USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division hosts monthly service provider conference calls, providing information and guidance for vendors participating in the E-rate program. Highlights from May’s service provider call include:

April 2012 Commitments Since the March call, USAC has approved the following funding commitments for Funding Years 2006-2011:

Service Provider Training Sessions USAC will be conducting two training sessions for service providers this May and USAC has released the agenda for the training sessions. The training sessions will be held:

Thursday, May 10, 2012 in Atlanta, GA (full)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA (full)

Update on New USAC Website On April 16th USAC launched a new website. While most of the links are unchanged, there may be a few links that no longer exist. Questions about the new website should be directed to the SLD at 888-203-8100.

Invoicing Update Payments for the month of April totaled $183 million, against $221 million in requests. Invoices were submitted by 1,562 service providers, and 98 percent were processed within 30 days.

Other Discussion Topics The SLD discussed the process they take before they can issue any FY2012 funding commitment decision letters for priority one and priority two applications:

 

  • The Form 471 Window closed on March 20th;

 

 

  • Before the SLD can start releasing funding waves the FCC must approve their internal application review process. The process was approved on April 24th;

 

 

  • The USAC Schools and Libraries Committee must approve the SLD to start issuing priority one funding letters between 20%-90%; This was approved at their April 23rd Board Meeting;

 

 

  • The FCC must approve the USAC Schools and Libraries Committee recommendation to start releasing funding commitment decision letters. As of May 3rd, this has not been approved;

 

 

  • USAC must release the FY2012 demand projection. This was released on April 20th;

 

 

  • Typically, the first wave has been announced before the funding year starts on July 1. The first several waves are only for priority one (telecommunications and internet access) applications;

 

 

  • Each year there are millions of unused commitments that can be rolled into future years to increase the overall size of the funding pot. The FCC typically announces the rollover amount around the July/August time frame and the SLD will not start issuing even 90% priority two (internal connections and basic maintenance) until the FCC releases the rollover amount;

 

 

  • Once the rollover amount has been released the SLD can do their analysis and confirm that they have enough funds to cover the priority two applications at 90%;

 

 

  • The Schools and Libraries USAC Committee then will approve the SLD’s recommendation to fund the 90% priority two applications;

 

 

  • Before the SLD can release funding waves tied to priority two at 90%, the FCC needs to approve that recommendation which typically takes a few weeks;

 

 

  • Once the large majority of the 90% priority two applications are reviewed, the SLD will go back to the Schools and Libraries USAC Committee and recommend them going down to 89%;

 

 

  • That recommendation needs to be approved by the FCC which could take weeks.

 

The next call is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Let Funds For Learning be your E-rate guide in 2012. Continue to check www.fundsforlearning.com for the latest updates and E-rate news.

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Note: The above 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.