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November 11, 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 32 for FY 2019 on Thursday, November 7th.  Funding totaled $19.7 million. Cumulative commitments through November 7th are $1.93 billion. 

Upcoming E-Rate Dates:

November 15 Form 486 deadline for FY 2019 funding committed in Wave 13.  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 14            11/22/2019
Wave 15            11/29/2019

November 13–21     Remaining USAC 2019 fall applicant/tribal training sessions (see USAC’s 2019 Training webpage for a schedule of the sessions).

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of November 8, 2019 announces the launch of a major update to the entire USAC website including the Schools & Libraries (E-rate) site.  Three points stressed in the News Brief are:

  • The primary purpose of the update is to improve the site’s design and functionality to help users find the information they need.  Menus are being expanded to simplify site navigation and to “put key dates and resources front and center.”  FAQ sections, for example, will be updated to permit searches by topic of specific key words.
  • Most of the underlying content remains the same but not all earlier URLs will be maintained.   Any use of out-of-date URLS will be redirected to the USAC landing page to provide access to the new search capability.
  • Changes to the USAC website may limit the functionality and/or data display of certain legacy forms and tools for a few days this week.

Although the News Brief indicated that the launch of the new site was scheduled for Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th, at least some elements of the new site were up and running last Saturday with the new homepage URL usac.org/e-rate/ (replacing usac.org/sl/).  The new homepage has three main sections as shown below.

  • EPC login and links to the applicant and service provider legacy invoice systems; links to key resources; and important upcoming dates.

    New homepage for the E-Rate Program
  • Links to what had previously been shown as the basic program steps for both applicants and service providers.

    New E-rate webpage which explains how the program works for eligible applicants and eligible services.
  • Simplified step-by-step diagram of the bidding, application, and invoicing process with a link to a more detailed explanation.

    Simplified step-by-step diagram of the bidding, application, and invoicing process with a link to a more detailed explanation.

     

The News Brief also reports the following EPC updates:

  • The addition of a Pending Inquiries Grid on each applicant’s Landing Page including a line items for outstanding inquires (except invoice and COMAD inquiries).
  • An update to PIA outreach templates that will now permit applicant uploads and/or narrative comments on all templates.