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Schools and Libraries News Brief
December 5, 2008

 

FY2009 WINDOW COUNTDOWN

Days to window close

69

Forms 470 filed to date

13,482

Forms 471 filed to date

241

 

 

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you plan to post a Form 470 for FY2009, you should do so promptly. January 15, 2009 is the last day you can POST a Form 470 to the USAC website and still comply with the 28-day waiting period under the competitive bidding requirement.

Commitments for Funding Years 2008 and 2007

The Funding Year 2008 funding threshold for P2 services will drop to 88%. Within the next few weeks, USAC will start making commitments for approved FY2008 Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) funding requests at 88% and above. Applicants and service providers should note that:

  • If an applicant has already received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) for FY2008 with an "As Yet Unfunded" status for a Priority 2 funding request at 88% or 89%, the next wave of funding commitments should include a commitment for that request. Remember that USAC may have reduced the funding request to remove ineligible products and services or for other programmatic reasons. Any such reductions should have been communicated to the applicant by the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewer.
  • Applicants with funding requests below 88% may want to consider filing a duplicate request for those products and services for FY2009. If you do so, it is very important to include the Funding Request Number (FRN) of the duplicate FY2008 request in Item 10 of the FY2009 Form 471 so that PIA does not ask you to demonstrate sufficient resources to support both requests. 

First Applicants File Form 471 Online

Congratulations to the first applicants that filed and certified Forms 471 for FY2009 online! Applicants that file early have a much better chance of being included in the earliest funding waves for a funding year.

The first successful online filers were:

  • First individual school: SKYLINE ELEM & HIGH SCHOOL, Scottsboro, Alabama
  • First school district: NORTH CEDAR COMM SCH DIST, Stanwood, Iowa
  • First library: VICKSBURG DISTRICT LIBRARY, Vicksburg, Michigan

First FY2009 RALs to be Issued Next Week

The first batch of FY2009 Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letters (RALs) for applicants and service providers will be issued on Monday, December 8. Because applicants can make corrections to many of the items on the Form 471, both applicants and service providers should carefully review the information on the RAL and the associated Form 471 so that any necessary RAL corrections can be submitted promptly.

For a description of the RAL correction process, refer to your copy of the RAL or the sample applicant RAL and the sample service provider RAL on the USAC website. To view a Form 471 online, go to the Apply Online page, click on the Display button in the Form 471 column, enter your Form 471 number and security code and choose the Original view type, then click Display.

Getting Ready for the FY2009 Application Cycle

As announced in the December 2 Special Edition News Brief, the FY2009 Form 471 application filing window opened at noon EST on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 and will close at 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, February 12, 2009. We want to remind you of important program deadlines and other information you should keep in mind as you apply for discounts.

File early. Over half of the Forms 471 for a funding year are filed in the last week of the filing window. When you are in a hurry to fill out an application in time to meet a receipt or postmark deadline, it is very easy to overlook crucial information that may slow down our review of your application. Also, the Client Service Bureau is very busy as the window deadline approaches and it will be harder for you to request new entity numbers, copies of forms, or specific program information if you wait until the last minute.

File online. The online filing system alerts applicants to common errors or possible inconsistencies in the data they provide as they are filling out their forms. You can use the full version of a form or an interview version that fills out the form for you using a simple question-and-answer format.

Make sure to temporarily allow pop-ups in your Internet browser when you are filing online, as many of these built-in reminders and error messages occur via pop-ups. The online system delivers your form to USAC quickly and completely and allows you to print a copy of the form for your records. You can also start a form online, save your work, and come back to finish it later as long as you have the Form 471 application number and security code assigned to you after you complete Block 1 of the form online.

Certify online. USAC’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) system will automatically issue a PIN to the authorized person filing a paper form if he or she does not already have one. (Note that PINs are specific to the authorized person AND the Billed Entity featured in Block 1 of the form.) After the authorized person receives a PIN in the mail, he or she can use it to certify program forms online for that Billed Entity. If you are filing a Form 470 for the first time, you should have a PIN in time to certify your associated Form 471. Visit PIN FAQs for Applicants posted on our website for more information.

The certification process is safe and secure. Each time you certify a form online, the online system will assign you a unique confirmation number called a CertID as verification that your online certification was successful. Note that you don’t need to send USAC a paper copy of your certification page if you successfully certify a form online.

Be mindful of program deadlines. Here are the two deadlines to keep in mind:

January 15, 2009. This is the last possible day that a Form 470 can be posted on the USAC website and still meet the 28-day posting requirement for your competitive bidding process. However, if you wait until this day to post your form, then you must do the following on the last day of the filing window:

  • Select your service provider
  • Sign and date your contract (for contracted services)
  • Sign, date, and submit your Form 471

If you file your Form 470 on paper, remember that you must allow sufficient time for your form to be data entered and posted to USAC's website. It is your responsibility to meet the 28-day requirement.

February 12, 2009 at 11:59 pm EST. This is the last possible day that a Form 471 can be received by USAC or postmarked and still be considered as filed within the window. Remember that USAC must consider ALL applications filed within the window (Priority 1 and Priority 2) before considering any applications filed outside the window.

Review program guidance materials. Some program information is consistent from year to year while other information may have changed. Before you begin, be sure to review all relevant program guidance. You can locate guidance documents in any of the following ways:

  • Perform a search. If you know the topic you are interested in, enter one or more keywords in the Search field at the top of any USAC web page and click on the arrow to the right of the field. Your search will return a list of documents that feature the keyword(s) you entered.
  • Review the list of documents in the Reference Area. The Reference Area of the website features an alphabetized list of guidance documents. You can scan the list for a particular topic or use your browser's Find command to search for a keyword.
  • Follow the appropriate step in the application process. In the center of most Schools and Libraries web pages, there is a blue bar labeled School and Library Applicants and a blue bar labeled Service Providers. If you click on one of these blue bars, it will turn orange and you will see a list of steps in the application process. If you then click on a step, you will see a short description of that step and a list of related documents that contain additional guidance and/or information.

Ask for assistance. If you have questions, please contact the Client Service Bureau by email using Submit a Question or call toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. In addition to program information, they can provide information on the status of your forms.

 

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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