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USAC Responds to E-rate Stakeholders Comments

The reply comments for the latest FCC Universal Service NPRM were due this week and USAC responded by providing additional details of how they operate and what their future plans may include.

USAC agrees with most of the parties that submitted comments that their needs to be:

  • More transparency in USF Administration
  • Better communication with program participants
  • More timely and transparent guidance from the Commission
  • Streamlined forms
  • More automation for application and invoicing process

USAC further supports:

  • A two year application cycle for priority one services and possibly for priority two for multi-year contracts.
  • Streamlined review process for small priority one applications that fall below a certain threshold
  • Allowing service providers to view the status of their submitted invoices on a secure interface
Many commenters argued that if an applicant makes a clerical mistake they should be allowed to increase their funding requests and edit their applications even after the Form 471 window closes. USAC argued, ”…USAC must estimate program demand so it can issue funding commitments at the appropriate discount levels because program demand significantly outstrips available funds. Allowing post-window changes resulting in increased funding requests would preclude an estimate of the true demand and jeopardize the authorization for timely commitments…”
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