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June 24, 2019

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 released Wave 9 for FY 2019 on Thursday, June 20th.  Funding totaled $69.4 million.  Cumulative commitments through Wave 9 are $939 million. 

Post-Commitment Updates to USAC’s Search Commitments Tool:

Last Friday’s USAC News Brief (referenced below) reported total FY 2019 funding of over $967 million as of Wave 9.  At the same time, however, USAC’s Search Commitmentstool was showing the following funding data as of June 20th, the day Wave 9 was issued:

USAC’s Search Commitments tool for FY 2019 as of wave 9

The obvious question:  Which figure — $967 million or $939 million — is the right measure of FY 2019 funding as of Wave 9?  The less than obvious answer:  Both!  It depends upon what funding you’re trying to measure — initial funding approvals as reported in the News Brief or current commitments as reported in the Search Commitments Tool.  The difference is currently $28 million.

USAC has no easy-to-use tool for keeping track of the total funding initially approved in each funding wave.  If you’re interested in this number, the trick is to capture the amount of new funding in each wave, as it is issued, and to maintain your own running total.

By way of contrast, keeping track of current commitments is simple.  The Search Commitments tool reports wave-by-wave funding data of all FRN commitments adjusted for any post-commitment changes (e.g., Form 500 funding cancellations or reductions).  So far there have been two post-commitment waves for FY 2019 — PC Wave 1 on May 28th and PC Wave 2 on June 12th — mostly affecting FRNs initially approved in Wave 1.

As of Wave 9, here are the wave-by-wave totals for FY 2019 funding:

    Original Funding   Current Commitments
Wave 1               $ 530   million           $ 502   million
Wave 2   69     69  
Wave 3   70     70  
Wave 4   46     46  
Wave 5   39     39  
Wave 6   34     34  
Wave 7   50     50  
Wave 8   60     60  
Wave 9          69                        69              
Total   $ 967   million   $ 939   million
             

Going forward, we will be reporting total current commitments as per the Search Commitments tool in our FY 2019 Funding Status section.  For the time being, total original funding approvals are continuing to be reported in USAC News Briefs.

Upcoming E-Rate Dates:

June 21 Form 486 deadline for FY 2018 funding committed in Wave 46.  More generally, the Form 486 deadline is 120 days from the FCDL date or the service start date (typically July 1st), whichever is later.  Other upcoming Form 486 deadlines are:

Wave 47            07/01/2019
Wave 48            07/08/2019

Note:  Applicants missing any Form 486 deadline should watch carefully for “Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters” in their EPC News Feed.  These Reminder Letters afford applicants 15-day extensions to submit their Form 486s without penalty.

June 30 Deadline to complete FY 2018 special construction required to light or use fiber.  It is also the last day to request a one-year extension of the special construction deadline for FY 2018 requests.
July 1  Deadline for submitting comments to the FCC (DA 19-493) on a petition filed by three Texas carriers to prohibit the use of E-rate funds to build fiber networks in areas where fiber networks already exist (see our newsletter of May 27th).  Reply comments are due July 16th.
July 15 Deadline for submitting comments to the FCC’s NPRM (FCC 19-46) seeking comment on establishing a cap on total funding of the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) (see our newsletter of June 3rd).  Reply comments are due August 12th.
August 5-9 USAC is holding two service provider training sessions in Washington DC, one at the beginning of the week (August 5-6) and one at the end of the week (August 8-9).  Each two-day session will begin with a half-day presentation for beginners and will include a second full day for everyone.
September 16 –  
November 21
See USAC’s 2019 Training webpage for a schedule of all USAC’s 2019 fall applicant and tribal training sessions.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of June 21, 2019 reports the addition of an eighth applicant training session in Atlanta this fall.  The complete schedule of USAC’s eight applicant and three tribal training sessions is listed below.  Registration can be completed online.

  • September 16-17 at USAC's offices, Washington, DC (full)
  • September 19-20 at USAC's offices, Washington, DC (full)
  • September 23-24 at Brookhaven College, Farmers Branch, TX
  • October 2-3 at Harper College, Palatine, IL
  • October 16-17 at Clark College, Vancouver, WA (+ morning Tribal session October 16)
  • October 22-23 at Raritan Valley Community College, North Branch, NJ
  • October 31 – November 1 at California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
  • November 13-14 at Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, GA
  • November 19 at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK (Tribal one-day session)
  • November 21 at San Juan College, Farmington, NM (Tribal one-day session)

Last week’s News Brief also provides additional updates on this summer’s service provider training.