SLD News & Tips 12/14/12 – Focus: Form Filing

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are not using a consultant (a non-employee of the entity applying for funding that assists in filling out the application materials for a fee), you can leave the consultant information fields blank on the FCC Form 470 and/or 471. Note that if you are filing online and you start an entry in a consultant information field by mistake, you must completely delete your entry in order to continue.

Commitments for Funding Years 2012 and 2011

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 22 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 18. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90% and denials at 89% and below. As of December 14, FY2012 commitments total over $1.60 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 73 FCDLs December 19. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88% and above and denials at 87% and below. As of December 14, FY2011 commitments total just under $2.50 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.

First Applicants Finish Online FY2013 Applications

Congratulations to the first applicants that filed and certified an FCC Form 471 for FY2013 – including the Item 21 attachment(s) – online! Applicants that file early have a much better chance of being included in the earliest funding waves for a funding year.

The first successful online filers were:

  • First individual school: ST JOHN’S ACADEMY, Jamestown, North Dakota
  • First school district: NEWCASTLE PUBLIC SCHOOL DIST, Newcastle, Nebraska
  • First library: WELLS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, Bluffton, Indiana
  • First consortium: LITTLE CROW TELEMEDIA NETWORK, Hutchinson, Minnesota.

Remember that the Item 21 attachment is a window filing requirement and your attachment(s) must be submitted by 11:59 pm EDT on March 14, 2013.

New FCC Form 470 Download Tool Now Available

USAC has developed a new tool for use in downloading information from FCC Forms 470 posted to the USAC website. This new download tool will allow users to limit the search results by posting date, state, category of service, and/or type of application.

The new download tool is currently available on the webpage that features the old download tool. The old tool will remain available for the near future in order to allow users to transition to the new tool. Note that the URL for the new tool will change when the old tool is decommissioned, so we suggest that you wait until that time to bookmark the new tool.

You can also find basic instructions for the new tool on the Search Tools page of the USAC website together with a list of the fields returned in the search results.

Below is a summary of the major differences between the old and new tools:

Feature Old Tool New Tool
     
Available formats for search results CSV only Excel, XML, or CSV
View/save options for search results Download/save and run three executable files Open or save one file in the format chosen by the user
Search criteria Posting date (5 days ago, 4 days ago, etc.) or cumulative Range of posting dates, state or states, category or categories of service, type or types of application
List of fields returned in the search results Download/save and run three executable files List in PDF format
Services and quantities Second of three files contains a separate line for each service/quantity pair All services/quantities for each category of service appear in one field on one line per form (see below)

 

As you use the new download tool, keep the following in mind:

Search results are one day old. The data are moved each night from that day’s activity to the searchable database.

You must choose at least one option under each criterion. If you don’t – or if your search does not return any results – you will receive an error message. However, any criteria you did select or that were selected by default will not change, making it easier for you to modify your search criteria. 

You can tailor your search results to your needs. For example, if you are a service provider that only sells Internal Connections equipment to school districts in New England, you can choose CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, and VT; Internal Connections; and School District to return the results that will be useful to you. (Note that, because of the default settings, you would deselect the categories of service and types of application you don’t want included.)

  • If you deselect a category of service – remember that the default is that all are selected – you will not see any data for that category of service. In other words, there will not be a blank column as a placeholder in the search results.
  • Starting with FY2013, applicants can list Priority 1 services in EITHER the Telecommunications Services or the Internet Access category of service. Keep this in mind when choosing your search criteria.

Both applicants and service providers can benefit from this tool. For example, a state E-rate coordinator can easily determine which applicants in his or her state have posted forms, filed for a particular category of service, certified (or not certified) their forms, and so on.

Data from the service/quantity pairs are concatenated into a single field for each category of service. If you look at a category of service on the FCC Form 470, there are a number of paired fields where applicants can enter a Service and its associated Quantity and/or Capacity. For example, under Telecommunications Services, an applicant could enter “local telephone service” under Service and “for 10 telephone lines” under Quantity and/or Capacity.

If there are multiple service/quantity entries in a category of service on a form, each service is separated from its associated quantity in the search results by three hyphens, and the service/quantity pair is separated from the next service/quantity pair by three forward slashes.

Here is an example of how the concatenation works:

Sample Telecommunications Services category data from an online FCC Form 470, Item 8:

 

 

 

The same sample data in the search results from the new download tool: