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April 6, 2015


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 (516-801-7810), or through our Contact Us web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central website.

Wave 48 for FY 2014 will be released on Wednesday, April 8th. Funding for FY 2014 is available for Priority 1 services only. Priority 2 funding is being denied at all discount levels. Cumulative funding for FY 2014 is $2.18 billion.

Wave 86 for FY 2013 will be released Friday, April 10th. Funding for FY 2013 is available for Priority 1 services only. Priority 2 funding is being denied at all discount levels. Cumulative funding for FY 2013 is $2.15 billion.

FY 2015 Form 471 Application Window:

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for FY 2015 opened on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. It will close at 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

USAC Service Provider Training:

USAC announced that this year’s spring training, designed primarily for service providers, will be held in Phoenix on Tuesday, June 2nd, and in Tampa on Tuesday, June 16th.

USAC Annual Report for 2014:

USAC released its Annual Report for calendar year 2014. In addition to the normal financial tables and notes, the report contains useful state-specific information on E-rate and the other three Universal Service programs.

FCC Appeal Decision Watch:

The FCC issued another set of precedent-based decisions in Public Notice (DA 15-387), including:

  1. One request was dismissed as moot; USAC had already approved the underlying funding request.
  2. Appeal or waiver request approvals for:
    1. One applicant seeking to transfer funding from closed schools to other eligible entities.
    2. Two applicants failing to respond to PIA requests in a timely manner.
    3. One applicant making a ministerial and/or clerical error resulting in an apparent 2-in-5 rule violation.
    4. Three applicants selecting vendors where price was not the primary factor.
    5. Nine applicants providing additional discount rate documentation.
    6. One applicant documenting consortium authority.
    7. One applicant continuing an existing contract signed before the 28-day waiting period.
  3. Denials of waiver requests or petitions for reconsideration for:
    1. One applicant failing to file a Form 470 for the current funding year.
    2. Nine applicants failing to provide adequate documentation of their vendor selection process.
    3. Twenty applicants for untimely filed requests for waivers or review.
    4. Two applicants providing no basis for reconsideration.
    5. Two applicants seeking Priority 2 funding for FY 2013.
    6. One applicant providing insufficient documentation to support its requested discount rate.
    7. One applicant seeking reclassification from urban to rural.

The S&L News Brief of April 3, 2015, formalized — albeit with one change — USAC’s guidance on listing schools and NIFs in the Block 4 discount rate worksheets for education service agency (“ESA”) Form 471 applications. The earlier guidance had been summarized in our newsletter of March 30, 2015.

The one change affects an ESA with its own schools filing an application for its own services. Previously, USAC had indicated that an ESA filing its own application should list all schools in its service area, whether or not the ESA had its own schools. The new guidance indicates that the Block 4 for an ESA with schools should list only its own schools and NIFs on an ESA-only application.

The News Brief also indicates that the guidance applies to an ESA “recognized by the state as a school district.”  This is new language for a condition presumably covered by the basic determination of ESA eligibility covered in the New Brief’s second paragraph referencing the Eligibility Table for Educational Service Agencies.

Last week’s News Brief also lists the extended hours of USAC’s Client Service Bureau (“CSB”) during the final days of the application window (including the pre-deadline weekend).