Mel Blackwell, Vice-president of the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC has informed attendees of the monthly Service Provider conference call that certain features of the SLD's website will be unavailable for two to three weeks as it undergoes a system-wide upgrade. Mr. Blackwell indicated that the static pages of the SLD's website will be available for reference. However, the tools on the SLD's website, such as the "Apply Online" section and database tools--will be inaccessible during this time.

Also stated was that during this time, stakeholders will not be able to submit forms--such as the Form 472 (BEAR) online. Additionally, the SLD will not review or process any forms submitted on paper during the outage. Mr. Blackwell encourages applicants and service providers to file forms as soon as possible in advance of the downtime. The exact dates of the system unavailability are not yet set, but  will be communicated once they are. The SLD expects to have firm dates in about a week.

The SLD recognized that the inability to submit forms online may impact stakeholders related to the Oct 28 invoicing deadline for Funding Year 2008 recurring services. But they have no plans to modify the due date for invoices because of the upcoming downtime of the portion of the SLD's website that accepts invoices online.

All form filings will be affected by this outage--including the Form 470 posting and searching. It is presumed that applicants wishing to post a Form 470 during the outage will have to wait for 28 days after their Form 470 appears on the SLD's website once it back online in order to select a service provider.