January 6, 2012

TIP OF THE WEEK: The winter contact period ends today, and Program Integrity Assurance will again be asking you to respond within 15 days to questions and requests for information. Remember that you can ask for more time if you need it, but be aware that doing so may add more time to the review process.

Commitments for Funding Years 2011 and 2010

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 29 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) January 10. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90%. As of January 6, FY2011 commitments total just under $1.48 billion.

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 81 FCDLs January 11. This wave can include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at all discount levels. As of January 6, FY2010 commitments total just under $2.95 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.

FY2012 Begins July 1, 2012 and Ends June 30, 2013

The FY2012 application filing window will open at NOON EST on Monday, January 9, 2012 and will close at 11:59 pm EDT on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The window will be open for 72 days.

If you are just starting the application process, you should first review the FCC Form 470 and Instructions and the FCC Form 471 and Instructions. You can find these forms and instructions on USAC's Required Forms web page. You should also review the FY2012 Eligible Services List to verify that the services you want to request are eligible for discounts.

We also encourage you to explore USAC’s website and to review previous News Briefs for important "do’s and don’ts" in addition to the helpful tips and reminders below.

Helpful Tips and Reminders

File Early – We encourage applicants to file and certify FCC Forms 470 and 471 and to file Item 21 attachments early in the window. Early filing allows applicants time to:

  • Correct errors and avoid delays later during application review
  • Meet Program deadlines
  • File a new form if Program rules do not allow corrections to an existing form 

File Online – We encourage you to file and certify FCC Forms 470 and 471 online. Online filing ensures that you meet form Minimum Processing Standards and allows for early acknowledgment and quicker decisions. The first time you sign an FCC Form 470, 471, or 486, USAC will issue you a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you can use to certify subsequent program forms online.

Use the Online Item 21 Attachment – We cannot begin reviewing an application until it is certified and we have the Item 21 attachment(s) for the funding requests on that application. USAC’s Online Item 21 Attachment tool can help you submit a complete and timely Item 21 attachment. For FY2012, the Item 21 attachment is a window filing requirement.

Retain All Documents – Program rules require that you retain documents for FIVE YEARS after the last day of service delivery to be able to demonstrate compliance with Program rules.

Review Program Guidance Materials – Some information has been consistent from year to year and other information has changed. Before you begin, make sure to review all relevant Program guidance.


February 21, 2012 – This is the last POSSIBLE date to post an FCC Form 470 on USAC’s website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit an FCC Form 471 on the filing window closing date. 

  • If you submit your FCC Form 470 online, it is posted immediately and your 28-day clock starts. 
  • If you submit your FCC Form 470 on paper, USAC will make every effort to post it by February 21 if it is RECEIVED by Tuesday, February 14, 2011. 

Note: Whether filing online or on paper, the applicant is responsible for meeting the 28-day posting requirement.

March 20, 2012 – The FY2012 application filing window will close at 11:59 pm EDT. For your FCC Form 471 to be considered as filed within the filing window, it must be submitted online, received by USAC, or postmarked no later than the filing window closing date. Your Item 21 attachment(s) must also be submitted online, received by USAC, or postmarked no later than the filing window closing date.

If you are filing online, we encourage you to certify your FCC Forms 470 and 471 right after you submit them. The online system gives you both electronic and paper certification options on the screen following the submission screen.

Ask for assistance. If you have questions, please contact our Client Service Bureau. In addition to Program information, they can provide information on the status of your forms.

Toll-free Fax:
Toll-free Phone:

Use the Submit a Question link on USAC’s website

Thank you for your participation in the E-rate Program. 


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