On March 16, 2017, the FCC released an Order, waiving its invoice deadline rules for applicants who, by no fault of their own, were unable to submit invoice extension requests and/or invoices for funding requests with a payment paperwork deadline at the end of October, 2016. The Order instructs USAC to grant a 30-day invoice extension to those applicants. Because it would fall on a weekend, the new invoice deadline will be April 17, 2017. Applicants who were unable to file payment paperwork last fall are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
As part of the 2014 E-rate Modernization, the FCC instructed USAC to begin reimbursing applicants directly using electronic payments. Implementation of the new system created challenges last October as applicants who were facing an invoice deadline were unable to submit their invoices, or even request more time to submit their invoices. In releasing the Order, the FCC acknowledged the difficulty that this posed for applicants.
In the Order, the FCC specifically granted two waivers. The FCC stated “…we waive the requirement in section 54.514(b) that applicants must request an extension prior to the invoice filing deadline as it applies to those applicants for whom the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) had not, as of October 31, 2016, issued the FCC Form 498 ID, and who therefore were unable to submit an invoice….. We direct USAC to grant these applicants an extension of the invoice filing deadline for 30 days from the release of this Order. Second, we grant a waiver of our rules for several petitioners that properly requested an invoice deadline extension but failed to timely file their invoice filings due to circumstances beyond their control, including USAC’s inability to timely process their invoice deadline extension requests….”
The FCC Invoice Deadline Waiver Order can be viewed here.