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Schools and Libraries News Brief
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Schools and Libraries News Brief
July 6, 2007

 

TIP OF THE WEEK: Collect and review the documents you will need to invoice USAC for any remaining FY2006 recurring services. The last day to receive these services was June 30; in general, the deadline for invoicing USAC for these services is October 29.

Commitments for Funding Years 2007 and 2006

Funding Year 2007. USAC will release FY2007 Wave 10 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) July 11. This wave will include commitments for approvals of Priority 1 requests (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) at all discount levels and approvals of Priority 2 requests (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) at 90%. As of July 6, FY2007 commitments total just over $475 million.

Funding Year 2006. USAC will release FY2006 Wave 57 FCDLs July 9. This wave will include commitments for approved Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance funding requests at 86% and above and denials at 84% and below. As of July 6, FY2006 commitments total just under $1.92 billion.

USAC will also release FY2006 Wave 58 FCDLs July 13. This wave will include denials of Priority 2 funding requests at 85%, as USAC has determined that funds are not sufficient to make commitments at this discount level.

On the day after the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Save the Dates Fall Training Announcement

This fall, USAC will offer seven 1.5-day training sessions at locations around the country. Details are not yet final, but we are providing the information we do have so that you can start making plans if you want to attend a training session. Although some hotel contracts have been signed, you will not be able to make hotel reservations at negotiated rates until registration opens on our website July 23.

City

Dates

Hotel

Washington, DC

September 13-14

Marriott at Metro Center

Orlando, FL

September 18-19

Under negotiation

Boston, MA

September 27-28

Under negotiation

New Orleans, LA

October 2-3

Under negotiation

Cleveland, OH

October 9-10

Under negotiation

San Francisco, CA

October 17-18

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

Phoenix, AZ

October 24-25

Hilton Phoenix Airport

The training sessions will be open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. USAC will start a waiting list for each session once we reach 250 registrations. We will formally announce the training and open registration on our website July 23.

Expanded FRN Comment Field on FCDLs

You may have noticed a change in format for FCDLs that were issued this week. Each Funding Request Number (FRN) in the Funding Commitment Report now appears on its own page. This change will accommodate the additional space required by an expansion of the “Funding Commitment Decision Explanation” field (the “FCDL comment”) from 275 to 2,000 characters.

In the near future, USAC will be issuing modifications and denials of funding requests for FY2007. The expanded comment field will allow Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewers to provide much more information than was possible before – for example, descriptions and costs of ineligible items removed from FRNs, all of the reasons for a funding denial if multiple reasons exist, etc.

Note that, even though all FCDLs have been modified to report one FRN per page, only FRNs from FY2007 will contain this additional information.

Service providers that receive electronic notifications will also receive this additional information in their electronic files. USAC ran tests with a number of service providers and successfully resolved the few issues that resulted from this file change. If you have difficulty receiving electronic files for FY2007 (note above that the expansion of the FCDL comment field only affects FY2007 FRNs), please call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 and report your problem as a “2007 Comment Field” problem so that we route it correctly.

Invoicing Update – Centrex Services

In general, if a service that was not approved for funding appears on an invoice (BEAR Form 472 or SPI Form 474), the service may be removed or the entire invoice may be rejected. However, USAC is modifying its invoice review procedures for FY2006 when Centrex services appear on an invoice.

In general, services must be approved as part of a funding request and must appear on the associated Item 21 Attachment. If Centrex services listed on an invoice appear to be new services, USAC will now ask the following questions:

  • Does the same service appear on a customer bill for a previous funding year? USAC can accept this evidence to indicate that Centrex services were included in the request for the current year.
  • Did the applicant leave Item 14 blank on the establishing Form 470? Applicants check Item 14, Basic telephone service only, to inform USAC that the services they are requesting are included in the definition of basic telephone service. Centrex services fall outside this definition.
  • Does the applicant have a technology plan? Technology plans are required for services other than basic telephone service and Centrex services are not considered basic.

If the answer to all three questions is “Yes,” USAC can review your FY2006 invoice for approval. Your invoice reviewer may ask for additional documentation to substantiate the answers to these questions.

If an invoice for FY2006 services was denied under the old procedure but could be approved under the new procedure, you can resubmit the invoice.

Online Filing Tips for Form 486

Now that the Form 486 PDF version has been taken down from the website, USAC is working on a replacement format that will be easier for applicants to use. For the next few months, applicants that want to submit a Form 486 online must use the Form 486 Interview available from the Apply Online page.

Below are a few tips for using the Form 486 Interview:

  • After you enter your Billed Entity Number and contact information, the system will generate a Form 486 Application Number and security code. Print that screen or make a note of those numbers because you will need them to finish an incomplete form or certify a form if you exit the system and return later.
  • If all of the FRNs on your Form 486 are for basic telephone service, you do not need a technology plan. In this situation, when you get to the “Form 486 – Tech Plan Approver” screen, you must choose “Others” from the drop-down menu and then type “NONE” in the text box that follows.
  • To print a copy of your Form 486, you must do so from the “Form 486 – Certification” screen. The middle button on this screen is labeled “Print Preview.” By clicking on this button, your browser will open a separate window from which you can print a copy of your form. (Even though the form has not yet been submitted, you have already entered all of the required data.)
  • If you click the “Submit” button and decide to certify your form later, you can use the “Certify Complete” button on the Apply Online page to do so. Remember that you must enter your Form 486 Application Number and security code to access your form.

 

HATS Quote for July:

“You should have been here years ago. This has been great today and we appreciate your expertise. All of the information you've covered is absolutely essential in helping applicants to succeed.”

Floyd Beard, Executive Director of the East Central BOCES

For more information on the Helping Applicants to Succeed (HATS) site visit outreach initiative, refer to the HATS Overview information on the USAC website.

You may download and print copies of Schools and Libraries News Briefs on USAC’s website. You may subscribe to or unsubscribe from this news brief. For program information, please visit the Schools and Libraries area of the USAC website, submit a question, or call us toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. Feel free to forward this news brief to any interested parties.

Please do not reply to this email directly, as it was sent from an unattended mailbox.

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