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End of Summer E-rate Reminders

Many school administrators, educators and those employees that handle E-rate in any way have had well-deserved time off during the Summer. However, most students will  be back from their summer vacation within the next couple of weeks and this is an extremely busy time for school officials. Students schedules and teacher assignments are being finalized, teachers are working on ensuring their classrooms are ready for their 21st Century learners, technology staff is working diligently on ensuring the networks are working at a high efficiency and all the learning devices are ready to go.  
With everything that is going on at school campuses this time of year, here are a few reminders tied to E-rate that should not be overlooked:
  • There are still 8,659 applicants that have pending FY 2017 funding still be reviewed. Please be responsive to the SLD reviewers and ask for additional time to respond, if needed;
  • Some districts told the SLD to put them on the “summer deferral” status where they literally were going to be unreachable during the summer to answer questions tied to their pending applications. It is important to contact the SLD and let them know you are now available and you would like them to continue to review your pending applications;
  • E-rate deadlines for previous funding years could be coming up soon, depending on your services and when you received a funding commitment. Installation deadlines for Category Two projects are typically September 30 and payment deadlines for recurring services are October 28. In the midst of dealing with school related issues, many of these deadlines are missed and it is still possible to lose out on already committed funding;
  • The SLD has openly discussed moving up the start of the FY 2018 Form 471 window and making it shorter in order to provide more time for the reviewers to process the applications before the start of the funding year. It will be even more critical to start the E-rate procurement process sooner in order to have the appropriate time to evaluate bids and complete the Form 471 process without making potential mistakes due to rushing at the end of the filing window. It is possible the SLD may not make any announcement until later this year or even early January 2018 about their plans for the FY2018 filing window and I do not want your district to be disadvantaged for not starting the Form 470 process in a timely manner
I have the utmost respect for administrators and educators. There is a lot of work involved getting ready for the first day of school. Let’s all have a successful school year and E-rate funding year!
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