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 April was held on the 6th. Here is a brief synopsis of the call.

Note: The below information is not the official minutes from the call, but simply notes from a call participant. The official minutes for the April call, as well as call minutes from previous months, can be found here.

Funding Waves

Since the March call, USAC approved seven 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 82 on 03/16 for $4.4M and 83 on 04/06 for $11.3M.

For Funding Year 2010, USAC is currently denying Priority 2 funding requests at 79% and below and approving requests at 81% and above. For Funding Year 2010, USAC issued waves 41 on 03/08 for $31.1M, 42 on 03/15 for $38.9M, 43 on 03/22 for $15.9M, 44 on 03/29 for $16.6M and 45 on 04/05 for $15M.

Service Provider Training

The SLD will hold two trainings for E-rate service providers. The first training will be held on May 3rd in Los Angeles, CA, and the second training will be held on May 12th in Atlanta, GA. Each session is limited to 150 participants.

Update: Registration has closed for the Atlanta training and there is currently a short waiting list for the LA training.

Next Call – May 11, 2011

Due to the service provider trainings, the monthly call will be postponed one week. The next service provider call will be on May 11, 2011.

FY2011 Application Review and Funding Commitments

The Funding Year 2011 filing window closed on March 24, 2011.

Forms 471 that are received or postmarked after 11:59 pm EDT March 24, 2011 will be considered received out-of-window. If an application is received out-of-window, the applicant must file a window waiver request with the Federal Communications Commission.

For Funding Year 2011, applicants were directed to submit their Item 21 Attachments by the March 24 deadline. But unlike the Form 471, there is room for leniency on this deadline. If the SLD determines that the Item 21 information is missing, the SLD will send the applicant a written notification requesting the Item 21 attachments and granting the applicant the opportunity to timely submit the information to the SLD.

If the Items 21 are not filed in a timely manner, the FRNs without filed Items 21 will be denied, but not necessarily the entire application. Service Providers are encouraged to assist applicants with completing the Items 21 and subsequent PIA if they haven’t done so already.

Question and Answer

    1. Q: In current News Announcements 2/22/11 re Form 470 Deadline you state the latest date to "timely file" the 470 is Feb 24, 2011. What does "timely file" mean and imply?

From USAC:
      The Form 470 must be posted for 28 days before entering into a contract with a service provider. So, in order for an applicant to wait the mandatory 28 days and still file the Form 471 by the March 24 deadline, the last day an applicant could have filed the Form 470 was February 24.
 
    1. Q: If an applicant’s actual charges are different than what is listed on their funding request letter, does the applicant receive the full dollar amount or the percentage approved? For example:
      • Total Program Year Pre Discount Amount = $3,000.00
      • Applicant's Approved Discount Percentage = 80%
      • Funding Commitment Decision = $2,400.00
      Actual Program Amount = $2,700.00 which would change their FCD amount to $2,160.00

      If the applicant is receiving their discount monthly on their phone statement, do we need to adjust the percentage so that they receive the original approved amount?

      From USAC: No. Any funds that are not utilized can be released back to the E-rate pot via Form 500.
    2. Q: We have several schools that have applications that have been in the INITIAL REVIEW stage (13), FINAL REVIEW stage (4), or QUALITY ASSURANCE stage (2) from Funding Year 2009. They have been on hold for a long time. I have attempted to contact USAC to find out what the holdup is but was told as a Service Provider I cannot be given any information. Is there any way to get information on these requests? Is there a reason FY2009 applications are still in the initial review stage? Thank you in advance.

From USAC:
    Service Providers can work with applicants and encourage them to contact the CSB to find out if any outstanding items are holding up the applications.

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.

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