The FCC announced today that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the new Form 470 and Form 471. The FCC also released drafts of the instructions for the new Forms 470 and 471. The FCC stated that the “…revisions streamline the forms by eliminating questions that are no longer useful and limit data collection to information that is not already available elsewhere.”

A major change from recent application cycles is that the Item 21 Attachments are now due when the Forms 471 are submitted. The change is mentioned in the Form 471 instructions and was a rule when the program first began. In recent years, technically, there was no deadline to submit the Item 21 Attachments; however, if the SLD began reviewing an application and had not yet received that information, they would send a letter to the applicant and, at that point, the applicant would have 7 days to provide the information. USAC released a Form 470 and 471 PowerPoint that describes further changes from last year to this year.

The new forms should be available on USAC’s website no later than January 11th. If the new forms are not available until January 11th, and USAC continues with the previously announced 75-day filing window, then the tentative closing date of the filing window will be around March 28th. FFL previously cited the apparent procrastination of applicants and proposed a shorter filing window, with a deadline of February 24th.

FFL will continue to monitor any changes and post an announcement once the Form 471 window is announced.