USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division hosts monthly conference calls, providing information and guidance for service providers participating in the E-rate program. The monthly call for February was held on the 2nd. Here is a brief synopsis of the call.
Since the January call, USAC approved six funding waves for FY09 and FY10. For FY2009, USAC is denying Priority 2 funding requests at 76% and below and funding approved requests at 77% and above. The funding threshold is likely to remain at this level for the duration of the FY09 requests.
At the time of the call, USAC issued FY09 waves 78 on 01/12 for $.2M and 79 on 01/26 for $5.2M.
For Funding Year 2010, USAC is currently approving P2 requests at 81% and above and denying at 79% and below. For Funding Year 2010, USAC issued waves 33 on 01/11 for $32.8M, 34 on 01/19 for $30M, 35 on 01/25 for $22.4M, and 36 on 02/01 for $16.6M.
FY 2011 Filing Window Deadlines
Form 470 (electronic submission and certification) – February 24
Form 470 (paper submission and certification) – February 17
Form 471 – March 24, 11:59 PM EDT
Item 21 Attachments – March 24, 11:59 PM EDT
Special Edition News Brief and Public Notice DA 10-2355
On January 27, 2011 USAC released a Special Edition News Brief in effort to clarify the new guidelines for FY2011.
USAC encourages applicants to use the news brief and Public Notice DA 10-2355 as guidelines when applying for basic maintenance services for FY2011.
Reminders for Service Providers
Service providers must file a Form 473 (SPAC) each year and must be on file before any payments are disbursed.
Service providers must pay out received BEAR funds to the school or library within 20 business days of receiving funds.
Service providers should review the information submitted on the Form 498 on an annual basis to ensure accuracy.
Service provider training dates will be announced on the USAC website within the month.
- Q: Has a decision been made to either include or exclude SMARTnet from eligible services for BM?
A: SmartNet is not eligible for FY2011.
- Q: The January 27 Special Edition News Brief about CiscoBase indicates that the applicant can transition to this eligible service if they "post a new Form 470 that describes the desired functionality (rather than naming a specific product) and follow all program rules – and applicable state and local rules and regulations – for its competitive bidding process." Why can’t applicants specify what they are looking for, which is CiscoBase? Is this because it is only available from Cisco?
A: Applicants risk denial if they seek manufacturer specific services without offering opportunity to equivalent services. Applicants can list specific equipment that they already possess for clarity on basic maintenance requests.
- Q: Due to the late filing window deadline, will FCDLs be pushed back as well?
A: FCDLs are expected to be released around the same time this year as previous years (April/May).
- Q: Can a math teacher that is not involved with the E-rate procurement services attends an event sponsored by a service provide?
A: Yes. But the school should be prepared to verify that the teacher is not involved with the procurement process. Any gifts should not affect the competitive bidding process.
The next call will be announced on the USAC website.
The above information is not the official minutes from the call, but simply notes from a call participant. The official minutes for the December 1st call, as well as call minutes from previous months, can be found here.
Let Funds For Learning be your E-rate guide in 2011. Continue to check www.fundsforlearning.com for the latest updates and E-rate news.