May 19, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: Review your FY2017 FCC Form 471 for completeness and accuracy. If you see profile information that you were not able to update before entity profiles were locked or data you entered on the form that needs to be corrected, you can file a RAL modification.

Commitments for Funding Years 2016 and 2015

Funding Year 2016. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 47 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) soon. This wave will include commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of May 19, FY2016 commitments total over $2.62 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 78 FCDLs on May 25. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of May 19, 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.

Update on the FY2017 Filing Window

The FCC Form 471 filing window closed on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with USAC receiving 40,257 applications, totaling $3.2 billion in requested funding.

The total number of program recipients remained steady across the 2016 and 2017 funding years (131,940 and 131,040 respectively), despite an 11% reduction in applications.

FY2017 PIA Reviews Have Started

Earlier this week, USAC started Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviews for FY2017.

If we have questions or need more information to review your applications, you can locate our questions in any one of the following ways:

  • We send an email to the contact person informing them that questions are available. The contact person clicks the link in the email and is taken directly to the questions. (If the contact person is not logged in to EPC, clicking the link takes the contact person to the login screen, then to the questions.)
  • We create an item in the News feed. Any full- or partial-rights user can access the questions from the link in the news item.
  • Full- or partial-rights users can navigate to the organization's FCC Form 471 in EPC, choose Related Actions, and then Respond to Inquiries.

Generally, you have a deadline of 15 calendar days to respond to the questions.

  • PIA will send you a reminder if we haven't heard from you in seven days after our initial request. We also alert your state E-rate coordinator that we are waiting for a response.
  • If after 15 days we have not heard from you, we may act on the information we already have to make a funding decision. We do want to get decisions out as quickly as possible.
  • You can request an extension of the 15-day deadline if you need more time. Access your form in EPC, choose Related Actions, then Request Extension. Your first request for additional time to respond is automatically granted for an additional seven days. Subsequent requests must be reviewed by PIA before they can be approved.

Service Providers: File Your FY2017 SPAC Form

The FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form, must be filed each year by service providers that participate in the E-rate program. This form must be certified and on file with USAC before USAC can pay invoices – FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form and FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form.

USAC has added FY2017 as an option to the online SPAC Form. We encourage service providers to log in to the E-File System and complete and certify the SPAC Form for FY2017. Note that service providers with multiple Service Provider Identification Numbers (SPINs) must file a SPAC Form for each SPIN.

To certify your SPAC Form, first log in to the E-File System. If you do not have a username and password or are having trouble logging in, call us at (888) 641-8722 and choose option 3 (Schools and Libraries), then option 2 (service providers) for assistance.

  • If you have multiple SPINs, you must choose one of them ("set your SPIN") from the list of your SPINs.
  • After you set your SPIN, you will see SPAC Form as an option in the left-hand menu.
  • The form will pre-populate much of the information required based on your identity as a user. If you notice that the contact information in your E-File System profile (not your EPC profile) does not populate correctly, you can exit the FCC Form 473, correct your E-File profile information, and then re-enter your form.
  • The dropdown in the form that lists funding years will only show funding years for which a SPAC Form has not yet been filed, making your choice easier.
  • Immediately after the SPAC Form is certified for any funding year – including FY2017 – the appropriate funding year will appear in the Search for SPIN Information tool.

Please note that USAC will no longer process SPAC Forms filed on paper. If you file on paper, we will return your form to you and advise you to file online.

Update on FY2016 FCC Form 500 Reviews

Earlier this week, USAC also started the review of FCC Forms 500 for FY2016. The review process is very similar to the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review process described above – USAC emails a link to the review questions to the contact person, creates a News item, and posts the questions to the FCC Form 500 under Review Inquiries.

After USAC has completed its review, it will communicate its decisions through a Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letter (RFCDL). USAC will no longer issue FCC Form 500 Notification Letters that contain decisions.

  • Note, however, that USAC will continue to create FCC Form 500 pipe-delimited CSV files (*.500 files) for service providers who have signed up for electronic notifications.

Applicants who want to request a waiver of the June 30, 2017 service delivery deadline for special construction of fiber can now submit their request and supporting documentation through the FCC Form 500 instead of the workaround process that was posted on our website. If your request is approved, you will receive a one-year extension to June 30, 2018.

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