If these estimates are correct, the real problem will be to find $1.5–1.6 billion in roll-over funds, a decision that the FCC typically does not make until early summer. Roll-over funding at this level would be unprecedented. If sufficient funds cannot be found to cover all valid 90% requests, the only tool the FCC has under the current rules is to prorate the available funds among the 90% applicants.
We discussed the problem of proration last year (see our newsletter of April 30, 2012), and will do so again if the situation arises.
Final FY 2013 Application Deadlines:
As reported in the SLD News Brief for April 19, 2013, USAC issued two types of letters in late April — Notification of FCC Form 471 With No Certification letters and Item 21 Attachment Urgent Reminder Letters — to applicants who may not have fully completed their Form 471 applications for FY 2013.
Shortly after the letters were mailed, the SLD posted an online List of FY 2013 FRNs with potentially missing Item 21 attachments (see SLD News Brief for April 26, 2013). In our experience, many of the "missing" Item 21 attachments were actually submitted, but had not yet been matched with the associated applications by the time the SLD generated its list. If an applicant believes that Item 21 attachments shown on this list were submitted, it can either resubmit them or confirm receipt by the SLD using the Submit a Question online. When making an online inquiry, be sure to identify the application and FRN numbers so that the assigned case number, question, and response will reference the specific FRNs in question.
Last week, the SLD also posted an online list of 732 Uncertified Form 471s for FY 2013.
To avoid application denials, all missing Item 21 attachments and certifications must be submitted by May 15, 2013.
SLD Fall Applicant Training Schedule:
The SLD announced the schedule and registration procedures for its 2013 fall applicant training. This year's training will be one-day only and will be held in the following eight cities (click on the individual links to register):
Tom Wheeler Nominated as FCC Chairman:
President Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler to be the next Chairman of the FCC to replace Julius Genachowski, who announced his resignation in March. President Obama also appointed current FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to act as the interim Chairwoman pending Mr. Wheeler's confirmation by the Senate.
Mr. Wheeler is currently a managing director of Core Capital Partners, a Washington investment firm. In his past, Mr. Wheeler had served as the executive director of both the National Cable Television Association ("NCTA") and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association ("CTIA"). More anecdotally, as mentioned in a New York Times report, his telecommunications experience includes authoring a 2008 book entitled "Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War."
Internet Explorer 10 and the SLD Website:
Users who have upgraded to Internet Explorer 10 (or have a new Windows 8 computer bundled with Internet Explorer 10) may find that certain search functions on the SLD's website do not work properly. The Entity Search function, for example, returns the error message "Entity Number: Only one Search Criteria value can be entered at a time," even if only one search field is properly used.
The problem may be corrected by using Internet Explorer's Compatibility View which displays websites as if they were being viewed in a previous version of the browser. The easiest way to use Compatibility View is by clicking its icon on Internet Explorer's Web address line (see picture below). (The icon only appears if there is a compatibility problem on that Web page.) It is initially gray, but turns blue to indicate compatibility mode is on. Unless clicked again to revert to version 10 on that Web page, the computer should remember to automatically open that page in compatibility mode in the future.
Congressman Markey Running for Senate:
The initial impetus for the E-rate program, tracing back to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, was provided by two Senators and a Congressman. The two Senators were Olympia Snowe (R–ME), who retired after the completion of her term in 2012, and Jay Rockefeller (D–WV) who has announced his retirement after the completion of his term in 2014.
On the House side, the key E-rate proponent has been Rep. Edward Markey (D–MA). Last week, Rep. Markey won the Massachusetts's Democratic primary to run in a special general election June 25th to fill the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry (D–MA) who became Secretary of State.
FCC Appeal Decisions Watch:
The FCC released appeal decisions last week denying requests by two applicants cited for competitive bidding violations. In particular:
The SLD News Brief for May 3, 2013, announces the fall training schedule (discussed above) and reviews the procedures for submitting missing certifications and Item 21 attachments on FY 2013 applications which are due by May 15th (also discussed above).
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.