May 16, 2014
TIP OF THE WEEK: The FCC Form 486 for FY2014 is available for filing, either online or on paper. If you have received a funding commitment for FY2014 and you want to submit your form before services have started, review the information below.
Commitments for Funding Years 2014 and 2013
Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 2 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) May 21. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of May 16, FY2014 commitments total over $699 million.
Funding Year 2013. USAC will release FY2013 Wave 52 FCDLs May 22. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of May 16, FY2013 commitments total just over $2.07 billion.
On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool.
APPLICATION PROCESS: FCC Form 486 and FCC Form 479
After applicants have received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment and services have started for the funding year, they can file an FCC Form 486.
The FCC Form 486 is filed to accomplish the following:
In some cases, applicants can file an FCC Form 486 early – that is, before services have started. For the applicant to file early, all of the following must be true:
The applicant has received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment.
The applicant has confirmed with the named service provider(s) that the services ordered will start in July (i.e., on or before July 31).
The applicant can accurately make all of the relevant certifications in Block 4 as of the date that the FCC Form 486 is certified.
For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of CIPA (see below), recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf. In this situation, the FCC Form 479 provides the information necessary for the Billed Entity to complete the appropriate CIPA certification(s) and successfully submit the FCC Form 486.
As a reminder, we are including summary information about the technology planning and CIPA requirements below.
- Technology planning requirements
Here are the basic requirements of a technology plan:
- It must be created (written) before the FCC Form 470 is filed. (An existing approved technology plan that includes the requested Priority 2 services and that covers at least part of the upcoming funding year meets this requirement.)
- It must cover all 12 months of the funding year for which you are applying.
- It must contain all of the required elements.
- It must be approved by a USAC-certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA) before the FCC Form 486 is filed or services start, whichever is earlier.
- In general, it cannot cover more than three years.
- Applies only to applicants requesting Priority 2 services - Internal Connections and/or Basic Maintenance services.
You must be prepared to provide on the FCC Form 486 the name of the TPA that approved your technology plan. If you must list more than one TPA – for example, if you are filing a consortium application and more than one TPA approved the technology plans of your individual members – you must be prepared to provide the names of all appropriate TPAs.
- CIPA requirements
In general, CIPA requires schools and libraries receiving discounts on Internet Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance services to certify that they are enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes measures to block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions.
To receive discounted services, the Administrative Authority for your school or library (see below) must certify that:
- You are in compliance with CIPA or
- You are undertaking actions to comply with CIPA or
- CIPA does not apply because you are receiving discounts for telecommunications services. Note that CIPA also does not apply if you are receiving discounts for telecommunications, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, or fiber services requested in the Internet Access category for telecommunications transmission purposes only.
For a school, the Administrative Authority may be the school, school district, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school. For a library, the Administrative Authority may be the library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library.
If the Administrative Authority is the same as the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority certifies on the FCC Form 486.
If the Administrative Authority is not the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority must certify on the FCC Form 479 and submit the completed FCC Form 479 to the Billed Entity. The Billed Entity then certifies on the FCC Form 486 that it has collected duly completed and signed FCC Form(s) 479. The Billed Entity does not need to collect FCC Forms 479 when the Billed Entity applies only for telecommunications services.
Keep in mind that – when FCC Forms 479 are required – Billed Entities must wait until they have collected all FCC Forms 479 before they can accurately make the appropriate CIPA certification(s) on the FCC Form 486. To avoid reductions in funding due to late-filed FCC Forms 486, recipients of service should act promptly when their Billed Entity asks them to complete and submit this form. Remember that FCC Forms 479 are submitted to the Billed Entity, not to USAC or the FCC.
For detailed information on the requirements of CIPA compliance, refer to the CIPA guidance on the USAC website.
For more information on FCC Form 486 and FCC Form 479, refer to the FCC Form 486 Instructions and the FCC Form 479 Instructions.