E-Rate News Flash 19-09

E-Rate
  Friday, May 31, 2019

Issue 19-09

May 31, 2019

E-rate News Flash

Contents:

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

Announcements and News

Summer Deferral

The Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewers are working diligently to keep the application review process moving quickly in an effort to fund as many applications as possible prior to September 1, 2019. It is important to be aware of the option to place the review of your FCC Form 471 on hold using the summer deferral option since we are now nearing the time of year when many schools will have limited personnel available.

Placing the FCC Form 471 on summer deferral will pause the review process until early September, when the review will begin again. If your organization will be closed for the summer and/or limited resources will be available to answer questions from USAC PIA reviewers, applicants must perform the following for each FCC Form 471 in order to activate the summer deferral option:

  1. Navigate to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) portal and log in. The portal can be found at www.portal.usac.org.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the “Landing Page” and look for the header “FCC Forms and Post Commitment Request.”
  3. With Radio Button “FCC Forms” selected, proceed to select “FCC Form 471” under Form Type.
  4. Select “2019” under Funding Year. This will generate a list of FCC Forms 471.
  5. Select the desired form by clicking on the hyperlink found in the Application number. This will open the application and display a new menu across the top of the screen.
  6. Select “Related Actions”, then select Apply Summer or Winter Deferral.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for each FCC Form 471 for which you want to apply the summer deferral option.

California Funding Commitment Summary

Funding Year 2019

USAC released FY2019 Wave 4 and Wave 5 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) on May 16, 2019, and May 24, 2019. As of May 25, 2019, California commitments total over $76 million.

Funding Year 2018

USAC released FY2018 Wave 55 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) on May 14, 2019. As of May 24, 2019, 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 received 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.

Funding Year 2018 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

1-42

4/20/2018-1/25/2019

Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2018

43

*No funding for CA applicants

44

2/7/2019

6/7/2019

45

2/15/2019

6/15/2019

46

*No funding for CA applicants

47

3/1/2019

6/29/2019**

48

3/8/2019

7/6/2019**

**Deadlines that fall on a weekend are due the following business day

 

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.

June 30 Category 1 Special Construction Deadline

Funding Year 2018

The deadline for completion of special construction for Category 1 services for Funding Year 2018 is on or before June 30, 2019. Applicants seeking support for special construction related to Category 1 services must request a one-time extension of the June 30 service delivery deadline by demonstrating that construction was unavoidably delayed due to reasons beyond the Applicant’s and/or Service Provider’s control. Applicants who have received Funding Commitment Decision Letters for their 2018 special construction funding request(s) may obtain this one-time extension by filing an FCC Form 500 for the associated FRN(s) on or before the June 30 deadline. Applicants that have 2018 funding requests that have not yet received a funding commitment decision must still file a request for extension on or before the June 30, 2019, deadline. Please see USAC’s May 25, 2018 News Brief for more information on how to file Special Construction extensions.

Funding Year 2017

It is important to note that USAC may only authorize a single one-year extension for special construction funding requests. For applicants who may have received this extension for 2017 funding requests, the extended deadline for delivery of services is June 30, 2019. If services are not installed and operational by this deadline, the applicant should visit the USAC Appeals web page, file a waiver request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under proceedings 02-6 and 13-184 and explain what extraordinary circumstances prohibited timely installation and delivery of services.

Upcoming Training Events

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

USAC Webinars

USAC Webinars

Recordings of previous webinars are posted on the USAC website. USAC most recently held a webinar on starting services and preparing the FCC Form 486.

K12 High Speed Network Webinars

K12 High Speed Network Webinars

  • Appeals and Requests for Waiver, CALs and RIDFs, Red Light Status

06/13/2019 at 2:00 p.m.

  • FCC Form 486 and CIPA Compliance

06/27/2019 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

How to File a Special Construction Service Delivery Extension Request

Lit Fiber, Dark Fiber or Self-Provisioned Fiber Special Construction must be completed in time for the fiber to be lit by the end of the relevant funding year. For Funding Year 2018, this deadline is June 30, 2019.

Applicants seeking discounts for special construction may request a one-year extension of the June 30 deadline by demonstrating that construction was unavoidably delayed due to weather, other specific reasons, or the late issuance of an FCDL or non-issuance of an FCDL. Applicants must demonstrate that the reason or reasons have unavoidably delayed special construction in a manner that prevents the fiber from being lit by the June 30 deadline.

Applicants MUST request a Special Construction Service Delivery Extension on or before June 30, 2019, for any fiber that will not be lit before the deadline. If this June 30 deadline is not met and the applicant has not received an extension, special construction charges will not be eligible for discounts.

Extensions are only available for projects involving distinct special construction funding requests. It is not available for recurring charges associated with fiber services.

In order for USAC to evaluate your extension request, please include the reason you need an extension. Be prepared to state one of the following in your request:

  • USAC issued your FCDL after February 2019 and special construction did not begin until you received the FCDL;
  • USAC has not yet issued your FCDL and special construction has not yet begun;
  • USAC has not yet issued your FCDL and you opted to commence special construction, but that work began after February 2019; or
  • A detailed explanation of why construction for your project has been unavoidably delayed and the June 30 deadline to light the fiber cannot be met despite receiving an FCDL and/or commencing special construction in February 2019 or earlier.

Relevant details include the date that you received your FCDL (or a statement that the FCDL has not been received yet), the date that you started special construction, the breadth and complexity of the fiber build project, and any other factors relevant to your particular circumstances (e.g., weather, terrain) that caused the delay.

 

If the extension request is granted, the new deadline to complete special construction and light the fiber, or use the network for the FY2018 special construction funding request, will be June 30, 2020. For funding requests that are committed, applicants are notified via RFCDLs. For funding requests that are pending, applicants are notified via Administrator Decision Letters (ADL).

Instructions for Filing

For applicants that have already received an FCDL, applicants MUST complete an FCC Form 500:

  • From the Applicant Landing Page, select “Create FCC Form 500”
  • Complete the Form Details, Contact Information and Filters Section
  • Under “Type of Change”, click the "Yes" button under the option "I want to request more time to get the services delivered and installed." You must also choose "Yes" or "No" for the other five changes you can make on the form before you can continue to the next page.
  • When you complete the Service Delivery Extension section of the form, be sure to select ALL of the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) to which the request applies.
  • Choose "Yes" to respond to the statement "Was the service provider unable to complete delivery and installation for reasons beyond their control?" The answer to the following question will automatically change to "No."
  • You MUST provide an explanation of the unavoidable delay. Your explanation should be consistent with the reason in one of the bullet points listed above.
  • After you have completed all of the entries on your form, proceed to certify the form.

NOTE: If USAC has any questions about the Form 500, they will send them through EPC. Applicants can review and respond to questions by clicking the Review Inquiries menu item at the top of Form 500.

IMPORTANT: USAC inquiries have associated deadlines and the Form 500 is subject to denial if inquiries go unanswered.

 

For applicants that have not received an FCDL for their FY2018 special construction project, applicants MUST submit an FY2018 Special Construction Deadline Extension Request (SCDER):

  • Applicants must first download a copy of the FY2018 Special Construction Deadline Extension Request worksheet located in the May 17, 2019, USAC News Brief. This worksheet contains three tabs – General Details, Service Delivery Extension, and Certification Details. The database fields that must be completed are highlighted in yellow. If you have more than one FRN, please complete a separate worksheet for each FRN.
  • Next, applicants must open a customer service case in EPC and attach the completed worksheet to the case. Please reference the April 21, 2017, USAC News Brief for instructions on how to submit your SCDER for your FRN(s) that are pending a decision from USAC.