August 15, 2014

Please continue to check the E-rate Modernization Order web page for links to additional information.

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are preparing to file an FCC Form 486 to confirm receipt of services, you should refer to the information from your Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) to complete the form. Note that you cannot successfully file an FCC Form 486 before USAC has issued an FCDL and your services have started.

Commitments for Funding Year 2014

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 15 FCDLs on August 20. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications, Telecommunications Services, and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of August 15, FY2014 commitments total over $1.71 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. 

E-rate Modernization Order: Changes Coming for 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the E-rate Modernization Order on July 11, 2014. The Order takes major steps to modernize and streamline the E-rate program and focuses on expanding funding for Wi-Fi networks in eligible elementary and secondary schools and libraries across America.

The following changes will become effective 30 days after the Order is published in the Federal Register.

Requests for review must first be filed with USAC.

Parties aggrieved by an action taken by a division of USAC, including the Schools and Libraries Division, must first seek review of that decision by USAC before filing an appeal with the FCC. The standards for evaluating the merits of these requests for review will be unchanged and affected parties will still have the right to seek FCC review of such decisions after USAC issues a decision.

USAC cannot waive FCC rules. Therefore, parties seeking only a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., a waiver of the application filing window requirement) must seek relief directly from the FCC.

Limiting invoicing deadline extension requests.

Applicants can request and automatically receive a single one-time 120-day extension of the invoicing deadline.

  • Applicants and service providers need not identify a reason for the requested extension.
  • USAC need not determine whether such timely requests meet certain criteria.

With respect to requests for review or requests to USAC seeking permission to submit invoices after USAC’s invoicing deadline for earlier funding years, USAC must consider whether such requests were made in good faith and within a reasonable time period after the services were provided or whether other extraordinary circumstances exist that support such a request. Absent extraordinary circumstances justifying the failure to timely submit invoices, the FCC has directed USAC to deny any requests or requests for review seeking an invoicing deadline extension of more than 12 months after the last date to invoice.

FCC Releases Public Notice, Staff Reports, and Fiber Maps

On August 13, 2014, the FCC released a Public Notice (FCC 14-1177) that in turn releases two items designed to provide a concise view of a portion of the large amount of data in the E-rate Modernization proceeding. These items are:

  • A staff report jointly authored by the Bureau and the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis that seeks to assist parties in navigating the large and data-intensive record in the E-rate Modernization docket as they consider making comments in response to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (section VIII of the E-rate Modernization Order).
  • Two maps on the FCC’s website that provide a geographic representation of the data submitted in the E-rate Modernization proceeding regarding fiber connectivity to public schools and libraries.

Links to the Public Notice and the staff report and fiber maps are also available on USAC's E-rate Modernization Order web page.


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