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FCC Releases Two Form 486 Decisions

The FCC has decided two more appeals in favor of applicants. Both deal with the Form 486 filing deadline.

On September 6, 2006, the FCC released Owensboro Public Schools. In this case, Owensboro mailed the Form 486 to USAC along with a SPIN change request and service substitution requests. When Owensboro discovered USAC was unaware it had received the Form 486, they filed the form again. In granting the Owensboro's waiver request and remanding the case back to USAC, the FCC stated:

"As the Commission recently noted in Bishop Perry Middle School, a departure from required filing deadlines may be warranted upon careful review of the Petitioner's case and when doing so will serve the public interest…. Given that the violation at issue is a USAC deadline, not a substantive Commission rule, we find that the complete rejection of this application is not warranted. Notably, there is no evidence of waste, fraud or abuse, misuse of funds, or a failure to adhere to core program requirements."

On September 11, 2006, the FCC released Scott County School System. Scott County did not file its Form 486 until approximately 10 months after the deadline had passed. Scott County argued it had had several conversations with USAC officials before the Form 486 deadline, and had never been informed by USAC the Form 486 was not on file. Scott County also relied on the Form 472 (BEAR Notification Letter) which stated the Form 486 had been filed by the applicant. In this case, the FCC again states, "The deadline for receipt of the FCC Form 486 is a procedural deadline created by USAC." The FCC granted the Scott County's waiver request and remanded the case back to USAC.

It is important to note that while granting waivers and appeals, the FCC continues to caution applicants not to miss deadlines.

View the Owensboro Public Schools Appeal

View the Scott County School System Appeal

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