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Schools and Libraries News Brief
September 21, 2007

 

TIP OF THE WEEK: If your last date to receive non-recurring services is September 30, 2007 and you need to request an extension, file it now. USAC cannot process service delivery extension requests received or postmarked after the last day to receive service.

Commitments for Funding Year 2007

Funding Year 2007. USAC will release FY2007 Wave 21 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) September 25. This wave will include commitments for approved Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance requests at 83% and above. As of September 21, FY2007 commitments total just under $1.36 billion.

On the day after the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Update on Schools and Libraries Training Site

A Schools and Libraries training site is now available online. This site provides the same searching and filing options as the Apply Online page but in a training environment. Users can conduct training sessions using the site or practice filing and certifying program forms online outside of the actual Apply Online site.

The following forms are currently available for training and practice:

  • Form 470
  • Form 470 Interview
  • Form 471
  • Form 471 Interview
  • Form 486
  • Form 486 Interview
  • BEAR Form 472

Users that access this site are greeted with a warning message identifying the site as a training site. The site is for training and practice only – forms filed on this site will NOT be reviewed.

Training Billed Entity Number (BEN) and general information

In order to use all of the features of this site, we recommend that you file under the entity that was specifically created for training (Brad’s School). By using this entity you can file any type of application and certify any online form on the training site. For example:

  • You can file an application as an individual school, a school district, a library, or a consortium.
  • You can use any contact person name and contact information.
  • You can add any entities you choose to a Form 471 Block 4 worksheet.

Billed Entity Name:                                             Brad’s School
Billed Entity Number:                                          145909
Billed Entity Email:                                             applicant@usac.org
Personal Identification Number (PIN):                  &blahs
Authorized Person Last Name:                             Smith

We recommend that you disable popup blockers in order to receive all of the reminders and warning messages that guide you through the online application process and help prevent you from making many common errors.

Also, do not bookmark any of the internal pages on the training site. Otherwise, you may accidentally file a form on the training site when you meant to file it on the Apply Online site.

Form 470 and Form 470 Interview

No special data are necessary to file a Form 470 on the training site. If you wish, you can use data you are familiar with to file the form – your BEN, your address, your contact person. However, you cannot certify the form unless you use Brad’s School as the Block 1 entity.

Form 471 and Form 471 Interview

Form 471 for a funding year is not available online until the Form 471 application filing window opens. However, we have activated Form 471 on the training site so that users will have access to all forms for training and practice.

In order for users to experience reminders and warning messages for the Form 471, USAC had to first set a Form 471 application filing window closing date. The date we chose is January 17, 2008.  The actual opening and closing dates of the FY2008 filing window have not yet been established, so keep in mind that any messages you receive about window deadlines are calculating from this January 17 date for training purposes only.

To complete the data entry of a Block 5 funding request, you must enter the Form 470 Application Number of a Form 470 that has been posted for at least 28 days. The training site was refreshed recently with data from the Apply Online site, so you can use a Form 470 Application Number from a Form 470 you filed last year if you wish. If you do not have a form number, you can use the Search Form 470 function to locate one.

Again, if you file using Brad’s School as the Block 1 entity, you can create worksheets appropriate for schools, libraries, or consortia, and you can complete the online certification process just as you can on the Apply Online site using the above PIN.

Once you have filed a Form 471, you can use your Form 471 Application Number and Security Code to file an Item 21 Attachment online on the training site as well.

Form 486 and Form 486 Interview

Form 486 can only be filed once for each Funding Request Number (FRN). Without additional action by USAC, this characteristic would limit the usefulness of the training site for this form. Consequently, USAC is providing a list of training FRNs for Form 486 – 100 FRNs, 25 for each of the four categories of service – that are re-created every morning. This means that if you file a Form 486 on the training site for a particular FRN today, you can file a Form 486 for the same FRN tomorrow (assuming another trainer doesn’t use it first – remember that this list is available to everyone). If the FRN does not work because someone has already used it that day, you can just choose another FRN from the list. All of the FRNs must be filed using FY2007 as the funding year.

BEAR Form 472

To begin filing a BEAR Form, you must first provide a BEN, a PIN, a valid email address, and the last name of the person authorized to use the PIN. The system checks to make sure these four entries match and then allows you to continue. As with the Form 486, USAC provides a list of training FRNs for BEAR Forms. Because you can file multiple invoices on an FRN, this list does not have to be re-created each morning.

Keep in mind that USAC will not act on any forms or data filed or certified on the training site.

Fall Training Update

The second training session in Orlando, FL was a great success. Beginners were strongly represented among the attendees – over 90 of the 250 registrants have been with E-rate for less than two years, and many of those for just a few months.

Applicants and service providers that have not yet signed up for a training session are encouraged to do so. Some training sessions are full but cancellations can occur, so it is worth adding your name to the waiting list. Other sessions still have space available. The figures below are current as of 10:00 a.m. yesterday.

City

Dates

Registrants

Hotel Cutoff Date

Boston, MA

September 27–28

208

No rooms available

New Orleans, LA

October 2–3

240

A few rooms available

Cleveland, OH

October 9–10

250

No rooms available

San Francisco, CA

October 17–18

250

No rooms available

Phoenix, AZ

October 24–25

250

October 2

Once a session has reached 250 registrants, USAC starts a waiting list. If you find that you cannot attend a session after you have registered, please remember to cancel your registration to open a slot for someone else. We also recommend picking a second-choice training session and registering for that as well in case your first choice does not become available.

Remember also that registering with USAC for the training does not automatically reserve a hotel room. You must follow the hotel reservation instructions linked to the training session you want to attend in order to make a hotel reservation. Note that in some cases, hotel rooms at the training site are no longer available.

REMINDER: Beginners sessions are limited to true beginners – those program participants with less than two years’ experience with E-rate. Beginners will receive an invitation by email to attend the beginners session at their registered training.

If you have questions – including questions about a current waiting list – you can direct them to the email address or the telephone number provided on the 2007 Training announcement under “How to Register.”

You may download and print copies of Schools and Libraries News Briefs on USAC’s website. You may subscribe to or unsubscribe from this news brief. For program information, please visit the Schools and Libraries area of the USAC website, submit a question, or call us toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. Feel free to forward this news brief to any interested parties.

Please do not reply to this email directly, as it was sent from an unattended mailbox.

1997-2007, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.


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