The $100 Million Question
In the past three funding years, the first Priority 2 funding wave was issued an average of 168 days from the close of the filing window. Today, August 30, 2013, marks 169 days since the close of the FY2013 window:
As of today, the administrator has not authorized the approval or denial of any FY2013 Priority 2 requests due to threshold. Of course, it is easy to see why. Priority 1 demand alone checked in at over $2.7 billion for FY2013, well beyond the inflation-adjusted funding cap of $2.38 billion. So when might we expect an official recommendation for the FY2013 Priority 2 threshold?
USAC is looking at some difficult numbers. While the third quarter estimates for rollover funding indicated that $450 million was available, the latest report estimates $100 million less at only $350 million (coincidentally, this is the approximate amount that the Priority 1 demand exceeded the cap.)
For the first time in the program’s history, there may not be money available for Priority 2 funding. Even if additional available funding is found, it will not come close to covering the amount applicants requested even at the 90% level. The FY2013 Priority 2 demand at just the 90% discount level is just under $1.8 billion.
So for now, we will continue to wait, ponder what happened to the $100 million that disappeared between the last two Quarterly USAC reports, and keep counting the days until a decision is released.