June 20, 2014

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are filing an FY2014 FCC Form 486 online before July 1, you MUST click the box in Item 6a, Early Filing. Also, review the certifications on the form to be sure that you can accurately make all of them as of the date that you certify the form.

Commitments for Funding Year 2014

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 7 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 25. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of June 20, FY2014 commitments total over $1.07 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.

Certain FCC Forms 471 Moved to In-window Status (Part 2)

A number of FY2014 FCC Forms 471 were timely submitted online (i.e., the Submit button was pushed on or before 11:59 pm EDT on March 26, 2014) but not certified by the close of the filing window. USAC sent letters to the affected applicants notifying them that they must certify those forms – either online or on paper – on or before May 27, 2014 for the forms to be considered in-window.

In the June 6 SL News Brief, we reported that approximately 950 certified applications had been moved in-window. The applications that were moved in-window included:

  • Applications timely filed online and certified online on or before May 27.
  • Applications timely filed online with a paper certification postmarked on or before May 27 that was received and successfully processed by USAC on or before May 29.

We have now moved in-window an additional 125 applications whose paper certifications were still in process at that time. The Receipt Acknowledgment Letters (RALs) for these applications will be issued June 27.

Applicants please note: Because applicants can submit (i.e., postmark) a paper certification on the extended certification deadline, it takes a number of weeks for USAC to be certain that all paper certifications have been received and properly processed and that the list of applications to be updated is both correct and complete. Applicants – whether they certify online or on paper – who are concerned about being temporarily in an out-of-window status are encouraged to certify their applications next year before the filing window closes.

Using the Data Retrieval Tool

The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is a search tool that can provide a great deal of information about your progress through the application review, funding, and invoicing processes in the E-rate program. The search results from this tool are always organized by Funding Request Number (FRN), which is the identification number automatically assigned to each FCC Form 471 Block 5 funding request.

Funding requests are specific to a category of service (Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance) and to a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN).

To view or download information from this tool, go to the DRT and follow the instructions below:

First, you must choose a funding year and at least one of the following:

  • State
  • Billed Entity Number (BEN)
  • Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN)

You can then limit your search if you wish by specifying some optional criteria:

  • FRN Service Type – The default is "all" so you must uncheck the boxes next to those you don’t want.
  • Type of FCC Form 471 Application - The default is "all" so you must uncheck the boxes next to those you don’t want.
  • FCC Form 471 Application Number
  • Wave Number – Wave numbers consist of three alphanumeric characters. For example, you would enter "004" for Wave 4 or "96B" for Wave 96B.
  • Appeal Wave Number – Appeal wave numbers consist of three alphanumeric characters starting with "A" or "B." For example, you would enter "A04" for Appeal Wave 4.

Finally, choose the format for your search results. Your choices are:

  • Excel
  • Tab-delimited text
  • XML

You can then select either a Standard Report or choose specific fields of information ("data points") that meet the criteria you specified.

Standard Report

The Standard Report will return the following pre-chosen data points for the criteria you specified:

  1. FCC Form 471 Application Number
  2. FRN
  3. BEN
  4. State
  5. SPIN
  6. Service Start Date reported on the FCC Form 486 ("486 SSD") – This field will be blank if an FCC Form 486 has not yet been certified and successfully processed.
  7. Funding Year
  8. Original requested amount for the FRN – This field will show the amount featured on the original FCC Form 471 (without RAL corrections).
  9. Committed amount for the FRN – Note that this field will be blank if USAC has not yet issued a commitment decision, and this amount can change if the committed amount on the FRN changes (see below).
  10. Total authorized disbursement for the FRN – This field contains the total amount authorized on all invoices for this FRN. It will be blank if USAC has not yet successfully processed a disbursement (see below).

Select Data Points

If you check this box, you can then select the data points you want in your data file. The FCC Form 471 Application Number and the FRN will always appear in the search results. You can either:

  • Check the box next to "Select All Data Points" for a complete list or
  • Check the box next to each data point you want. You can find a list of field names and descriptions at the end of the DRT Instructions.

When you have chosen your data points, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the "Build Data File!" button. You can open the resulting file or save a copy to your local computer.

Notes on Data Points

  1. You can search for original data points (data that appeared on the originally filed FCC Form 471) and/or committed data points (data that appeared on or after USAC issued a funding commitment decision) under Section E. Discount Funding Request Data. Check the box in the "O*" column for each original data point and the box in the "C*" column for each committed data point.
  2. If a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) has not been issued for an FRN, Commitment Status, Total Amount Committed, Commitment Remarks and Date of FCDL will be blank. Also, data points chosen from the "O*" column of the Discount Funding Request Data points will feature data from the original FCC Form 471 (without any RAL corrections) and data points chosen from the "C*" column will be blank.
  3. If an FCDL has been issued for an FRN, data will appear for FRNs that have been committed or denied, but data for FRNs for which USAC has not yet issued a decision will not appear. Also, committed data will reflect the current net status (i.e., the data will reflect all changes subsequent to the FCDL, such as changes due to appeal decisions, FCC Form 486 and FCC Form 500 adjustments, Commitment Adjustments, etc.). In general, commitment data will appear one day after the date of the FCDL or other decision issued by USAC.
  4. If USAC has not successfully processed an FCC Form 486, the 486 SSD field will be blank. Note that service providers often check this field for a date to decide whether they are willing to start discounted billing.
  5. The DRT includes only non-canceled certified applications that met the window filing requirements for the selected funding year.
  6. The Total Authorized Disbursement is the total of all disbursements authorized by USAC for that FRN. Individual invoice amounts do not appear in this tool. Note that it is possible that USAC has authorized a disbursement, but that disbursement has not yet been fully processed.
  7. If the Total Authorized Disbursement is greater than the Total Amount Committed for a specific FRN, this indicates that USAC reduced the funding commitment after it had authorized an amount for disbursement. If funds were disbursed in excess of the adjusted commitment for that FRN, USAC will seek recovery of those funds.


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