E-Rate News Flash 19-05

E-Rate
  Monday, March 25, 2019

Issue 19-05

March 22, 2019

E-rate News Flash

Contents:

  • Announcements
  • Funding Commitment Summary
  • Pending Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming Training Events
  • E-rate Process: Activities to Work on Now

Announcements

Category 2 Budget Inflation Factor Announced

In the March 8, 2019, Schools and Libraries News Brief, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) announced the Funding Year 2019 Category 2 budgets, indexed to an inflation factor of 2.2%.

By School: Number of students enrolled at school multiplied by $159.669053922

Libraries with an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) locale code of 11, 12, or 21: Total square footage of library multiplied by $5.3223017974

Libraries with other IMLS locale codes: Total square footage of library multiplied by $2.448258826804

Budget floor for small schools and libraries: $9,793.04

Note that the Category 2 budget is determined by individual school or library location and cannot be shared among multiple schools or libraries. Remember that the Category 2 budget is before E-rate discounts; the actual amount of E-rate funding available is equal to the budget multiplied by the E-rate discount.

Applicants should do their own manual estimates to determine the amount of Category 2 budget remaining to their school or library in Funding Year 2019. The estimated amount would be the calculations as described above less any committed pre-discounted funding requests from Funding Years 2015 through 2018.

FCC Form 471 Filing Window Closes March 27 and What to Do if You Miss the Deadline

The FCC Form 471 filing window for Funding Year 2019 will close on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT (8:59 p.m. PDT). FCC Form 471 applications must be certified within an applicant’s E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) portal within these dates in order to be considered to be filed “within window.”

If you miss this deadline, you have a two-week window from March 27 to file and certify your FCC Form 471 and file a request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to waive the deadline. The request for waiver should be filed in the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System with a citation to proceeding number 02-6. Your request should include a document explaining the circumstances leading to the late submission of your FCC Form 471 and a request for waiver of the FCC Form 471 filing deadline.

California Funding Commitment Summary

Funding Year 2018

USAC released FY2018 Wave 48 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) on March 8, 2019, and Wave 49 on March 15, 2019. As of March 19, FY2018 California commitments total over $274 million.

Pending Dates and Deadlines

Funding Year 2017 Non-Recurring Services Extended Invoice Deadline

In general, the deadline for invoicing USAC for FY 2017 non-recurring services was January 28, 2019.  Applicants and service providers that requested and were approved for the single one-time 120-day extension now have an invoice deadline of May 28, 2019. Any additional invoices filed after May 28, 2019, will not be accepted by USAC and require an approved waiver from the FCC of the invoice deadline extension rule. Note that the FCC will only issue waivers of the invoice deadline for extraordinary circumstances.

FCC Form 486 and Urgent Reminder Letters

FCC Form 486 must be filed 120 days from the date of the issuance of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (“FCDL”) or the start date of E-rate eligible services, whichever is later. For ongoing recurring services, starting on July 1, 2018, the following deadlines have passed or are approaching in the next month.

Waves #

FCDL
Date

Form 486 Due Date

1-32

4/20-11/19/18

Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2018

33

11/23/18

3/23/19

34

11/30/18

3/30/19

35

12/7/18

4/6/19

36

12/14/18

4/13/19

 

USAC issues FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters to applicants that appear to have missed the deadline to certify an FCC Form 486. Applicants missing these or earlier deadlines should closely monitor their News Feed in the E-rate Productivity Center for an FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letter. This letter will allow the applicant a 15-day extension to submit an FCC Form 486 without penalty.

USAC calculates the date to issue this letter based on the service start date reported on your FCC Form 471. If your actual service start date is later than the date you reported on FCC Form 471 then the deadline may not have passed. In this case, you are responsible for calculating your actual deadline as USAC will not issue additional reminder letters.  You can use the 486 Deadlines Tool to calculate your specific deadline.

If you miss the deadline, the service start date will be adjusted to 120 days prior to the date that the Form 486 was actually certified which will likely reduce the funding commitment.

Upcoming Training Events

Numerous training opportunities available for E-rate applicants are coming soon.

USAC E-rate Program Applicant Training Series

USAC has posted 2018 E-rate Program Applicant training materials recordings.

K12 High Speed Network Webinars

K12 High Speed Network Webinars

  • Submitting Corrections and Understanding and Responding to USAC's Reviews

04/11/2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Recordings of previous webinars are posted on the K12HSN website

EducationSuperHighway Webinars

EducationSuperHighway Webinars

Recordings of previous webinars are posted on the EducationSuperHighway website.

E-RATE Process: Activities to Work on Now

Document Retention Requirements

Applicants are required to maintain E-rate documentation for 10 years past the last date of service. This includes but is not limited to pre-bidding planning, competitive bidding process, vendor evaluation, contract award, application process, invoices, delivery of services, receipt of discounts and proof of payments. This requirement could result in extended retention periods if the services associated with the posting of an FCC Form 470 results in the award of multi-year contracts. To ensure you are keeping all required documentation, please reference the USAC Documentation for Auditors Checklist. It is a best practice to “document as you go,” and now is the time to document your Funding Year 2019 competitive bidding and contracting activities. You are allowed to retain documents electronically, so make sure to scan to file your RFP documents, bidders’ questions and your answers, all bids received (winning and losing), your evaluation documents (if no bids are received a memorandum of the fact), Board authorization of contracts, and the signed legally binding agreements that support your E-rate funding request.