November 11, 2016
TIP OF THE WEEK: Applicants are now able to cancel and re-file an FCC Form 486 (see below). We suggest that you review the information below to determine if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
Commitments for Funding Year 2016
Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 21 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on November 14. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of November 11, FY2016 commitments total over $971.7 million.
On the date the FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
Canceling and Re-filing an FCC Form 486
In the October 7 SL News Brief we discussed filing the FCC Form 486, and in last week's SL News Brief we covered FCC Form 486 filing deadlines for FY2016. In this issue we will describe how to cancel an FCC Form 486.
Applicants who have provided incorrect or conflicting information on their certified FCC Form 486 may want to cancel the form and file a new one. This usually happens because:
If the CIPA status reported on the FCC Form 486 is inconsistent with the service type of at least one of the FRNs on the form, the form will remain "In Review" until the inconsistency can be resolved. Because USAC is currently unable to successfully process these forms, applicants may wish to cancel and re-file the form and either correct the CIPA status or remove the FRNs that are causing the inconsistency.
As a reminder, CIPA applies to Data Transmission and/or Internet Access in Category One when one of the following is applicable:
The service includes a connection from the applicant's site directly to the Internet service provider.
The service does not include a circuit because the data circuit is connected to a state or regional network and is billed separately.
Your Category One services include fiber services, such as leased lit fiber, leased dark fiber and self-provisioned networks.
CIPA applies to all Category Two service types (Internal Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections, and Managed Internal Broadband Services).
If the FRNs on your FCC Form 486 are for these service types, your CIPA certification should indicate that you are:
"Working toward compliance" with CIPA if this is your first E-rate funding year and you are not yet in compliance with CIPA.
You can also select that you are "working toward compliance" if this is your second E-rate funding year and you requested a CIPA waiver on your FCC Form 486 because your state or local procurement rules or requirements prevent you from making the certification.
In all other circumstances, you must indicate that you are compliant with CIPA when you file your FCC Form 486.
To cancel a certified FCC Form 486, you can create a customer service case in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB).
To create a customer service case in EPC:
Click "Contact Us" from the list of quick links at the top of your landing page.
Enter a nickname for your request and provide a short description.
Choose "FCC Form 486" from the Topic menu and "Other" from the Subtopic menu.
Identify the specific form(s) you want to cancel. You can provide the form number and/or nickname in the narrative, add the form number in the "Form Number" field, or attach a PDF copy of your form.
Be sure to choose the person best able to answer any questions about your request in the "Case Contact" field.
Submit your request.
To call CSB:
Have your FCC Form 486 number and/or nickname handy.
Call us at 888-203-8100 and choose the option to speak to a live agent.
Inform the agent that you want to cancel an FCC Form 486. Be sure that you have provided enough information to allow the agent to clearly identify the form you want to cancel.
Make a note of the case number the agent creates for your request.
Once we have canceled the form, we will notify you so you can file a new FCC Form 486 featuring the appropriate FRNs from your canceled form.
Please note: If you have previously created a case or called CSB to cancel a form but have been unable to file a new FCC Form 486, follow the above steps and note specifically that your previous request did not allow you to refile an FCC Form 486. If you have the case number from your previous request, include that as well.
PQA Requests for Information Are Going Out
The Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) assessment program is underway. PQA is a program that assesses E-rate payments made on invoices submitted during the past 12 months to verify that the payments were properly made – in other words, that all program rules were followed correctly when the payment was authorized and disbursed.
Emails notifying applicants whose payments have been selected for PQA are being sent from the domain name usac.i-sight.com. Please check your email and respond promptly if you receive an email from USAC's PQA Program. Also check your spam folder or junk email folder to see if it contains an email from this domain. This will help expedite your review.
Do not hesitate to contact your reviewer if you have questions. Contact information is provided in the email.
Also, contact your PQA reviewer if you are unable to respond by the deadline.
For disbursements made each month, a certain number of payments will be chosen randomly, and applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation – for example, customer bills that support invoices submitted to USAC – to verify that those payments were made correctly. It is important that you maintain proper documentation in order to be able to respond correctly and completely to PQA requests. You can review the E-rate Binder on the USAC website for a list of documents to retain.
USAC is required to provide the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with information about improper payments, as required by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA). USAC uses the PQA assessments to estimate the rate of improper payments and provides this information to the FCC annually.
Last Week in "File Along with Me":
"File Along with Me" is a blog that covers the E-rate Program application process step-by-step, and serves as a schedule you can follow to manage your application. Ready to join us? Read the Blog