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The $100 Million Question

In the past three funding years, the first Priority 2 funding wave was issued an average of 168 days from the close of the filing window. Today, August 30, 2013, marks 169 days since the close of the FY2013 window:

As of today, the administrator has not authorized the approval or denial of any FY2013 Priority 2 requests due to threshold. Of course, it is easy to see why. Priority 1 demand alone checked in at over $2.7 billion for FY2013, well beyond the inflation-adjusted funding cap of $2.38 billion. So when might we expect an official recommendation for the FY2013 Priority 2 threshold?

USAC is looking at some difficult numbers. While the third quarter estimates for rollover funding indicated that $450 million was available, the latest report estimates $100 million less at only $350 million (coincidentally, this is the approximate amount that the Priority 1 demand exceeded the cap.) 

For the first time in the program’s history, there may not be money available for Priority 2 funding. Even if additional available funding is found, it will not come close to covering the amount applicants requested even at the 90% level. The FY2013 Priority 2 demand at just the 90% discount level is just under $1.8 billion.

So for now, we will continue to wait, ponder what happened to the $100 million that disappeared between the last two Quarterly USAC reports, and keep counting the days until a decision is released.

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