On October 17, 2013, the federal government opened back up for business after an agreement was reached that extended federal funding until January 15th. As part of the deal, the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA) exemption for the Universal Service program received an extension.
The ADA involves accounting standards that would require USAC to treat approved funding commitments as obligations. Under the ADA accounting rules, USAC would need to have the money from telecommunications carriers in hand before it could issue funding commitments. In years past, this caused delays in USAC and the SLD being able to release Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL).
Each year since 2004, Congress has exempted the program from the Anti-Deficiency Act in order for USAC to be able to release funding waves at a faster rate and notify stakeholders whether or not their projects will receive E-rate support. The recently passed legislation will extend the ADA exemption until January 15, 2014.