May 23, 2014

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that May 27 is the last day to submit (1) certifications for timely filed FY2014 FCC Forms 471 and (2) Item 21 attachments for FY2014. FCC Forms 471 can be certified online or on paper; Item 21 attachments can be submitted online, by email, by fax at 973-599-6511 or on paper.

Commitments for Funding Years 2014 and 2012

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 3 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) May 29. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of May 23, FY2014 commitments total over $750 million. 

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 86 FCDLs May 30. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of May 23, FY2012 commitments total just under $2.86 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.

Information Requests from USAC – Summer Contact Period Starts Today

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process a form. These procedures are described in detail in the Missing Information guidance document on the USAC website.

We encourage you to respond promptly to our requests for information so that we can continue processing forms. You can assist by:

  • Monitoring the preferred mode of contact you indicated on your form.
  • If someone else can answer questions about your form, providing their contact information to us (see below).
  • If you are temporarily unavailable, updating your voicemail message or automated email response so that we know when you will return.

Note that, if we do not hear from you in a timely manner, we may have to process your form with the information we have, which may mean rejecting a paper form or reducing or denying funding on a funding request. Also, if our first attempt to contact you is on or after May 23, 2014 and we put your form on hold due to the summer contact period (see below), this may cause an additional delay in the processing of your form.

Below we discuss two of the most common situations where USAC needs more information:

  • Problem Resolution. If USAC cannot complete data entry of a paper form because information is missing or inconsistent, Problem Resolution will attempt to reach the contact person listed on the form (or in our database, if no contact information is provided on the form) to obtain the necessary information.
  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. If USAC needs more information from an applicant to complete the review of an application, a PIA initial reviewer will use the contact information provided on the form to send questions and also to inform the applicant of correctable errors discovered on the form during the application review process.

In these situations, USAC's customary procedure is as follows:

  • USAC uses your preferred mode of contact to send you questions and to request responses. For PIA review, if your preferred mode of contact is telephone, we will call you and request an email address or fax number in order to provide you with our questions in writing.
  • If we have not heard from you after seven days from our first attempt to contact you, we will attempt to contact you again and we will also inform your state E-rate coordinator that we are attempting to contact you.
  • If we have not heard from you after 15 days from our first attempt to contact you, we will use the information we have to complete the processing of your form. For a paper form, this may mean that we will have to return the form to you without completing data entry. For an FCC Form 471, this may mean that the funding you requested will be reduced or denied.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules. Problem Resolution or PIA will not continue the process described above during these periods unless we speak by telephone with the contact person or someone else who has been designated to respond to our questions.

  • Our summer contact period is defined as the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day. For 2014, the dates of the summer contact period are May 23 through September 5.

If our first attempt to reach you is on or after May 23, and we cannot confirm by telephone that you are available to respond to our questions, we will put your form on hold and not begin Problem Resolution or PIA review until after September 5.

However, if we have made a successful contact with you before May 23, your 15-day response clock has started and we will act on the information we have on hand if we have not heard from you by the response deadline. We define a successful contact as:

  • A sent email message with no return notification of non-delivery or out-of-office response or
  • A sent fax with a confirmation of successful transmission or
  • A voicemail left at the contact person's telephone number if the recorded greeting does not state that the contact person is out of the office or
  • A live person answering our call at the contact telephone number or a return call responding to our message.

If PIA has already contacted you and you wish to designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure to send your designee's contact information to your PIA reviewer. If PIA has not contacted you and your designee will be checking your messages, be sure that you have provided written authorization for your designee to answer questions about your application. PIA will request this authorization in case any changes need to be made.

If you designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure that person has sufficient knowledge of your application to respond accurately. If someone answers a call from PIA but is not in a position to answer PIA questions, that person should clearly state to the PIA reviewer that the review of your application should be put on hold until you return to the office.

Remember also that you can ask for more time to respond if you need it.


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