USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division hosts monthly service provider conference calls, providing information and guidance for vendors participating in the E-rate program. Highlights from March’s service provider call include:

Funding Commitment Summary FY2011: Priority Two requests are being funded at the 90% only. USAC has received approval from the FCC to deny FY2011 P2 requests at 79% and below, and those denials should start occurring soon. FY2011 funding waves issued since the last service provider call include:

Wave 34, 2/14, $25.8M Wave 35, 2/21, $33.1M Wave 36, 2/28, $29.6M Wave 37, 3/6, $37.9M

FY2010: Priority Two requests are being funded at all discount levels. FY2010 funding waves issued since the last service provider call include:

Wave 85, 2/15, $14.9M Wave 86, 2/22, $12.2M Wave 87, 2/29, $11M Wave 88, 3/7, $5.9M

Further funding wave analysis can be viewed on Funds For Learning’s website here.

Service Provider Training Sessions In May, USAC will be conducting two training sessions for service providers. The training sessions will be held:

 

 

 

 

Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) A staff member from USAC’s audit team was invited to discuss the Payment Quality Assurance program. PQA audits will resume after the close of the FY2012 filing window. Each month, USAC randomly selects 60 line items from E-rate payment paperwork (BEARs or SPIs) and requests documentation to prove that the payments were issued properly. Service providers were encouraged to work with applicants to help provide copies of invoices for E-rate projects where necessary.

Invoicing Update Payments for the month of February totaled $146,975,935.32, against $190.7M in requests. USAC processed 10,973 invoices in February, for 1,449 service providers. 34,585 lines were processed, with 99% occurring within 30 days. 925 lines were in process as of time of the call.

Top reasons for invoice rejection include:

  • No funding left in the FRN
  • Possible duplicate
  • No Form 486
  • Invalid Form 471
  • Service provider not certified

Other Service providers were reminded that the Form 471 deadline is Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Vendors are allowed to assist applicants with the preparation of Item 21 Attachments.

USAC is requesting more information for SPIN change requests submitted by applicants. Applicants must now supply a reason for the SPIN change, and must also change to the runner-up bidder in the original vendor selection mechanism.

Q&A Note: questions may be viewed on USAC’s call agenda.

 

  • USAC clarified that if an existing contract does not contain language allowing for renewal or extension of the contract term, applicants will be required to file a new Form 470 and sign a new agreement.

 

 

  • USAC clarified that if an FCC decision is classified as a “global” Order, or if the FCC gives USAC specific instructions to do so, the Order’s decision should be applied to all applicants. Some appeal decisions are fact- or situation-specific and are generally not applicable to all stakeholders. USAC indicated that the Marana decision (DA 12-196) was fact-specific.

 

 

  • The third e-mail question regarding the eligibility of charges for the move of equipment was clarified, and USAC indicated that an answer was forthcoming.

 

 

  • USAC indicated that they have sought guidance from the FCC regarding the issue of bundled VoIP handsets with a Priority 1 Interconnected Voice over IP funding request.

 

Note: The above information is not the official minutes from the call, but simply notes from Funds For Learning. The official minutes for this call, as well as call minutes from previous months, can be found here.