June 17, 2016

TIP OF THE WEEK: SERVICE PROVIDERS: Please note that we are not processing paper copies of FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification Form, for FY2016. The online version of this form will be available shortly through the E-File System. If you filed a paper copy of this form for FY2016, please re-file in the E-File System when the online FCC Form 473 becomes available.

Commitments for Funding Years 2016 and 2015

Funding Year 2016. USAC released FY2016 Wave 1 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 16. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 17, FY2016 commitments total over $17.7 million.

To learn how to generate and view your FCDLs, you can watch the FCDL videos – one for applicants and one for service providers – on the Funding Commitment Decision Letter video page. You can also follow the instructions in the June 3 SL News Brief or the instructions below. 

Here is the process for generating your FCDL:

  • The contact person on the FCC Form 471 receives an email notifying him or her that the FCDL is ready to be generated. The FCDL notifications are listed in the Notifications section at the top of the organization's landing page.
  • The contact person – or any full- or partial-rights user – can generate the FCDL from the Notifications section by clicking "Generate Notification" to the right of the FCDL. You do not have to wait for the contact person to do this. The text will then change to "View Notification."
  • After the FCDL has been generated, any user can view the FCDL by clicking "View Notification" to the right of the FCDL.

When you click "View Notification," you are taken directly to the FCDL in the News feed.

An applicant FCDL has three parts; a service provider FCDL has four. These are:

  • The text of the letter in the News feed format.
  • An FCDL supplement in PDF format that contains additional program information.
  • A report in CSV format that provides the details of the funding decision.
  • (Service providers only) A report with the file extension "FSP" for service providers who have set up the ability to process electronic notifications.

FY2016 wave information will be available from two of the tools on the Search Tools page on the USAC website.

  • Search Commitments for FY2016. In the short term, there will be a link in the "Funding Tools" section of the Search Tools page to FY2016 commitment information in a spreadsheet format. The information for each subsequent wave will be added to the spreadsheet as a new tab. In the longer term, this link will direct users to a new search tool for FY2016 that will be similar in appearance and function to the existing Search Commitments tool.
  • FY2016 FCC Form 471 "Current" View. After an FCC Form 471 has been through a commitment wave, the "current" view of the form will be available, along with the "original" view.
    • The original view is a static view of the information featured in the form at the time it was certified.
    • The current view includes all approved Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modifications submitted by the applicant and any changes that occurred during the application review process.
  • To access the current view, go to the View/Download FCC Forms 471 for FY2016 tool and choose "Current" in the Form Version dropdown menu. The current view of a form is generally available a day or two after the wave runs. Note that forms that have not been through the wave process will not show up in the search results.

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release FY2015 Wave 55 FCDLs on June 23. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of June 17, FY2015 commitments total over $3.29 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.


  • FCDLs will continue to be printed and mailed to applicants and service providers. FCDLs are printed and then mailed about a week after the wave runs.
  • Service providers who have signed up to receive electronic notifications will continue to have electronic notification files emailed to them.

Reviewing Commitment Information in CSV Files 

As noted above, both applicants and service providers will receive the detailed information on USAC's funding decisions in a CSV file for FY2016 waves. For FY2015 and previous funding years, this information is contained in the section of the paper FCDLs titled "Funding Commitment Report."

A CSV file – CSV stands for comma-separated values – is a text file format. Each line in the file is a record where the information in each discrete field is separated from the information in the next field by a comma.

For ease of viewing and manipulating the information in your CSV file, we suggest that applicants and service providers follow this procedure:

  • Log in to EPC.
  • On your organization's landing page, go to the Notifications section and click the "View Notification" text to the right of the FCDL. If the text says "Generate Notification," a full- or partial-rights must click that text first to generate the FCDL. (The text will then change to "View Notification.")
  • You will now see the FCDL item in your News feed. Right-click the CSV document name (the name to the right of the icon with the paperclip inside) and choose "Save As.." or "Save link as..."
  • Give the file a unique name and save it to a location on your computer where you can find it easily. If you have opened the file, close it.
  • Open a spreadsheet program such as Excel.
  • Search for the file you just saved. Because the default setting for a spreadsheet program is to look only for spreadsheet files, set your search criteria to "All Files" or "All File Types." You should see your file saved as a text document, and the name you gave it may show a TXT or CSV file extension.
  • Open the file from your spreadsheet program. The program will either open your file, or open a wizard that allows you to specify how to open the file.
    • If the program opens a wizard, choose "Delimited' for the file type, and "Comma" as the delimiter (the character that separates the fields). Complete any other information requested by the wizard.
  • Now that the file is open in your spreadsheet program, you should be able to see a header row that describes the information in each column, and a line below the header line for each commitment decision.

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