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In This Week's Issue
» Funding Status Update
» E-Rate Updates and Reminders
» Schools and Libraries News Brief dated February 1 — Missed January Deadlines

E-Rate Central News for the Week
February 4, 2013

Introduction

The E-Rate Central News for the Week is prepared by E-Rate Central. E-Rate Central specializes in providing consulting, compliance, and forms processing services to E-rate applicants. To learn more about our services, please contact us by phone (516-801-7804), fax (516-801-7814), or through our Contact Us Web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central Web site.

Funding Status

The FY 2013 Form 471 application window opened on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, and will close at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Wave 29 for FY 2012 will be released on Tuesday, February 5, 2013. Priority 2 funding is being provided at 90%, and is being denied at 89% and below. Cumulative funding for FY 2012 is currently $1.80 billion.

Wave 79 for FY 2011 will be released on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Priority 2 requests are being funded at 88% and above, and denied at 87% and below. Cumulative funding for FY 2011 is currently $2.50 billion.

Wave 108 for FY 2010 will be released on Friday, February 8, 2013. Priority 2 requests are being funded at all discount levels. Cumulative funding for FY 2010 is currently $3.07 billion.

E-Rate Updates and Reminders

FCC Approves More Cost-Effective PIA Procedures:

Almost two years ago, while approving the extension of USAC's agreement with Solix, Inc., for administrative support services for the Rural Health Care and E-rate programs, the FCC instructed USAC to propose changes in its procedures to "facilitate greater efficiencies."  In late 2011, the FCC approved some of those revised procedures. Last week, the FCC sent another letter to USAC approving a number of additional savings proposals — estimated to save "nearly $2 million" (presumably per year).

The good news for both applicants and service providers is that the more efficient PIA review procedures — that the FCC wants to be implemented no later than March 1, 2013 — should help speed the processing of applications. Details on the revised procedures, however, have not been made public because their "release would compromise the application review process."  Nevertheless, we would expect such changes to include at least two general principles, namely:

  1. The further streamlining of review procedures on smaller Priority 1 applications; and
  2. The modification of certain "exception" procedures which, on a cost-benefit basis, have been shown to involve significant effort with little return.

Latest Quarterly Fund Size Projections:

Last week, USAC released the Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms Fund Size Projections for Second Quarter 2013.  The E-rate portion of this most recent quarterly report includes the following information:

  1. As of the end of calendar year 2012, the number of pending applications considered by USAC to be "potentially fundable" for FY 2012 or earlier years was as follows:
    Funding Years     Applications
    1998 – 2000 None
    2001 – 2006 6
    2007 – 2009 96
    2010 86
    2011 663
    2012 4,747
  1. As of the second quarter 2013, with two quarters to go, the amount of funding currently identified as available for potential roll-over into FY 2013 was $350 million. This amount is up from $250 million as of the same quarter last year, but it is still way below last year's fourth quarter total of $1.05 billion, the amount rolled-over into FY 2012,  which had included a significant — and, in our view, unrepeatable — cut in contingent reserves for early funding years.

The roll-over amount for FY 2013 will be the critical factor in determining whether, and to what extent, Priority 2 funding will be available at a 90% discount next year — see our December newsletter article on E-Rate and the Fiscal Cliff.

FY 2012 Form 486 Deadlines for February:

The extended Form 486 deadline for FY 2012 Waves 1-12 was January 28th. If you missed this deadline, or the concurrent deadline for FY 2011 invoices, please read last week's SLD News Brief referenced below.

Form 486 deadlines for this year are now back on a normal basis — set at 120 days after the latter of (a) the FCDL date for any particular wave, or (b) the start of service. The deadline for Wave 13, which had not been extended, was January 30th.

Based on FCDL dates, the most common determinant of Form 486 deadlines, the following table shows the upcoming February deadlines for FY 2012 Waves 14-17.

Wave FCDL Date Form 486 Deadline
14 10/09/2012  02/06/2013
15 10/16/2012  02/13/2013
16 10/23/2012  02/20/2013
17 10/30/2012  02/27/2013

FY 2013 Form 470 Deadline:

With the Form 471 application window for FY 2013 closing on March 14th, the last day to post a valid Form 470 (and/or RFP if applicable) for such applications is Valentine's Day, February 14th. A Form 470 posted on that date will have an Allowable Contract Date of 28 days thereafter, the day the window closes. That would make March 14th a very busy day for applicants to select vendors, sign contracts, and file Form 471s.

Schools and Libraries News Brief Dated February 1 – Missed January Deadlines

The SLD News Brief for February 1, 2013, reviews the steps applicants can take if they missed the late-January deadlines for filing either FY 2011 invoices or FY 2012 Form 486s for FCDLs issued in Waves 1-13.

 

Disclaimer: This newsletter may contain unofficial information on prospective E-rate developments and/or may reflect our own interpretations of E-rate practices and regulations. Such information is provided for planning and guidance purposes only. It is not meant, in any way, to supplant official announcements and instructions provided by either the SLD or the FCC.