On April 14, the FCC released an Order that will provide additional time for applicants to correct certain clerical and ministerial mistakes on their Form 471.

When an applicant submits a Form 471, the SLD sends both the applicant and the service provider a Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) which has the specific information that the applicant submitted on their Form 471. Before the Order, applicants had 20 days to review the information and submit any necessary corrections. Applicants now have until the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) is issued to make certain clerical corrections to their Form 471.

The FCC periodically will release new rules and guidance based on their experience with the program and they found that "….given the complexity and detail that is often involved in completing these forms and associated documentation, we recognize that such errors may not be discovered until significantly after a request for funding was filed…" If mistakes were made, applicants will need to reach out to the SLD or their application reviewer and let them know they would like to make corrections.

Many applicants had submitted appeals to the FCC to waive their rules regarding correcting clerical errors and the FCC stated in the Order that "….those types of appeals unnecessarily waste applicant and administrative resources, and we find it is in the public interest to allow applicants a greater amount of time to correct ministerial and clerical errors…"

According to the FCC’s National Broadband Plan agenda, the FCC plans on releasing further reforms and changes. Continue to check our FCC E-rate Broadband Order page for the latest updates and further analysis of the Orders and the implications on the E-rate program. If you have any questions, please call Funds For Learning at 405-341-4140, or contact us by email at info@fundsforlearning.com.