an appeal with USAC, be sure to review last week’s SL News Brief for the information you should include in your appeal. Appeals that are missing important details – such as complete and current contact information, the specific decision being appealed, or relevant documentation – are more difficult for USAC to process.

Commitments for Funding Years 2014, 2013, and 2012

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 11 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 23. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of July 18, FY2014 commitments total just under $1.52 billion.

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release FY2013 Wave 58 FCDLs on July 22 and Wave 59 FCDLs on July 24. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of July 18, FY2013 commitments total over $2.08 billion.

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 88 FCDLs on July 25. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of July 18, FY2012 commitments total just under $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.

Consultant Registration Numbers

Consultants that assist applicants in filling out the application materials are identified on certain program forms as described below. We are providing more information for applicants on the definition of a consultant and how to report consultant information if required.

What is the definition of a consultant?

A consultant is any non-employee of the entity applying for funding that assists in filling out the application materials for a fee. “Non-employee” includes contractors or others who are employed by the entity on a contract or short-term basis who do not receive a W-2 form from the entity filling out the application. Consultants may be organizations with one or more employees or they may be individuals.

The term “consultant” below refers to the name – whether an organization or an individual – linked to the Consultant Registration Number and entered in the “Consultant Name” field on program forms.

What is a Consultant Registration Number?

A Consultant Registration Number (CRN) is a unique eight-digit identification number assigned by USAC to a specific consultant. Employees of a consultant will not be required to obtain individual CRNs but will use the CRN of the consultant.

If a consultant is assisting an applicant with the application process, the consultant’s CRN is entered in Block 1, Item 7 of the FCC Form 470 and/or Block 1, Item 6g of the FCC Form 471.

How does a consultant obtain a CRN?

To get a CRN, a consultant should call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 1-888-203-8100 and be prepared to provide the following consultant information:

  • Consultant Name
  • Consultant Street Address, City, State, and Zip Code
  • Consultant Telephone Number
  • Consultant Fax Number
  • Consultant Email Address

If the consultant has one or more employees, the following information is required for each employee:

  • Employee Name
  • Employee Telephone Number
  • Employee Email Address

CSB will first search by zip code, then by street address, to find out if USAC already has a CRN on file. If so – and if there are no changes to any of the contact information – CSB can provide the CRN over the phone.

If CSB must create a new record, or if there are changes required to an existing record, CSB will request that the changes be sent by fax to 1-888-276-8736 or by email. After the record has been created or updated, CSB can reply to the fax or email and provide the CRN.

How does an applicant find the CRN for its consultant?

If the consultant is completing a form on behalf of the applicant, the consultant can enter the CRN. If the applicant is completing a form, the applicant can obtain the CRN from the consultant or call CSB. CSB can provide the CRN over the telephone as long as the applicant provides enough information for CSB to identify a specific consultant.

  • Consultants and applicants filing online should check after entering the CRN to verify that the correct consultant information is populated in the form.

Where is consultant information located on FCC Form 470 and FCC Form 471?

Consultant information is entered in Block 1, Item 7 of the FCC Form 470 and Block 1, Item 6g of the FCC Form 471. Applicants filing online will enter the CRN, and consultant contact information will populate automatically. If the consultant has employees, those employee names will be populated in a drop-down menu and the applicant can choose the appropriate employee.

Applicants filing on paper must complete all relevant fields.