December 14, 2018

TIP OF THE WEEK: USAC held the December webinar, Preparing for FY2019, earlier this week. You can watch a recording of this webinar – which discusses updates for Funding Year (FY) 2019 and provides tips on how program participants can prepare for the FY2019 application filing window – by following this registration link.

Commitments for Funding Year 2018

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 36 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on December 14, 2018. As of December 14, FY2018 commitments total over $1.99 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).

Focus on Participant Experience

USAC is continuing its ongoing efforts to better serve E-rate participants by adding extra applicant and service provider support and implementing enhancements to improve the experience for the E-rate community. As the end of the calendar year approaches, while we are committed to addressing as many open participant issues as possible before 2019, we appreciate the E-rate community’s patience and cooperation as we work open cases.

Some of these open cases may require a change in reviewers once USAC transitions to its new vendor for E-rate business process operations later this month. All review activities, including program integrity assurance (PIA), appeals, funding commitment waves and payments, will continue during the transition.

USAC will reach out to E-rate participants that have active applications, invoices or post-commitment requests, to share additional information about any changes related to the transition to the new vendor. We will continue to share information with affected participants by email, especially if the transition to the new vendor will impact those participants’ open E-rate activities. For example, beginning in January, all open forms and requests (including invoices, appeals and post-commitment requests) will be assigned to new reviewers.

USAC is aware that some E-rate participants have open, inactive forms and requests pending with the program. These items will also transition to the new team and participants will receive outreach at a later time.

We appreciate the support and cooperation of the E-rate community as we work with our new vendor on these adjustments.

Invoicing Reminders

There are two important invoice deadlines for FY2017 recurring and non-recurring services coming up early in 2019. We are reminding you now to take the necessary steps to file and certify your invoices on or before these deadlines.

The deadlines are:

  • January 28, 2019 for FY2017 non-recurring services. Applicants and service providers must certify their invoices or ask for an invoice deadline extension by this date.
  • February 26, 2019 for FY2017 recurring services, if the applicant or service provider requested and received an invoice deadline extension of the original October 29, 2018 invoice deadline. Applicants and service providers must certify their invoices by this date, as USAC cannot grant a second invoice deadline extension.

If you are an applicant filing a Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (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 Service Provider Invoice (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 Service Provider Annual Certification (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 already have one. A PIN is specific both to a person and a Billed Entity Number (BEN), so if you are filing BEAR Forms for more than one BEN, you will need a PIN for each one.
    • To request a PIN, download and complete the PIN Request Template from the Personal Identification Number page on the USAC website.
    • Review the column headers on the template carefully and provide the information requested in each column, even if you are only asking for one PIN. 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.

Here are some resources for additional assistance in filing these forms:

BEAR Forms

SPI Forms

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