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Funding Process

Funding amount determinations will be based on the cost information about the eligible devices and services they plan to purchase with program funding, including information in the supporting documentation, submitted in applications.

The FCC did not set a per-unit funding cap for eligible services or devices, but does not anticipate awarding more than $1 million to any single applicant. Eligible HCPs are strongly encouraged to purchase cost-effective eligible services and devices to the extent practicable.

Funding for the second round of the program will be awarded in two phases to ensure that (1) funding commitments are awarded as soon as possible, and that (2) applicants are given an opportunity to provide additional information if their application is going to be denied.

First Round of Funding

In the initial commitment phase, at least $150 million will be awarded to the highest-scoring applicants. Once the initial group of awardees is identified, applicants outside that group will be provided a 10-day period to supplement their application. After that 10-day period, USAC will re-rank the remaining applications and award the remaining funding in the final commitment window. This process allows USAC to quickly commit funding to the highest-scoring applicants while simultaneously providing applicants an opportunity to supplement their applications.

Intent to Deny

In the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), Congress directs the FCC to:

“Issue notice to the applicant of the intent of the FCC to deny the application and the grounds for that decision” for any application the FCC chooses to deny and to “provide the applicant with 10 days to submit any supplementary information that the applicant determines relevant,” which must be taken into account for the final funding decisions.

USAC will issue notices of intent to deny to all Round 2 applications that did not receive funding awards during the initial commitment phase. Each notice will include a denial justification so that the applicant may know why its application was not funded during the initial commitment phase.

The FCC will send out a Public Notice that announces the winners from the initial commitment phase, and it will also provide guidance on how applicants who are not awarded initial funding commitments may supplement their applications. These applicants will have 10 days from the date that this Public Notice is issued to supplement their applications. USAC will consider the supplemental information before issuing the remaining funding awards.

It is important that applicants accurately fill out their applications at the time of initial submission, before the opportunity to supplement them. If an applicant supplements their application and receives a score that would have qualified for funding during the initial funding window, the initial funding commitments will not change and that application will only be eligible to receive funding during the final commitment window to the extent there are remaining funds.

Reconsideration

After the 10-day period during which unfunded second round applicants may supplement their applications, USAC will:

  1. Review any supplemental information submitted during the 10-day period for each applicant
  2. Make changes to prioritization scores as necessary
  3. Re-rank the unfunded second round applications according to the same prioritization scoring metrics used during the initial commitment phase

This process will include an evaluation of all remaining unfunded second round applications, regardless of whether an applicant has chosen to supplement its application.

Final Commitment Phase

After the applications are re-scored, USAC will commit the remaining Round 2 funding to the highest scoring eligible applications with eligible funding requests, in descending order by score, until the funds run out.

If there are not enough funds remaining to award the final eligible, qualifying application with the highest remaining prioritization score the entirety of its funding request, the application will receive the remaining funds in the program. If there is more than one eligible, qualifying application with the same highest remaining prioritization score, the remaining funds will be split proportionally among each application in this final scoring tier. Because this will result in the remaining applicants each receiving a partial award of funds, USAC will work with affected applicants to determine if the proposed commitment meets the needs of the applicant and if the applicant is still interested in receiving a portion of the requested program support.

The FCC will then release a second Public Notice announcing the final list of awardees and funding commitments from both phases. USAC will issue final denials to each unfunded Round 2 applicant providing the justification for the denial of its application.