November 18, 2016

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are experiencing difficulties when you try to access a USAC web page that features the new USAC logo, we suggest that you clear your cache before proceeding. Your system may be experiencing a conflict when it attempts to reload a cached version of the web page.

Note that USAC will not issue an SL News Brief next Friday, November 25, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, the Client Service Bureau and USAC will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25.

Commitments for Funding Years 2016 and 2015

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 22 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on November 21. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of November 18, FY2016 commitments total over $1.03 billion.

On the date the FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release FY2015 Wave 70 FCDLs on November 25. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of November 18, FY2015 commitments total over $3.31 billion.

The day after the wave runs, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool. FCDLs for FY2015 will continue to be printed and mailed to applicants and service providers, and emailed to service providers who have signed up to receive electronic notifications.

Appealing a Funding Reduction Due to a Late-filed FCC Form 486

Applicants are required to file an FCC Form 486 on or before the date 120 days after the service start date or 120 days after the date of the FCDL, whichever is later. If the applicant misses this deadline, USAC resets the service start date to the date 120 days before the certification date of the FCC Form 486, and funding may be reduced as a result.

If you want to appeal a decision related to a late-filed FCC Form 486, you must file your appeal first with USAC because the FCC Form 486 deadline is a procedural deadline and not a program rule that requires a waiver by the FCC. If USAC denies the appeal, the applicant may then appeal to the FCC.

In the recent Archdiocese of New Orleans Order (DA 16-1205), the FCC provided direction to USAC on how to process appeals by applicants whose service start dates have been reset due to a late-filed FCC Form 486.

  • Appeals received at USAC before January 30, 2017 are subject to the current Alaska Gateway Order (DA 06-1871) standard that has been used by the FCC for the past several years.
  • Appeals received at USAC on or after January 30, 2017 will be subject to the new Archdiocese of New Orleans Order standard where USAC can consider granting such an appeal if the FCC Form 486 is filed no later than 120 days after the last day to receive service for the E-rate supported service at issue AND the applicant demonstrates in its appeal that it had good cause for the late filing. Good cause can be considered as a result of immaterial clerical, ministerial, or procedural errors, or circumstances beyond the applicant's control.

We encourage applicants who have received their FCDL and whose services have started to file their FCC Form(s) 486 promptly and avoid the need for an appeal. We will also be providing guidance in the near future about the FCC Form 486 Urgent Reminder Letters for FY2016 that we discussed in the November 4 SL News Brief.

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