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January 9, 2023


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 (516-801-7810), or through our Contact Us web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central website.

The FY 2023 Form 471 application window will open on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 12:00 noon EST, and will close on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

USAC’s Special Edition E-Rate News Brief of December 21st, announced the FY 2023 window, provided tips for first-time filers, Category 2 budget planning, competitive bidding, and browser updates.  Most immediately, the News Brief reminded applicants to update their EPC entity profiles before the close of the Administrative Window that is scheduled for Monday, January 16th at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Once the Administrative Window is closed, entity profiles will be locked for the duration of the application window unless changed during PIA review.

E-Rate for FY 2022:

Wave 38 for FY 2022 was issued on Thursday, January 5th, for $3.98 million.  Cumulative commitments to date are $2.80 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 98.1% of the FY 2022 applications representing 93.5% of the requested funding.

ECF for 2021-2023:

Wave 15 for Window 3 was issued on Wednesday, January 4th, for $34.4 million.  Total commitments for all three ECF windows are $6.47 billion.  Nationwide, USAC has funded 79.4% of the ECF applications representing 65.4% of the requested funding.  Window 3 applications are now being funded down to the 75% rural band; Window 3 applications in the 65% rural band are currently under review.  Total disbursements as of last Friday remain $2.56 billion.

Upcoming Dates:

January 9 ACP application window deadline (DA 22-1213) for the FCC’s outreach pilot programs for potential participation by schools, libraries, and others (see our newsletter of August 15th).  See also the FCC and USAC announcements of the opening of the ACP application window.
January 13 The Form 486 deadline for FY 2022 Wave 22.  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 23            01/20/2023
Wave 24            01/27/2023
January 16 Close of the Administrative Window; last chance to update EPC entity profiles for FY 2023.  Thereafter, entity profiles will be locked until the close of the Form 471 application window.
January 18 Opening of the FY 2023 application window.
February 13 Comments due on requests to allow the use of E-rate funds for advanced or next generation firewalls and/or other network security services (DA 22-1315).  Reply comments are due March 30th.
February 28     Last possible date — please do not wait until then — to file a Form 470 for FY 2023 in order to: (a) meet the 28-day posting period; (b) close the bidding process and select the winning bidder(s); (c) sign any necessary contract(s); and (d) file the Form 471 application(s), all on the last day of the application window.
March 28 Closing of the FY 2023 application window at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Gigi Sohn Renominated for FCC Commissioner:

Gigi Sohn, who had initially been nominated as the fifth FCC Commissioner, but whose confirmation languished in an evenly divided Senate, has been renominated for that position by President Biden.  With a slight Democratic majority now in the Senate, prospects for confirmation have improved.  The addition of a fifth FCC Commissioner should break an apparent tie on several FCC issues — including, from an E-rate perspective, the approval of a Declaratory Ruling on the eligibility of WiFi on school buses as early as FY 2024.

Statements in support of Ms. Sohn’s confirmation were issued last week by FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel and Commissioner Starks.