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E-Rate Central News for the Week
July 10, 2017

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 and FY 2017

FY 2017:

Wave 6 for FY 2017 was released Saturday, July 8th, for a total of $100.2 million. Cumulative national funding through Wave 6 is $376 million. Wave 7 is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 14th.

FY 2016:

Wave 53 for FY 2016 was released on the 4th of July for a total of $2.07 million.  Cumulative national funding through Wave 52 is $2.81 billion. Wave 54 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 11th.

Updates on USAC’s E-Rate Productivity Center and Legacy System

Form 486 and Appeal Capability Available for FY 2017:

Form 486s and appeals for FY 2017 can now be filed in EPC. To begin filing, select the form from the list of options in the top right-hand corner of the Landing Page.

My EPC Landing Page

Then select the 2017 Funding Year (unavailable until last week).

EPC Create FCC Form 486

Or

EPC Create Appeal

Form 486 Notes:

  • As indicated in our E-Rate Updates and Reminders section below, the earliest Form 486 deadline for FY 2017 will be Monday, October 30th. Applicants seeking discounted billing, however, will need to file their Form 486s earlier to enable their vendors to file Service Provider Invoices (“SPIs”).
  • USAC’s News Brief for July 7th, referenced below, notes that USAC is still reviewing certain Form 486s for FY 2016. Not surprisingly, the EPC status of these forms is shown as “In Review.”  What is surprising is that some applicants have reported receiving Form 486 Notification Letters approving their forms, but with the associated EPC status indicators remaining “In Review.”  In such cases, the applicants have reported success in filing BEAR invoices for the associated FRNs.

RFCDL/CAL/RIDF Notifications:

EPC now lists and permits the generation of the following types of decision letters for FY 2016 and FY 2017, and prospectively for FY 2018:

  • RFCDL           Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letter
  • CAL               Commitment Adjustment Letter
  • RIDF              Recovery of Improperly Disbursed Funds letter

If and when available, the letters may be accessed from the Landing Page by selecting the appropriate Notification Type and Funding Year.

EPC My Landing Page

As a general rule, applicants should be glad to receive RFCDLs which can show approvals of appeals, service substitution requests, SPIN changes, or other changes requested via a Form 500. CALs and RIDFs, on the other hand, usually indicate that previously approved funding is to be reduced or canceled, or that previously disbursed funding is to be recovered.

E-Rate Updates and Reminders

Upcoming 2017 E-Rate Deadlines:

July 14 Form 486 deadline for FY 2016 funding committed in Wave 38. More generally, the Form 486 deadline is 120 days from the FCDL date or the service start date (often July 1st), whichever is later. This means that Form 486 deadlines for funding commitments received in later waves will follow at roughly one week intervals, including the following deadlines:

Wave 39         07/21/2017
Wave 40         07/28/2017

Applicants missing these (or earlier) deadlines should watch carefully for “Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters” (actually emails directing the applicants to EPC News Feed items). The Reminders will afford applicants with 15-day extensions from the date of the emails to submit their Form 486s without penalty.

The earliest Form 486 deadline for FY 2017 will be Monday, October 30th.

July 21 Last day to file public comments on the FCC’s Proposed Eligible Services List for FY 2018 (DA 17-602).
July 25 USAC’s only service provider training this year is in Dallas. See details and registration information in USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of June 9, 2017.
Sept. 30 Service delivery deadline for the receipt of non-recurring services (i.e., installation or other one-time charges) for FY 2016. Requests to extend the service delivery deadline, if needed, must be made on or before this date.

USAC News Brief Dated July 7 – EPC System Deployment Changes

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of July 7, 2017, reports a number of updates and fixes made to EPC on Friday, June 30th, including:

  • Applicants and service providers can file appeals for FY 2017 (discussed above).
  • Applicants can file Form 486s for FY 2017 (discussed above).
  • Applicants and service providers can invoice for FY 2016 if they have received Form 486 Notification Letters (even, as discussed above, if the EPC status for those forms remains “In Review”).
  • Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letters (“RFCDLs”) now include more information.
  • Applicants can choose additional manufacturers from the Form 470 dropdown lists.
  • Form 500s can be canceled in whole or in part while those forms are “In 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.