September 14, 2018

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you need to request an extension of the September 30, 2018 deadline for delivery and installation of FY2017 non-recurring services, be sure to certify an FCC Form 500 requesting the extension on or before September 30. Applicants and service providers should confer before this deadline to give applicants time to file this form.

TRAINING UPDATE: You can now register for the training session in Atlanta GA on November 28-29. The list of training sessions for 2018 is now complete.

Commitments for Funding Year 2018

Funding Year 2018. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2018 Wave 22 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on September 7 and Wave 23 FCDLs on September 14. As of September 14, FY2018 commitments total over $1.74 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).

New Invoice Deadline Extension Tool Coming to EPC

Within the next few weeks, USAC will be adding a new invoice deadline extension tool to EPC. Applicants, service providers, and consultants will be able to use this new tool to request invoice deadline extensions for their Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) singly or in bulk.

  • The new EPC tool will be used to request invoice deadline extensions for FRNs starting with FY2016.
  • The existing legacy tool (the tool accessed through the online BEAR Form) will be used to request invoice deadline extensions for FRNs from FY2015 and previous funding years.

We will provide more details – including instructions for using the tool – as we get closer to the time when the new tool will go live.

Summer Contact Procedure ("Summer 15-day") Has Ended

During the summer contact period (May 25 through September 7, 2018, which is the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day), we put the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review process for FCC Forms 471 on hold if we were unable to make contact with the applicant.

We have started reaching out for applications that have been on hold during the summer contact period.

In order to make a commitment decision on an FCC Form 471, PIA reviews the form and may have questions for the applicant or need additional information. Please respond promptly to PIA requests, and make sure you have provided complete responses to all of the questions.

In general, PIA follows the process below:

  • PIA posts its questions in the applicant's organization account in EPC, notifies the applicant that the questions are available, and asks for a response within 15 days.
  • After seven days, if there is no response or an incomplete response is received, PIA sends a reminder and also notifies the appropriate state E-rate coordinator.
  • The applicant can request an extension of the response deadline. A seven-day extension is granted automatically; additional extensions may or may not be granted depending on the circumstances presented by the applicant.
  • If the deadline or extended deadline has passed without a sufficient response, USAC may make a commitment decision based on the information available.

Invoicing Reminders

The deadline to file an invoice for FY2017 recurring services is October 29, 2018. Now is the time to make sure you have everything you need to complete the invoicing process – or to ask for an extension – on or before October 29.

Before USAC can process an invoice (BEAR Form or SPI Form) for an FY2017 Funding Request Number (FRN), the following must have occurred:

  • USAC must have issued a positive funding commitment for the FRN.
  • The service provider must have certified an FCC Form 473 (SPAC Form) for FY2017.
  • The applicant must have certified an FCC Form 486 featuring the FRN.
  • Services must have been delivered. (The last day to deliver FY2017 recurring services was June 30, 2018.)

If you are an applicant filing a BEAR Form:

  • You must have certified – and USAC must have reviewed and approved – an FCC Form 498.
  • You must have paid the service provider in full for the cost of the services.
  • You must have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to file and certify a BEAR Form online.

If you are a service provider filing a SPI Form:

  • You must have billed the applicant for its non-discount share. There is a presumption that your customer (the applicant) will pay your bill within 90 days.

Applicants and service providers who have not completed the invoicing process for their FY2017 recurring services should gather the customer bills and other documents now that they will need to accurately invoice USAC.

In addition, applicants who will be filing BEAR Forms should take the following steps:

  1. Make sure your service providers have completed their SPAC Forms. You can verify this by locating the record for your service provider in the SPIN Search tool. The funding years for which the service provider has filed a SPAC Form are listed in the right-hand column of your search results.
  2. File and certify an FCC Form 498 if you have not already done so. Be sure to follow up with the required documentation (canceled check, bank statement, or similar document) that verifies your bank account information. Call USAC at 888-641-8722 and choose option 4 (contributors) if you have questions.
  3. Apply for a PIN if you do not have one. You will need a PIN to file a BEAR Form or to ask for an extension of the invoice deadline. Remember that a PIN is specific to a person and a Billed Entity Number (BEN); if you are filing BEAR Forms for more than one BEN, you will need a PIN for each one.
    • Review the column headers on the PIN Request Template carefully. If you do not enter the correct information in each column, you may not be able to use your PIN.
    • Do not put a space or return before or after your email address. Again, if you do, you may not be able to use your PIN.

NOTE: If your invoice filing deadline is approaching and you do not yet have a PIN, you can open a customer service case in EPC to file for an invoice deadline extension. However, keep in mind that these extension requests must be reviewed manually, and you will not receive an immediate response as you do with an extension request submitted by logging in with a PIN.

For more information on invoicing, register for our invoicing webinar to be held Wednesday, September 19 at 3:00 pm EDT.


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