July 7, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: Keep in mind the deadlines for comments and reply comments on the FCC's draft Eligible Services List for FY2018 (see DA 17-602). Comments are due on or before July 21, 2017, and reply comments are due on or before August 7, 2017.

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 7 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 14. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 7, FY2017 commitments total over $276 million.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 54 FCDLs on July 11. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 7, FY2016 commitments total over $2.81 billion.

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

Incorrect Date on Last Week's SL News Brief

The copy of the SL News Brief that went out by email last Friday was incorrectly dated April 28, 2017. The date should have been June 30, 2017.

If you would like to print or save a copy of the SL News Brief for your records, the version that was posted to the SL News Brief page and also in the News feed in your EPC account featured the correct date.

EPC Changes Resulting from System Deployment on Friday, June 30, 2017

USAC deployed a number of updates and bug fixes to EPC last Friday, June 30. Below are the highlights of these updates along with a few important reminders. The detailed EPC 17.4 Release Notes will be posted next week on the EPC Maintenance Schedule page on the USAC website.

Applicants and service providers can file an appeal for FY2017.

If you have full or partial rights to file appeals for your organization in EPC, you can now submit an appeal for your organization. To start an appeal, click the Appeals link at the top of your organization's landing page. After you create a nickname, you will be able to choose from a list of FRNs that have been through a commitment wave and then provide specific information on your appeal.

For detailed guidance on filing an appeal in EPC, consult the EPC User Guide for Appeals posted on the Appeals & Audits page of the USAC website.

PLEASE NOTE: Full, partial, and view-only rights are assigned in EPC by your account administrator for each specific form or request type (FCC Form 470, FCC Form 471, FCC Form 486, FCC Form 498, appeals, and post-commitment). For example, you could have full rights for FCC Form 470, partial rights for FCC Form 471, and view-only rights for FCC Form 486. If you believe you have full rights in your organization but cannot file an appeal, check with your account administrator.

Applicants can file an FCC Form 486 for FY2017.

Applicants with full or partial rights in EPC for FCC Form 486 for their organization can now complete an FCC Form 486 for FY2017. Applicants with full rights can certify the form.

We covered the following issues in last week's SL News Brief in detail. Keep them in mind as you certify your FCC Form 486 for FY2017:

  • Do not check the Early Filing box unless you qualify. Most applicants will not qualify for early filing this year, because their services start July 1 but the form was not available until July 1.
  • Do not check the CIPA Waiver box unless you qualify for a waiver. The waiver is limited to applicants who are unable to make the certifications required by the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) because their state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the applicant from making the certification(s) otherwise required. If this limitation does not apply to you, do not check this box.
  • Verify that the certification(s) related to CIPA compliance that you check on the form are accurate.

NOTE: If the form is automatically approved (i.e., no manual review is required), applicants and service providers will receive an FCC Form 486 Notification Letter in EPC. However, the FCC Form 486 is likely to go into an "In Review" status if the applicant does not follow the guidance above. Note that USAC cannot yet process and approve FY2017 FCC Forms 486 that require manual review.

For assistance with filing FCC Form 486, you can refer to the following resources on the USAC website:

Applicants and service providers can invoice for FY2016 services if they have received an FCC Form 486 Notification Letter.

USAC cannot process invoices from applicants and service providers if there is no certified and approved FCC Form 486 on file with USAC for the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) featured on the invoice. Until this deployment, some FCC Form 486 data did not move correctly from EPC to the legacy system where invoices are processed. This issue has now been fixed for FY2016 invoices.

Please note the following:

  • USAC continues to review FCC Forms 486 for FY2016. If the form status is "In Review," USAC may need to contact the applicant to make corrections manually before the FCC Form 486 can be approved and the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter issued in EPC.
  • Because the FCC Form 486 information is passed to the legacy system only once each day, we suggest that you wait a day or two after you receive your FCC Form 486 Notification Letter before you start invoicing USAC.
  • It will be several weeks before we will be able to move FY2017 FCC Form 486 data from EPC into our legacy system. Please wait to submit invoices for FY2017 until that functionality has been established.

Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letters (RFCDLs) include more information.

Starting with FY2016, USAC issues RFCDLs to applicants and service providers for most post-commitment decisions – specifically, in response to the following:

  • Appeals
  • Service substitution requests
  • SPIN change requests
  • FCC Forms 500, which include requests to:
    • Change a service start date
    • Change a contract expiration date
    • Reduce an FRN
    • Cancel an FRN
    • Receive a service delivery deadline extension for non-recurring services
    • Provide a notification for an allowable equipment transfer.

RFCDLs have been updated to include the following information:

  • The invoice deadline for each FRN.
  • The date of the RFCDL, which was added to the More Info section of the News post.

For details on the USAC decisions for the change(s) you requested, open the Post Commit Request spreadsheet at the bottom of your RFCDL and review the entries in the fields labeled "Post-Commitment Comments (FRN Level)," "RFCDL Comments (FRN Level)," and "FRN Rationale." If you requested a change to a specific field (e.g., service start date, contract expiration date), you can also compare the entry in that field of the RFCDL to the entry in the same field on your FCDL.

Applicants can choose additional manufacturers from FCC Form 470 dropdown lists.

We have updated the dropdown list of equipment manufacturers in the FCC Form 470 based on additional requests from manufacturers to have their information included.

When applicants requesting equipment on an FCC Form 470 specify a particular manufacturer, the words "or equivalent" appear following the manufacturer's name. Applicants can use this feature to give service providers an understanding of the equipment compatibility issues that are required or desired by the applicant.

Applicants should note, however, that if they choose "Other" from the dropdown and type the name of a manufacturer, they must add the text "or equivalent" themselves.

An FCC Form 500 can be canceled in whole or in part while the form is "In Review."

If your FCC Form 500 has not yet been processed by USAC (in other words, if the status of the form is still "In Review"), you can submit a request to cancel one or more (or all) of the FRNs on the form. The request must come from a full- or partial-rights user from the organization.

To request a cancellation, go to the FCC Form 500 record in EPC, choose Related Actions from the left-hand menu, then choose Request Cancellation and provide the necessary information.

The following bugs have been fixed:

  1. Applicants can now see all the FRNs on an FCC Form 471. (The FRN view was previously limited to 10.)
  2. On the FCC Form 500, applicants can now see the two questions that must be answered when requesting a service delivery deadline extension.
  3. All applicants should now be able to view and respond to review inquiries in EPC from Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewers.
  4. Schools with less than one percent of their students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are now showing the correct discount rate of 20 percent. (The system was previously displaying 40 percent.)


To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2017, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005