School districts have been preparing for FY2019 for many months now. It started in the fall when applicants began to think about their E-rate needs, fulfilled their procurement obligations, prepared and submitted their Form 471 application. July 1 is the start date of FY2019 and in order to be able to get reimbursed, the broadband services must start after July 1. As of June 28, 19,023 applicants have received a funding commitment decision letter (FCDL) totaling $977.8 million. Once an applicant receives a FCDL, a Form 486 must be processed within 120 days of receiving the FCDL or when services start, whichever is later. The funding will be reduced if this deadline is not met in a timely fashion.
The FCC 2014 E-rate Reform Order stated that all “workable” Form 471s should be processed by September 1 and there currently is $1.8 billion pending for FY2019. Hopefully, USAC will meet the September 1 goal and stakeholders will be monitoring USAC’s progress.