SLD News Brief 4/6/12 – Happy Holidays!

TIP OF THE WEEK: To check the status of your FCC Form 471, use the Form 471 Status toolYou can find information on using this tool and a description of all form statuses in the March 30 SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Years 2011 and 2010

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 42 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) April 11. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90% and denials at 79% and below. As of April 6, FY2011 commitments total over $2.09 billion.

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 93 FCDLs April 11. This wave can include commitments for approved Priority 2 services at all discount levels. As of April 6, FY2010 commitments total just under $3.05 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.

Network Maintenance Update

The USAC website will be taken down for maintenance from 8:00 am EDT on Friday, April 20 to 8:00 am EDT on Monday, April 23. Both the static pages and the Apply Online and search functions will be unavailable. Users should plan to finish any online activities on Thursday, April 19 or wait until Monday, April 23 to start them.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Service Provider Training Reminder

The service provider training session in Atlanta is full; we have started a waiting list and will admit additional attendees from that list as spaces become available. If you find that you cannot attend this session, please cancel your registration by sending USAC an email. This will allow us to open a space for someone else.

There is still space available in Los Angeles and we continue to confirm registrations for that session.

To register for a training session and/or to find information on hotel reservations, refer to the Training Sessions and Presentations page on the USAC website.

Correcting Errors Using Your RAL

After you have submitted and certified an FCC Form 471 and USAC has determined that the form is in-window, USAC will issue you a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL). This letter contains a summary of the data you reported on the FCC Form 471 and gives you an opportunity to submit corrections that are the result of ministerial and clerical errors. Examples of ministerial and clerical errors were included in the Ann Arbor Order (DA 10-2354, released Dec. 16, 2010).

  • Note: If you submitted your FCC Form 471 online in-window but did not certify it before the window closed, you should certify it as soon as possible so that it can still be considered in-window. We will discuss the extended certification deadline for online forms in a future issue of the SL News Brief. However, note that USAC will not issue a RAL until the form has been certified by the extended deadline and USAC has changed its status to “CERTIFIED – IN WINDOW.”

If you find that information on your RAL is incorrect and/or missing, mark up a copy of your RAL as indicated in the instructions and submit your corrections to USAC. In addition to the instructions in the RAL, you can review the RAL guidance on the website for additional information.

TIPS FOR RAL CORRECTIONS

1. Verify that you need to submit a correction.

First, compare the data in your RAL and in the Form 471 Display tool with the data in your file copy of the FCC Form 471 to make sure that all of your entries are correct. The RAL includes most of the entries currently in our system, but you must use the display tool to view the information in Block 4 worksheets. Because Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) uses all of this information in its review of your application, it is important that you verify its accuracy.

  • If incorrect information appears on the RAL, you can line through the incorrect information and supply the correct information to the right of the incorrect entry.
  • If information is missing that should have been included on the FCC Form 471, you can write the missing information by the appropriate field name in the column on the RAL marked “Make Corrections Here.”
  • If the incorrect information appears on the Form 471 Display but not on the RAL – for example, if the incorrect information is in (or missing from) a Block 4 worksheet – follow the instructions in the RAL to correct that information.

If all of the information matches, DO NOT submit a RAL correction. Submitting a RAL with no corrections only delays the review of your application.

2. If you submit a correction, make sure your submission is complete and timely.

Mark up the copy of your RAL as indicated in the instructions in the RAL and the RAL guidance on the website. Please make sure your corrections are legible.

  • To make corrections to a Block 4 worksheet, you will need to include a copy of the worksheet and/or a separate sheet listing entities to be added, deleted, or corrected. If you do not have a copy of the worksheet, you can use the display tool to print a copy.

You don’t need to include the first two pages of the RAL or any pages that do not contain corrections, but you must always include a signed copy of page 3 of your RAL, even if you are printing out and including other pages with corrections. We cannot process RAL corrections without a signature, printed name, title, contact information, and date.

Check also to make sure you have supplied current contact information. If we have questions about the information you submitted, we will attempt to contact you using the contact information you supplied at the top of page 3 of the RAL. Also, if you are submitting multiple pages, we suggest that you put identifying information – BEN, Form 471 Application Number, and contact person name and telephone number – at the top of each page.

You should submit RAL corrections as soon as you notice an error. Although you can submit corrections up until the time that USAC issues an FCDL, it is to your advantage for us to have your requested corrections in hand when we begin your review.

3. Be prepared to answer questions about your requested corrections.

In some cases, USAC may need to gather more information from you or perform some review work before a requested change can be made. For example, requests to correct some fields – such as the category of service, contract award date, or contract expiration date – may require additional review by USAC to determine of those changes are the result of ministerial or clerical errors. If you have the necessary information at hand, USAC can complete its review more quickly and determine if a correction is permitted under program rules. 

Remember that not all errors can be corrected using the RAL correction process. For example, you cannot request corrections to the Billed Entity name and contact information. If this information has changed, you must contact the Client Service Bureau to make those changes in the database. Those changes will be reflected in program forms you file in the future.

HOW USAC PROCESSES RAL CORRECTIONS

USAC receives corrections by email (through Submit a Question), fax, and mail, and includes a copy of the corrected RAL in the documentation used in the PIA review process.

In general, USAC does not confirm receipt of a corrected RAL. However, you will receive a confirmation by email with a case number if you use Submit a Question to submit your corrections. (Submission options are described in the RAL guidance document on the website.) If you are contacted by a PIA initial reviewer, you can remind him or her that you have submitted RAL corrections. You can also submit corrections to your reviewer when you are contacted.

Your PIA reviewer may have additional questions about the corrections you requested (see above) and may ask you for additional information. If the corrections are allowable, your PIA reviewer will make them in the USAC system, but they will not be reflected in the original view of your application in the Form 471 Display tool.

When you receive your FCDL, you should review it for information on the corrections you requested.

  • If you did not request any RAL corrections, a comment to that effect will appear at the top of the Funding Commitment Report attached to the letter.
  • If the corrections you requested affected more than one Funding Request Number (FRN), a comment summarizing the actions taken will appear at the top of the Funding Commitment Report.
  • If the corrections you requested affected a single FRN, a comment summarizing the actions taken will appear at the top of the page for that FRN.

You should also review the “FCDL Comments” field as it may contain additional information about your corrections.