The SLD announced on the monthly E-rate vendor conference call that the FCC has now given them authority to deny FY 2008 priority two applications at the 80% discount rate and below. Based on a Funds For Learning analysis, approximately $370 million will be denied at the 80% discount for priority two applications. Last week, the USAC Schools and Libraries Committee Board recommended to the FCC at their quarterly meeting that the priority two discount threshold move from 90% to 88%. It typically takes a few weeks for the FCC to approve that recommendation and it is difficult to predict where the final priority two discount threshold will end up.
Other items discussed on the SLD Vendor Conference Call:
- The FCC has yet to approve the FY 2009 Draft Eligible Services List (ESL). It is expected they will waive their own rule that the Form 471 window cannot open until 60 days after the ESL is approved and the Form 471 window will open in the next few weeks.
- As a reminder, E-rate applicants should not wait until the Form 471 window opens before starting their competitive bidding and the posting of their Form 470. According to a Funds For Learning analysis, 5,934 Form 470’s have been posted since July 1, 2008.
- The SLD reported that the largest payments in the history of the E-rate program were made this month with the amount topping $286 million. The SLD further reported that 97% of the invoices were paid within 30 days. If a BEAR was posted online by an applicant before the October 28th deadline, but the service provider was unable to certify it in a timely manner then an automatic invoice extension until March 2, 2009 is granted.