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October 18, 2021

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.

Wave 27 for FY 2021 was released on Thursday, October 14th, for a total of $19.6 million.  Cumulative commitments are $2.30 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has now funded 96% of the FY 2021 applications representing 80% of the requested funding.

Wave 2 of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”) was released on Tuesday, October 12th, for a total of $1.16 billion (see FCC News Release). Cumulative ECF funding is now $2.36 billion.

The second shorter ECF application window closed on Wednesday, October 13th.  As of last weekend, USAC’s ECF dataset had been updated to show Wave 2 funding decisions from the first application window but did not yet show the new second window applications.  We expect a second window update this week.  This update should also include late-filed first window applications that, as per the FCC Order DA 21-1182, are to be treated as timely-filed second window applications.

Upcoming Dates:

October 20 Nomination deadline for six USAC Board members including one school representative (see DA 21-1027).  The FCC subsequently added a request for board member nominations representing commercial mobile radio service providers (due November 8th).

Editorial Note: The State E-Rate Coordinators’ Alliance (“SECA”)  and the American Library Association (“ALA”) have both recommended the renomination of Julie Tritt Schell, for another term as a school representative on the Board.  E‑Rate Central, which has witnessed firsthand the proactive expertise and passion Ms. Schell has brought to the E‑rate program as a two-term member of the USAC Board and as the Pennsylvania State E-rate Coordinator, enthusiastically endorses her reappointment and encourages other interested parties to do so as well.  Supporting comments under Docket Nos. 96-45 and 97-21 may be filed online with the FCC via the Submit a Filing site or the less formal ECFS Express filing mechanism.

October 28 Invoice deadline for FY 2020 recurring services and/or for requesting a 120‑day invoice deadline extension for the same services.
October 29     First Form 486 deadline for FY 2021 covering funding committed in Waves 1-12.  More generally, the Form 486 deadline is 120 days from the FCDL date or from the service start date (typically July 1st), whichever is later.  Upcoming Form 486 deadlines are:
Wave 13              11/05/2021
Wave 14              11/12/2021
Wave 15              11/19/2021

USAC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Newsletter of October 12, 2021, again notes that invoicing is now available through the ECF Portal.  Most importantly, the newsletter stresses the need for every invoice filer — applicant or service provider — to have a current SAM.gov registration. 

Separately, although not discussed in last week’s newsletter, we note that:

  • USAC has begun sending SAM.gov reminder emails to applicants reportedly planning to file BEARs but who are apparently not currently registered in SAM.gov.
  • SAM.gov registrations have expiration dates and must be current at the time ECF invoices are filed.  Earlier this year, the U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”) did provide automatic 180-day extensions of SAM.gov registrations that would have otherwise expired between April 1 and September 30, 2021.

The ECF newsletter also repeats many of the FAQs from earlier newsletters but added the following:

Can I submit an invoice for a partial FRN and a partial line item within one FRN?
Short answer: Yes.

For equipment and non-recurring services, what is the deadline for filing requests for reimbursement?
Short answer: See the FCC’s Public Notice DA 21-881 or more information about the deadline for invoicing for non-recurring purchases.