May 22, 2015

TIP OF THE WEEK: If Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) contacts you with questions about your application, please respond promptly and completely. Your timely response will facilitate the review of your application and assist us in reaching a decision more quickly.

Commitments for Funding Years 2015 and 2014

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 2 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 1. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of May 22, FY2015 commitments total over $153 million.

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release FY2014 Wave 55 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) May 29. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) at all discount levels. As of May 22, FY2014 commitments total over $2.21 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.

DEADLINE REMINDER: Certify Your FCC Form 471 by May 26

Applicants that submitted an FCC Form 471 online on or before the application filing window closed must certify their form by 11:59 pm EDT on Tuesday, May 26 for the form to be considered in-window.

  • To check the status of your certification, click the Display button in the online FCC Form 471, enter your application number and click Display, and look for the entry at the top of the page next to the caption Date Certified.
  • To check the status of a paper certification that you sent to USAC, you can call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100.
  • If you are not sure how to certify your form, you can watch our certification video.

FCC Conducts Fiber Build Workshop

On May 20, the FCC conducted an E-rate Fiber Build Workshop that provided E-rate applicants, providers, and state and local policy makers with information and tools for planning fiber build projects under the new E-rate rules, with a focus on issues applicants need to consider in order to choose the most cost-effective plans for deploying fiber.

An agenda, speaker biographies, and a recording of the workshop are available on the E-rate Fiber Build Workshop event page on the FCC website.

How to Complete Item 8 on the FCC Form 486

Beginning with FY2015, technology plans are not required for Category One or Category Two services. FY2015 applicants complete Block 4, Item 8 of the FCC Form 486 as follows:

  • If you are filing online using the expert version (the Create Form 486 button), check the box next to Item 8, choose "Other" from the dropdown menu, and enter "NONE" in the resulting text box.
  • If you are filing online using the interview version (the Form 486 Interview button), check the box next to Item 8 and click on "I agree," then choose "Other" from the dropdown menu and click "Go," then type "NONE" in the resulting text box.
  • If you are filing on paper, check the box next to Item 8 and write "NONE" in the space below the Item 8 certification.

Information Requests from USAC - Summer Contact Period Starts Today

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process a form. These procedures are described in detail in the Missing Information guidance document on the USAC website.

We encourage you to respond promptly to our requests for information so that we can continue processing forms. You can assist by:

  • Monitoring the contact email address you indicated on your form.
  • If someone else can answer questions about your form, providing their contact information to us (see below).
  • If you are temporarily unavailable, updating your automated email response so that we know when you will return.

Note that, if we do not hear from you in a timely manner, we may have to process your form with the information we have, which may mean rejecting a paper form or reducing or denying funding on a funding request. Also, if our first attempt to contact you is on or after May 22, 2015 and we put your form on hold due to the summer contact period (see below), this may cause an additional delay in the processing of your form.

Below we discuss two of the most common situations where USAC needs more information:

  • Problem Resolution. If USAC cannot complete data entry of a paper form because information is missing or inconsistent, Problem Resolution will attempt to reach the contact person listed on the form (or in our database, if no contact information is provided on the form) by telephone, fax, or email to obtain the necessary information.
  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. If USAC needs more information from an applicant to complete the review of an application, a PIA initial reviewer will use the contact email address provided on the form to send questions and also to inform the applicant of correctable errors discovered on the form during the application review process.

For PIA review questions, USAC's customary procedure is as follows:

  • USAC uses the contact email address to send questions and to request responses.
  • If we have not heard from you after seven days from our first attempt to contact you, we will attempt to contact you again by email and we will also inform your state E-rate coordinator that we are attempting to contact you.
  • If we have not heard from you after 15 days from our first attempt to contact you, we will use the information we have to complete the processing of your form. For an FCC Form 471, this may mean that the funding you requested will be reduced or denied.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules. Problem Resolution or PIA will not continue the process described above during these periods unless we are contacted by the contact person or someone else who has been designated to respond to our questions.

  • Our summer contact period is defined as the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day. For 2015, the dates of the summer contact period are May 22 (today) through September 11.

If our first attempt to contact you is on or after today, and we cannot confirm that you are available to respond to our questions, we will put our process on hold and not begin Problem Resolution or PIA review until after September 11.

However, if we have made a successful contact with you before today, May 22, your 15-day response clock has started and we will act on the information we have on hand if we have not heard from you by the response deadline. For PIA review, we define a successful contact as a sent email message with no return notification of non-delivery or out-of-office response.

If PIA has already contacted you and you wish to designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure to send your designee's contact information to your PIA reviewer. If PIA has not contacted you and your designee will be checking your messages, be sure that you have provided written authorization for your designee to answer questions about your application. PIA will request this authorization in case any changes need to be made.

If you designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure that person has sufficient knowledge of your application to respond accurately. If someone responds to an email message from PIA but is not in a position to answer PIA questions, that person should clearly state to the PIA reviewer that the review of your application should be put on hold until you return to the office.

Remember also that you can ask for more time to respond if you need it.


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