Just like any good 80s rock ballad dramatic pause, the SLD web site will be on pause within the next few weeks, as they update their IT systems. Vacation from the land of E-rate you say? Well yes and no. While the “interactive” sections of the web site will be inoperable during this time, not all things E-rate will be put on hold. Unfortunately, E-rate stakeholders will still be subjected to the adherence of program deadlines.
Although no new PIA requests will be issued during this time, any requests that have already been received and are due during the site maintenance overhaul, are still due. The same goes for Selective Reviews. Applicants are instructed to submit their responses via snail mail. Additionally, the 60-day clock is still ticking on any USAC appeal decisions. Any appeals that are due during the site maintenance must be submitted on paper or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As far as other requests or paperwork (e.g. Form 486 from a previous year or service delivery extension request) that are due during this time, they too will still be due. Again, these forms must be submitted on paper and postmarked by the due date. As an aside, it might be a good idea to make a photo copy of the envelope with the postmark, should any mail snafu’s occur, an applicant would have a record of the postmark.
Finally, let’s all be mindful of upcoming deadlines, which are still in effect. As a quick refresher, the Internal Connections installation deadline for many FRNs is 9/30/2009. The invoicing deadline for FY 2008 recurring services is 10/28/2009. USAC has already indicated that it will not be extending the invoicing deadline in spite of the maintenance shutdown and that the Form 471 filing window dates will probably be unaffected.
So, while obedience to due dates is demanded, the USAC web site “work stoppage” should provide a short-lived breather for us all. Or is it? This might be a good time to start FY 2010 planning. No 80’s rock ballad dramatic pause there!
And, in case you need to get some E-rate work done during the pause (like most people probably do), or if you just want to see your E-rate funding data, Funds For Learning will be offering free access to E-rate Manager for Applicants during the entire month of September. Stay tuned for more details!