Historically, USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division has hosted monthly service provider conference calls, providing information and guidance for vendors participating in the E-rate program. In an effort to maximize efficiency, the SLD has developed the conference call into a monthly webinar. Highlights from the November 5, 2014 service provider webinar include:
October 2014 E-rate Commitments
Eligible Services List (ESL) Update
The final FY 2015 Eligible Services List has been approved by the FCC with the following notable changes:
- Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) has been included as a digital transmission service
- Antennas for wireless networking equipment have been listed as eligible under Category Two
- Caching has been included in the ESL and defined as “a method that stores recently accessed information. Caching stores information locally so that the information is accessible more quickly than if it must be transmitted across a network from a distance.” Caching servers and equipment are eligible under Category Two.
- Managed Internal Broadband Services are included under Category Two in the ESL and can be used for equipment that is owned by the applicant, leased by the applicant or a combination of the two.
- Installation and configuration of eligible equipment can be from a different vendor than the equipment purchase
Invoicing Update: Payments for the month of October totaled $352.78 million paid against 25,775 invoices processed by USAC. 96% of invoices submitted were processed within 30 days.
Top Denial Reasons:
- Missed invoice deadline
- Total commitment paid
- SPIN not registered
- No SPAC filed
- Billing before 486 service start date
The service provider must bill for the non-discount portion, and the applicant must pay non-discount portion in a timely manner (90 days is a reasonable time frame according to the FCC). Failure to collect to the non-discount portion can result in a commitment adjustment (COMAD), including repayment to USAC of any disbursed funds.
Over the next few weeks USAC will host a series of E-rate training webinars for applicants or vendors. More information will be on the USAC site soon.
Question: What information will applicants need to supply to USAC for CEP schools?
Answer: Applicants will need to provide the number of direct certifications for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), as well as their total enrollment. The CEP multiplier will be applied to their numbers in the online Form 471 tool.
Question: How can you change from BEAR to SPI?
Answer: Once the discount method is established, a mode change request from BEAR to SPI must be made by the applicant.
Question: Vendors have been experiencing issues with new rules being applied retroactively. Reviewers are requesting information for rules that don’t apply to the funding year at issue.
Answer: USAC would like to review specifics on these issues via email.
Question: When will the USAC web site be updated with the new rules?
Answer: USAC is working on a way to update their site with the new rules while still providing the information that applies to prior funding years. Go to the USAC web page dedicated to the E-rate Modernization Order for information on the new rules.
Note: The information above is not the official minutes from the webinar, but simply notes from Funds For Learning. The official minutes for this webinar can be found here