USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division hosts monthly conference calls, providing information and guidance for service providers participating in E-rate. The monthly call for October was held on the 5th. Funds For Learning has provided the following synopsis of the call.

Note: The below information is not the official minutes from the call, but simply notes from Funds For Learning. The official minutes for this call, as well as call minutes from previous months, can be found here.

Funding Waves

Since the September call, USAC approved 10 funding waves for Funding Years 2009, 2010 and 2011. The SLD also announced that the FCC approved the SLD’s recommendation to start funding FY2011 90% Priority Two Forms 471.

Update on FY2010 P2 Funding Commitments at 80% and Below

As a result of the FCC decision to roll funds forward to fund all requests down to 20%, funding decisions will be released in waves encompassing any/all discount levels. Typically, PIA reviews applications by discount level, but for FY10 only, as applications are reviewed and approved, the application will be placed in a funding wave without regard to the discount rate requested. For any of the requests/applications that need further PIA review, these will go through USAC’s typical process for appealed requests. The statuses for any such requests will not be reported through the DRT, as they are advanced through the review process, and revised FCDLs will be released for these commitments.

Fall Training Update

Registration for all training sessions is closed. On-site registration will be available at each event, however there is no guarantee of admission. Availability will be based purely on attendance and available seating.

Invoicing Update

In the last month, the SLD reimbursed 1,756 service providers totaling $229 million. This was against $294 million worth of total requests with the SLD reporting that 97% of the invoices were processed within 30 days.

The FY2010 deadline for submitting invoices to USAC, for recurring services, is October 28th, 2011. For applicants that received funding commitments prior to the start of the 2011 Funding Year, the deadline for FY2011 Form 486 submissions is October 31.

Other Issues Discussed

  • In response to a question from a service provider, the SLD made it clear that it was not advisable to put consultant information on their website even if it is to help provide resources to their customers. The SLD would view that as a potential conflict of interest, specifically in relation to the procurement process, and will likely lead to delays in the Form 471 Application review process.
  • According to USAC, if a service provider provides a credit to their customers, the E-rate program is entitled to receive the benefit of the credit as well. Any credit will need to be applied to the respective funding year from which the credit is derived and should not be applied across funding years.
  • The SLD confirmed that starting in FY2012, applicants must use NSLP data as of a date that is verifiable by your state authority to determine your appropriate discount rate. If the State audits October 1 numbers, then you must use those student counts. USAC recognizes that these numbers are likely to be adjusted by the state and may not be available until well after the close of the Filing Window. USAC suggests that applicants use the October numbers, and USAC will notify the applicant of any discrepancies, as they are found during the review process.

*Note, the Service Provider call for the month of November has been changed to November 9, due to scheduling conflicts with the fall applicant trainings.