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E-Rate Central News for the Week
November 20, 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 2017

Wave 25 for FY 2017 was released Friday, November 17th, for a total of $56.4 million. Cumulative national funding through Wave 25 is $1.78 billion. Wave 26 is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 24th.

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

Administrative Window Open for FY 2018 Entity Updates:

USAC announced that it has completed the updates on applicant profiles based on PIA review of FY 2017 applications. Applicants can now review and update their entity profiles in EPC. This is the beginning of what in the past has been known as the “Administrative Window.”  This update period is expected to close sometime in January when USAC opens the FY 2018 Form 471 Filing Window. Once USAC begins accepting FY 2018 applications, entity profiles will be locked for the duration of the Application Window. Now is the time for applicants to make updates to their student enrollment and discount data.

2017 Hurricane Relief Entities Report:

USAC has created an EPC-based list of entities eligible as Directly Impacted Applicants for special hurricane relief. The list — indicated as “under development” in our previous newsletter— may be accessed by following links from the EPC Actions tab.

Export 2017 Hurricane Relief Entities Report

The list, generated as a Task, is organized by state, Billed Entity Name, and BEN in the following spreadsheet form. Potential applicant should note that, although the entities listed are all in the FEMA-designated disaster counties (see FCC 17-139, footnote 18), eligibility for emergency E-rate support also requires certifications that the schools or libraries sustained “substantial damage” as a result of the hurricanes.

2017 Hurricane Relief Entities Report

USAC has advised applicants, who believe they qualify for relief, but who are not listed in this Entities Report, to open a customer service case (with the prefix “H2017”) requesting a review of their relief status.

Individual schools, whcih have increased populations of more than 5% as a result of the hurricanes, are considered “Indirectly Affected.”   They will not be listed in this report, but  may be eligible for some support.

E-Rate Updates and Reminders

Upcoming 2017 E-Rate Dates:

November 20   Form 486 deadline for FY 2017 funding committed in Wave 8. Upcoming FY 2017 Form 486 deadlines include:

Wave 9           11/27/2017
Wave 10         12/04/2017
Wave 11         12/11/2017
Wave 12         12/18/2017

Applicants missing these (or earlier) deadlines should watch carefully for “Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters” in EPC. The Reminders will afford applicants with 15-day extensions to submit their Form 486s without penalty.

December 13 Second FY 2017 Emergency Hurricane Application Window (opened November 13th) closes. For additional information, see USAC’s Summary of the Orders and Important Deadlines.

Non-E-Rate FCC Decisions:

The FCC approved a series of orders last week which, although not directly related to E-rate, may prove beneficial to school and library applicants. The orders, which will be available in complete form next week, are described in summary format as:

In a completely unrelated move, but one sure to help all of us at home and at work, the FCC Adopts Rules to Allow Phone Companies to Proactively Block Illegal Robocalls.

Awaiting Formal Guidance on Form 470 Internet Options:

Status: Pending.

As discussed in our newsletter of November 6th, USAC guidance on the proper Form 470 menu options to use when applying for fiber-based Internet services continues to evolve, albeit without any published updates. For now, our best advice is as follows:

  • Always include the “Leased Lit Fiber” option, whether or not transport is required.
  • Use either the “Internet Access & Transport Bundled” or the “Internet Access: ISP Service Only” option, as appropriate (the only two options that actually mention “Internet”).
  • Use the “Narrative” section to fully describe what you really want. Better yet, upload a detailed RFP.

USAC Fall E-Rate Training:

USAC’s annual fall training sessions were held this year in Charlotte, Minneapolis, Portland, and Washington DC. Presentation slides for the last trainings are available online. Last Monday, USAC conducted a webinar to review the FCC’s emergency relief rules for applicants impacted by this year’s hurricanes. Slides from this webinar are also available.

USAC News Brief Dated November 17 – Hurricane Relief Reminders and Updates

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of November 17, 2017 provides reminders and updates on the emergency hurricane relief provisions for applicants in the Directly Impacted Areas and/or those who are Indirectly Impacted.

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.