The latest from USAC for week ending Feb. 11, 2011

February 11, 2011

FY2011 WINDOW COUNTDOWN

Days to window close 41
Last day for a Form 470 to be POSTED
and still timely file a Form 471
Feb. 24, 2011
Forms 470 filed to date   27,944
Forms 471 filed to date 4,529

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember to file and certify your FY2010 Form 486 by the Form 486 deadline. If USAC issued you a Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter dated January 24, 2011, you must certify a Form 486 on or before February 14 to avoid an adjusted service start date and possible reduction in funding.

Commitments for Funding Year 2010

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 38 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) February 15. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) at 81% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of February 11, FY2010 commitments total over $2.22 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.

Reminders for Form 470 and Competitive Bidding

Although a service provider must have a SPIN to participate in the E-rate program, possession of a SPIN does NOT mean that the service provider’s products and/or services are eligible. USAC does not pre-approve services, although in limited circumstances USAC does review cost-allocation data submitted by a service provider when applicable. Applicants should research product and service eligibility using the Eligible Services List to validate whether a type of service or product is eligible.

When completing your Form 470, make sure you post in ALL the categories of service (Telecommunications Service, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) for which you will be requesting discounts on your Form 471. You cannot seek discounts in a category of service on your Form 471 if those services in those categories were not indicated on a Form 470.

Services provided under tariff or under a month-to-month arrangement do not require a contract. However, you must file a Form 470 for these services every year. In general, we expect a contract to be in place for services other than tariffed or month-to-month services.

If you signed a multi-year contract or a contract with voluntary extensions in a previous funding year pursuant to a Form 470, you do not need to post a new Form 470 for the life of the contract. However, each year you must file a new Form 471 and cite that original or “establishing” Form 470 on your Form 471 Block 5 funding request for the services covered under that contract.

Be sure to retain any final documentation you produce for your competitive bidding process, for example:

  • A copy of your Form 470. (Also keep a record of your security code if you file online.)
  • A copy of your RFP.
  • A copy of your technology plan with the creation date memorialized somewhere on the plan. Remember that this is not your final approved plan but the written plan that provided the basis for your Form 470.
  • Any specific documentation you used for reference in preparing your Form 470 or RFP.
  • Copies of winning and losing bids.
  • Your bid evaluation plan and a description of your evaluation process.
  • Your evaluation criteria.
  • Your completed bid evaluation that demonstrates the bid you chose was the most cost-effective.
  • A copy of your contract if you sign one.