Collapse All

September 10, 2018

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.

USAC issued Wave 21 on Friday, August 31st for $15.0 million.  Cumulative funding as of Wave 21 is $1.70 billion.

Upcoming 2018 E-Rate Dates:

September 10 FY 2017 Form 486 deadline for funding committed in Wave 54.  Other upcoming Form 486 deadlines include: 
Wave 55      09/12/2018
Wave 56      10/26/2018
Wave 57      11/26/2018

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.

The first Form 486 deadline for FY 2018 is not until October 29, 2018.

September 10 Deadline to submit comments on the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service proposal for the implementation of its $600 million pilot broadband program (e-Connectivity Pilot).  Coincidentally, this is the same deadline for the submission of comments on the FCC’s $100 million pilot broadband telehealth program (FCC 18-112).  Neither pilot program is directly related to E-rate, but both are designed to promote broadband in rural areas.
September 13 Deadline to submit reply comments on the FCC’s Proposed Eligible Services List for FY 2019 (DA 18-789).
September 19 USAC webinar entitled Navigating the E-rate Invoicing Process.
September 30 Service Delivery Deadline (“SDD”) for FY 2017 non-recurring FRNs.  This is also the deadline for requesting a one-year SDD extension.
October 8 Deadline for submitting nominations to the FCC for the USAC Board of Directors (DA 18-921).

FCC Seeks Nominations for USAC Board:

The FCC issued a Public Notice (DA 18-921) seeking nominations for six positions on the USAC Board of Directors.  Terms of the current Board members in these slots expire December 31, 2018.  From an E-rate perspective, the most important nomination is for the seat representing schools currently held by Dr. Miguel Hernandez, State Superintendent, Office of Coordinated Service and Support, Monticello, AR.  Nominations are due by October 8th.

FBI E-Rate Enforcement Action:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, together with the FBI and the District Attorney of Rockland County (NY) announced indictments of seven individuals, subsequently arrested, for E-rate fraud.  The defendants included four vendors, two consultants, and one parochial school administrator.  All are alleged to have taken part in a scheme to defraud the E-rate program, in one instance purportedly draining $14 million in funds from the program between 2010 and 2016.  Other allegations include:

  • Requests for hundreds of thousands of dollars for sophisticated technology serving no real purpose for day care students.
  • Overbilling for E-rate products and services.
  • Billing for ineligible services or services not provided.
  • False certifications on E-rate forms.
  • Acceptance of payments from vendors by reportedly independent E-rate consultants.

This recent enforcement action — possibly just the start — is the result of an apparently longstanding investigation linked in part to a series of raids on yeshivas and technology companies in early 2016.  Perhaps not coincidentally, hundreds of potentially-related E-rate applications over the past several years have been denied or remain pending at USAC.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of September 7, 2018, announced USAC’s fall 2018 training schedule.  Applicant workshops are planned for Washington DC (two workshops both of which were oversubscribed within a few hours), Palatine IL (outside of Chicago), Sacramento CA, Omaha NE, and one location to be announced later.  Each workshop includes a half-day beginners session to be followed by a more detailed full-day session.

USAC will also conduct two full-day service provider workshops in Washington DC (the second including a half-day beginner’s session).

E-Rate Training for Fall 2018

    1.