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E-Rate Central News for the Week
May 30, 2016

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 website.

Funding Status

FY 2016:

The revised FY 2016 filing deadline for school and school district applications was last Thursday, May 26th. The first funding wave for FY 2016 should be released in early June.

Libraries and consortia, whose applications depend on the completion of related school district data, were granted an additional eight-week extension to July 21st. As a result of the latter Form 471 extended deadline, the last possible date for libraries and consortia to file Form 470s for FY 2016 is June 23rd.

The summer PIA deferment period, whereby application reviews are put on hold if the application contacts are not available, began last Friday. PIA for those applications will resume Monday, September 12th.

FY 2015:

Wave 52 for FY 2015 will be released on Thursday, June 2nd. Funding for FY 2015 is available for both Category 1 and Category 2 services at all discount levels. Cumulative funding for FY 2015 is $3.28 billion.

Updates on USAC’s E-Rate Productivity Center

Tracking FY 2016 Application Status:

In the pre-EPC world, the status of any Form 471 could be found in the Apply Online section of the USAC website under Application Status. That status tool still works for funding years FY 2015 or earlier. It displays a table showing all Form 471s filed by an applicant for a given funding year. For each application, one of the following status conditions is shown:

EPC Form 471 Application Status             EPC Form 471 Application Status

Within EPC, FY 2016 application status is shown on an application-by-application basis as a progress bar on the individual application displays. The status portion of the application is clearly displayed, but appears to show less information. (We’ll know more as applications move through the review process.)

To find a specific application, start at the applicant page. Click “FCC Forms” in the activity column, and select “FCC Form 471” in the pull-down Category list.

EPC Form 471 Categories

This will generate a list of the one or more applications begun and/or completed by that applicant. To check the status of any one Form 471, click on the application number. This will display a one-page summary of the application and related contact information. The application status progress bar is shown at the top. The following application, for example, is shown as “Certified:”

EPC Form 471 Certified Status Bar

As application review continues, the blue portion of the progress bar will move to the right. Occasionally, the blue bar may move left if, for example, an applicant responds to an inquiry (at the “Outreach” stage), and PIA is reviewing the response. “Committed” is the ultimate goal. We’re already seeing some applications at the “Wave Ready” point, presumably about to be approved in Wave 1.

The progress bar steps, from “Incomplete” to “Committed,” are not as finely granulated as in the older Application Status Tool. At some stages in the FY 2016 PIA process, however, additional “Review Status” information will be displayed just under the left-hand end of the status bar. The next step after “Certified,” for example, might be for the application to be placed in a queue for assignment to a reviewer — shown as:

EOC Form 471 Progress Bar

The following is a less fortunate example. In this case, the application has reached the “outreach” stage, but the applicant has yet to respond.

EPC Form 471 Progress Bar

Note that the application page displayed shows few details of the application itself. To see the full application, go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Original Version” link as shown below. Once the application is funded, we would expect to see another link to the “Current Version.”

EPC Form 471 Current Version

Multi-BEN Contact Application Lists:

An individual EPC user, serving as the Form 471 contact for multiple applicants, can easily generate a list of applications for which the user is responsible. The trick is to start with the full list of Form 471s under the “Records” tab at the top of the page. Then click the “Yes” under the “Filed by my Organization(s)?”  (Note: This same process can be used to develop a list of Form 470s filed for FY 2016.)

x

The “my” in this link, although not capitalized, is the most important word because the list generated is personalized by the EPC user login. Note that the resulting list of Form 471s shows only the Form 471 nicknames (each with an icon composed of the first two characters), not the applicant names or BENs — a good reminder that nicknames are important in EPC.

To see the status (as per the article above) of a specific Form 471, click on its nickname. Better yet, right-click on the nickname to open the Form 471 status display in a new tab. This will keep the personalized list of Form 471s intact.

E-Rate Updates and Reminders

Form 486 Deadlines for June:

The Form 486 deadline for certifying the start of service (and CIPA compliance, if applicable) is 120 days from the later of the FCDL approval date or the start of service date. The deadlines for June (adjusted for weekends and holidays) for approved FY 2015 applications are:

                                          Wave 35                06/03/2016
                                          Wave 36                06/10/2016
                                          Wave 37                06/21/2016
                                          Wave 38                06/27/2016

Schools and Libraries News Brief Dated May 27 – PIA Review and Post-Deadline Tips

The S&L News Brief of May 27, 2016, notes that, following the close of the application window, school and school district entity profiles are now locked in EPC. Changes can still be made through the RAL correction process.

More broadly, last week’s News Brief reviews the PIA process and offers some basic tips that applicants can take now that the school and school district application window has closed, including:

  • Review the information in your Form 471.
  • Check your FCC Registration Number.
  • Check your math on cost allocations.
  • Gather your documentation.
  • Prepare for PIA review.
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.