June 5, 2015
TIP OF THE WEEK: You can designate someone to answer PIA questions if that person is knowledgeable about your application and you will not be available for all or part of the summer. If you did not already provide alternate contact information on your FCC Form 471, you can provide it to your PIA reviewer now (see below).
Commitments for Funding Years 2015 and 2014
Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 4 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 12. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 5, FY2015 commitments total just over $267 million.
Funding Year 2014. USAC will release FY2014 Wave 56 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 10. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) at all discount levels. As of June 5, 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.
What Should Applicants Be Doing This Summer?
Both applicants and service providers can, with a few simple steps, make sure applications continue to be reviewed, invoices continue to be paid, and documents continue to be processed during the summer months. Here are a few tips on how you can help speed these forms and requests along:
1. Monitor the contact information you provided on program forms and requests.
Applicants and service providers provide contact information on each program form and also on each program request, e.g., for a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) change, service substitution, or invoice deadline extension. USAC uses this information to contact the person that submitted the form or request if any questions arise during processing and/or review.
Please monitor your email address and other contact information provided on your forms and requests in case USAC has any questions.
2. Respond to any Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review questions.
PIA continues to review applications during the summer. If you do not respond to a request for information by the deadline on the PIA request, PIA will review your application with the information you provided, which may lead to a reduction or denial of funding.
If you provided holiday/vacation/summer contact information, we will use that information to contact you with any questions during our review of your application. You should contact your PIA reviewer if that information has changed. (You can call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 if you don't know your PIA reviewer.)
- If the status of your FCC Form 471 in the View 471 Status tool is "Awaiting Applicant Documentation," you should contact your reviewer as soon as possible to find out what information PIA has requested from you.
NOTE: The summer contact period began May 22 and will end September 11. If we attempt to contact you on or after May 22 and we are unable to make a successful contact, we will put your application on hold and not resume our review until after September 11. However, if you are available to answer the questions we have emailed to you, we encourage you to respond so that the review of your application can continue. For more information, refer to the May 22 SL News Brief.
3. Respond to any Problem Resolution (paper form processing) questions.
USAC continues to process paper forms and certifications during the summer as well. If USAC cannot enter data from your paper form or certification, someone from Problem Resolution will contact you to obtain the information we need.
If it appears that your paper form or certification has not yet been processed, you can always ask about the status of your form by contacting CSB.
4. Submit your FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Forms for services already received for FY2014.
Applicants submit a BEAR Form to request reimbursement of the discount amount from USAC after paying for services in full. Although some applicants wait until the end of the funding year and then submit one BEAR Form for the entire year, you can submit BEAR Forms monthly, quarterly, or at other intervals as long as you don't file duplicate requests for services received during the same period.
If you submit a BEAR Form now, make sure someone is in the office to either deposit the reimbursement check from your service provider or to work with the service provider to give you a credit on your bill. Remember that you can submit BEAR Forms both online and on paper.
If you are leaving for the summer and you have not yet submitted a BEAR Form, we encourage you to gather your customer bills (the bills from your service provider) in one place before you leave. This will make it easier for you to complete the invoicing process when you return.
5. Label and store program-related documents.
FCC rules require you to retain documentation related to the application process and the receipt and delivery of discounted services for ten years after the last date to receive service.
Some examples of documents that you should file now – before they are lost or misplaced – include:
- A copy of your Request for Proposal (RFP) if one was issued
- Correspondence with service providers, such as answers to questions posed by bidders during the time the competitive bidding process was open
- Winning and losing bids
- Bid evaluation matrices
- Other documentation related to the competitive bidding process.
Filing these documents now will ensure that they are available later in the event they are needed.
6. Subscribe to the Schools and Libraries News Brief from a personal email account.
USAC will continue to issue SL News Briefs each Friday during the summer. Along with general program guidance, the News Briefs will include updates that may request or require action before September. We also issue Special Edition News Briefs on other days of the week on specific topics as needed.
You are welcome to subscribe to the SL News Brief from more than one email account – even if you subscribe from the second account only during the summer months and then unsubscribe when you return in September – by clicking on the "subscribe" link at the bottom of this page. This way you can stay informed if you do not have access to your email account at work during the summer.
We will cover summer activities for service providers in a future SL News Brief.