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July 25, 2022

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.

E-Rate for FY 2022:

Wave 14 for FY 2022 was issued on Thursday, July  21st, for $46.2 million.  Cumulative commitments to date are $2.09 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 92.9% of the FY 2022 applications representing 67.3% of the requested funding.

ECF for 2021-2023:

Total commitments as of Wave 18 for ECF-1/2 and Wave 3 for ECF-3 are $5.56 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 68.1% of applications filed in all three ECF windows.  Authorized disbursements as of last Friday totaled $1.31 billion as of the last batch of invoices processed June 24th.

Upcoming Dates:

July 29 Form 486 deadline for FY 2021 covering funding committed in Wave 51.  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 52                      08/05/2022
Wave 53                      08/18/2022
August 5 FCC open meeting to consider, among other topics, an ACP Outreach Grant Program and a one-year “Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program” to increase ACP awareness.
September 9     Last day of the “Summer Deferral” window giving applicants additional time to respond to PIA E-rate inquiries.  No such deferral period is in effect for ECF inquiries.

USAC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Newsletter of July 19, 2022, notes the additional funding from two weeks ago and repeats all the same information from the previous week’s newsletter.

USAC’s Schools and Libraries News Brief of July 21, 2022, provides the following reminders from last week’s USAC invoicing webinar:

  • Payments
    • For Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) invoicing, the applicant must have paid the service provider in full before invoicing USAC.
    • For Service Provider (SPI) invoicing, the applicant must pay the service provider their non-discounted portion.
  • Be sure to invoice USAC only for your Form 471 approved, eligible equipment and services, in the correct quantities and rates, and delivered only to the approved Recipients of Service.
  • Ensure the upload/download speed is properly listed for the approved FRN.  If you are using a flexible bandwidth speed, ensure you are using the min/max field on the Form 471.
  • Invoiced amounts must be for actual charges, not the amount committed through the E‑rate program.
  • Billed rates must not exceed the contracted rates.  USAC will only pay up to the contracted rates.
  • Remove ineligible items (equipment and services not approved on the Form 471).
  • Respond to all outreach completely and timely to expedite your payment.
  • To prevent duplicate invoice submission, establish a process to track/identify each invoice.
  • Responding to a certification outreach request is the applicant’s task. The service provider is added only for their awareness.

Last week’s News Brief also provides the following reminders on filing Form 470s for FY 2023:

  • To start an FCC Form 470, you must have a One Portal username and password to access EPC.
    • Your organization's profile must be established in EPC before you can file any program form, including a Form 470.
    • You do not need to update your student counts (schools) or square footage (libraries) before filing the Form 470.
  • If you issue a request for proposal (“RFP”) and/or RFP documents, you must upload these documents to your Form 470.

Note:   E-Rate Central recommends that every Form 470 include an uploaded RFP, if only a simple narrative description of the products and services required.  Unless such an RFP is included when the Form 470 is initially filed, the applicant will be unable to append any additional clarifications, such as responses to vendor questions, later in the process without filing an entirely new Form 470.

  • Certify the form online in EPC.
  • Your receipt notification will appear in your EPC News feed shortly after you certify your form.
  • Service providers can view filed Form 470s either through EPC or on the USAC website.

The News Brief also includes reminders to service providers to file their Form 473 Service Provider Annual Certification (“SPAC”) forms for FY 2022.