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2005 Filing Window Dates Still Not Set

The Schools and Libraries Committee of the Universal Service Administrative Company's Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting October 18, but provided no new information on the precise dates of the filing window for the 2005 E-rate funding year.

The Federal Communication Commission is implementing new application forms for the coming year, and those are still awaiting approval by the Office of Management and Budget.

Last year, the SLD announced the dates of the filing window about a month and a half before the window opened on November 5.

The public portion of the meeting also provided no new information on when E-rate funding commitments would resume. The SLD recently said that it would resume making funding commitments by late November and sooner if it could.

Funding Commitments have been held up since early August to enable USAC to comply with a changeover to government accounting standards. SLD officials said that as of this point, they have about 5,000 applications for 2004 that would be ready to be funded, about 870 for 2003 and about 70 from earlier E-rate funding years.

It was announced that the FCC will be sending letters to applicants that have been subjected to audits in the past to determine what changes, if any, they have made in their E-rate processes.

SLD staff also reported that the SLD currently has 500 appeals that are past its 90-day standard for review, but that many of these require input from the FCC before they can be resolved.

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