SLD News 7/26/13 – Focus: Revised Forms

 July 26, 2013 

TIP OF THE WEEK: If the status of your FCC Form 471 is “Deferred,” we have put the review of your form on hold until September 6 because we were unable to contact you. You should refer to the July 12 SL News Brief if you are available to answer questions about your application and would like to restart your review.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013, 2012, and 2010

Funding Year 2013. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 10 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) July 23 and will release Wave 11 FCDLs July 30. These waves include commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of July 26, FY2013 commitments total over $263 million and encompass 17,526 of the 38,539 Priority 1 in-window applications.

Funding Year 2012. USAC released FY2012 Wave 52 FCDLs July 25 and will release Wave 53 FCDLs August 1. These waves include commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of July 26, FY2012 commitments total over $2.67 billion.

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 115 FCDLs August 1. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at all discount levels. As of July 26, FY2010 commitments total over $3.07 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.

Update on Online Invoicing

On Monday, July 22, USAC took down access to the online FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) and online FCC Form 474 (SPI Form) in order to update our systems to accept the new information required on the July 2013 revised invoice forms. For more information on this process – including the methods for filing invoices by email, fax, or on paper during this system update period – you can refer to the July 19 Special Edition News Brief.

Once updated, the revised online SPI Form will allow service providers to enter all required information online. We are making substantial progress with the updates to the online SPI Form and are ahead of our initial schedule. Our current target to have the revised SPI Form ready for online submission is August 7.

The revised version of the online BEAR Form will be available after the online SPI Form.

Here are the most commonly asked questions coming into our Client Service Bureau:

Q. When are we required to start using the July 2013 version of the invoice forms?

A. You must use the revised forms starting Monday, July 22. The April 2007 versions of these forms and instructions have been replaced by the July 2013 versions on the Forms page of our website for you to download or print.

Q. How can I submit invoice forms during the time that the forms are not available online?

A. You can submit invoice forms to USAC using any of the following methods:

  • Email your invoice to USAC by scanning your completed invoice form and attaching it to your email. Please include “BEAR Form” or “SPI Form” in the subject line of the email.
  • Fax your invoice to 1-888-276-8736. Please include “BEAR Form” or “SPI Form” on the fax cover sheet.
  • For U.S. Mail or delivery services, use the address at the bottom of the form you are submitting.
  • Service providers set up for electronic invoicing can still file electronically. For specific information, please refer to the July 19 Special Edition News Brief and the updated electronic filing instructions USAC emailed to all current electronic filers on Friday, July 19.

Q. If I submitted a BEAR Form online last week, can my service provider still approve it?

A. Yes. If you clicked the “Submit” button before access to the online BEAR Form was blocked on July 22, your service provider can log in to the E-file System and approve your form. However, if your BEAR Form was incomplete (i.e., the “Submit” button was not clicked) when access to the online BEAR Form was taken down, you must start over. You should encourage your service provider to review your BEAR Form as soon as possible.

Q. Do I have to provide the Applicant Reimbursement Information on page 4 of the revised BEAR Form?

A. Yes. The applicant uses these fields to inform the service provider where to send BEAR reimbursements. During the comment period for invoice form revisions, both applicants and service providers requested that BEAR Forms feature this information. Applicants must complete these fields before sending their paper BEAR Forms to their service providers for signature.

Q. Will I get a confirmation that USAC has received my invoice?

A. No. However, you can Submit a Question or call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 to inquire about the status of a submitted form.

Q. There is a new field on both invoice forms for discount percentage. What do I provide in that field?

A. You should refer to your Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) – or Revised FCDL if an appeal was granted – and enter the discount percentage approved for the Funding Request Number (FRN) featured on each line of your form.  

Q. How long will it take USAC to process my invoice?

A. Once received, invoices are processed in the same length of time as if they were filed online. We encourage you to submit them by email or fax to reduce the time it takes for us to receive them.

Q. How do I find the July 2013 versions of the invoice forms?

A. The revised forms and instructions are posted on the Forms page of the USAC website. A link to the Forms page is located in the left-hand column of most Schools and Libraries web pages, as the second entry under the heading “RESOURCES & TOOLS.”

Q. Will payments or notifications be affected?

A. No. Payment runs will continue on the customary twice-a-week schedule. Our average processing time for payments is five days from receipt. Notifications (e.g., BEAR Notification Letters, service provider electronic notifications) will also be issued following their regular schedules.

FY2013 Out-of-Window Letters

Today USAC will issue just over 290 letters notifying applicants that their FCC Forms 471 are considered out of window. Out-of-window letters are issued for three groups of applications:

  • FCC Forms 471 filed on paper and postmarked after March 14, 2013, the close of the application filing window.
  • FCC Forms 471 filed online on or before March 14 at 11:59 pm EDT and certified online or on paper after May 15, the extended certification deadline.
  • FCC Forms 471 filed online after March 14 at 11:59 pm EDT and later certified online or on paper.

Out-of-window letters are not issued for forms started online that are in an “Incomplete” or “Complete” status. You can use the View a 471 tool or the View 471 Status tool on the Search Tools page on the USAC website to check the status of a form.