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November 21, 2022


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 31 for FY 2022 was issued on Thursday, November 17th, for $20.0 million.  Cumulative commitments to date are $2.70 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 97.3% of the FY 2022 applications representing 89.7% of the requested funding.

ECF for 2021-2023:

Wave 26 for Windows 1 and 2 and Wave 12 for Window 3 were released on Wednesday, November 16, for a total of $84 million, almost entirely for Window 3 applicants. Total commitments for all three ECF windows are $6.35 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 78.8% of the ECF applications representing 64.9% of the requested funding.  Total disbursements as of last Friday remain $2.18 billion.

Upcoming Dates:

November 21     ACP application window (DA 22-1213) for the FCC’s outreach pilot programs for potential participation by schools, libraries, and others (see our newsletter of August 15th).  The ACP pilot application window will close January 9th.
November 25 The Form 486 deadline for FY 2022 Wave 15.  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 16                 12/02/2022
Wave 17                 12/09/2022
Wave 18                 12/16/2022
Wave 19                 12/23/2022
Wave 20                 12/30/2022

Tribal Connect Act Introduced:

U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM) has introduced the Tribal Connect Act of 2022 designed to make it easier for Tribal applicants to secure high-speed internet access through the E-rate program.  Companion legislation in the Senate has been introduced by Senators Heinrich (D-NM), Hoeven (R-ND), and Luján (D-NM).  If enacted, the Act would:

  • Establish a Tribal Essential Community-Serving Institution Pilot Program to ensure Tribes without libraries can designate a Native-owned public institution, such as a community or all-purpose center, as eligible to apply for support from a $300 million fund over three years to provide high-speed internet access to students, teachers, and the community within the facility.
  • Provide technical assistance to Tribes to help ensure that Native schools, libraries, and qualifying essential community-serving institutions can fully participate in universal service programs and E-rate.  This includes targeted outreach, specific training programs, and direct federal grants.  The bill authorizes $50 million in appropriations for these purposes.
  • Require the FCC to develop performance goals and measures to track progress on achieving the strategic objective of the Commission of ensuring that all Tribes have affordable high-speed internet access and telecommunications services.
  • Increase resources for technical assistance by appointing a Tribal representative to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) board of directors and expanding USF offices that provide application support.

USAC’s E-Rate News Brief of November 17, 2022, discusses the steps that applicants should take if they miss their Form 486 filing deadline — deadlines that have probably already passed for applicants funded in Waves 1-14 for FY 2022 and are upcoming shortly for subsequent funding waves (see deadline dates above).  USAC’s policy is to send Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters to applicants missing their regular Form 486 deadlines giving them an additional 15 days to certify their Form 486s.  Applicants that miss their extended deadlines, and file later, will find that their service start dates will be reset to 120-days before their actual filing dates.  This is likely to result in a partial loss of funding for FY 2022.

Last week’s Newsletter also includes:

  • Reminders for updating entity profiles during the current administrative window and for reviewing (and updating as necessary) EPC Account Administrator designations and user permissions.
  • Links to recordings and slides from USAC’s fall 2022 training.
  • An announcement that the 2023 Payment Quality Assurance (“PQA”) assessment program is now underway to selectively review payments made on invoices submitted over the past 12 months.
  • A notice of an update to the Covered Companies list of prohibited suppliers to add Pacific Network Corp. and China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited.
  • A summary of the FCC’s recently launched E-rate Tribal libraries pilot program (see our newsletter of October 24th).