E-Rate Newsflash 19-06

E-Rate
  Friday, April 5, 2019

Issue 19-06

April 5, 2019

E-rate News Flash

Contents:

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

Reminders

FCC Form 471 Filing Window Closed: What to Do if You Missed the Deadline

The FCC Form 471 filing window for Funding Year 2019 closed on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT (8:59 p.m. PDT).

If you missed 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.

Respond to USAC Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Review

All FCC Form 471 applications undergo Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. In some instances, USAC reviewers may reach out to the Contact person listed on the FCC Form 471 to ask questions about the application and/or request documentation to substantiate the eligibility of services, the eligibility of entities receiving services, and the data used to calculate the E-rate discount. Applicants have 15 days to respond to USAC’s request for information, and may request an additional seven-day extension. While responses to USAC’s questions occur in EPC, the outreach from USAC will be sent to the Contact’s e-mail address. Failure to respond to USAC’s questions will lead to the denial of the FCC Form 471 funding requests; make sure to respond by the deadline indicated or request an extension, if needed.

California Funding Commitment Summary

Funding Year 2018

USAC released FY2018 Wave 50 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) on March 22, 2019. As of March 28, FY2018 California commitments total over $273 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

1-34

4/20-11/30/18

Deadline passed for services starting July 1, 2018

35

12/7/18

4/6/19

36

12/14/18

4/13/19

37

12/20/2018

4/19/2019

38

12/27/2018

4/26/2019

 

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 file a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) waiver request 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 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

Reviewing FCC Form 471 Applications for Errors and Submitting Corrections

Applicants should review Certified FCC Forms 471 for accuracy and submit corrections where needed. Applicants may do this by reviewing the live FCC Form 471 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) or by reviewing the PDF version of the original application. From your Billed Entity’s home page in EPC, select the FCC Forms menu to access the Funding Year 2019 certified forms. Each form filed will have a hyperlink taking you to the live form that you may click through to verify information, and which also has a PDF link to the original form which you may download.

Common corrections include but are not limited to:

  • Incorrect Entity Information
    • School Districts: Review the contact information for your school district and each of your individual schools. For each school in your district, review the actual or estimated student counts; the approved Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) percentage, if you have one; the urban/rural status; and the attributes (such as public, private, or tribal).
    • Library Systems: Review the contact information for your library system and each of your library branches, bookmobiles, and kiosks. For each library in your library system, review the square footage, the urban/rural status, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) locale codes, and the attributes (such as public, private, or tribal). You must have identified one library as the main branch and also identified the school district in which the main branch is located.
    • Independent Schools and Libraries: Review the contact information for your entity and also your entity information necessary for the discount and Category Two budget calculations as noted above.
    • Consortia: Although you cannot change profile information for your members, you should review your own contact information and the list of consortium members you reported as receiving or sharing services on each FCC Form 471. You can also provide any other information that may be necessary for USAC to correctly process your application.
  • Incorrect Form 470 Cited on a Funding Request: The FCC Form 470 cited must support the services requested on the funding request.
  • Incorrect Contract Records Cited on a Funding Request: Contract records cannot be edited once they are submitted in EPC. If an error is found in any contract record, applicants must create and submit a new contract record in EPC and ask that the FRN be linked to the correct record.  
  • Incorrect Services, Equipment and Installation Costs: Applications should verify the pre-discount costs and quantities listed in the funding request line items. Costs should be supported by the information in the contract(s), vendor bills, vendor quotes or other documentation you used to prepare your form.

For more information on corrections, please review USAC’s Ministerial and Clerical Errors page. If you do identify an error, you may submit a request for correction through the Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) Correction process. Note that RAL corrections may be submitted to USAC up until a Funding Commitment Decision Letter is issued on the FCC Form 471 application.