June 7, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are certifying an FCC Form 486, review the certifications carefully to make sure that you can make all of them accurately. Otherwise we may be required to reach out to you to correct your certifications during our review of your form, which can delay processing.

Commitments for Funding Years 2019 and 2018

Funding Year 2019. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2019 Wave 7 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 6. As of June 7, FY2019 commitments total over $837 million.

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 57 FCDLs on June 5. As of June 7, FY2018 commitments total over $2.18 billion. (Note: Wave 56 was merged into Wave 57.)

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).

Newly Deployed EPC Modifications

USAC updated the Category Two (C2) Budget Status dashboard in EPC during our most recent system deployment. Applicants can generate their C2 budget information by clicking the new “Get Category 2 Budget Information” button. To access an entity’s C2 budget information in EPC:

  1. Go to a specific applicant entity record. You can locate the record by using your My Entities link(s) on your landing page or by going to the Records tab, selecting Applicant Entities and using the search function to find a specific record.
  2. Select Category Two Budget from the applicant entity record menu at the top of the page.
  3. Click the “Get Category 2 Budget Information” button to display your C2 budget status.

C2 Budget Tool Updated for FY2019

The Category Two (C2) Budget Tool now includes C2 budget information for FY2019. The tool calculates C2 budgets for each funding year based on the student counts in the most recently approved FCC Form 471 certified for that funding year.

As a reminder, here are the calculations that the C2 Budget Tool is using for FY2019, based on an inflation factor of 2.2 percent for 2019:

  • Schools: The number of full-time and peak part-time students multiplied by $159.669053922.
  • Libraries with IMLS locale codes of 11, 12, or 21: The total square footage of the library multiplied by $5.3223017974.
  • Libraries with other IMLS locale codes: The total square footage of the library multiplied by $2.448258826804.
  • The budget floor: $9,793.04.

For more information on C2 budgets, you can refer to the Category Two Budget page on the USAC website.

Service Substitution Certifications

Applicants are required to certify the following statements prior to submitting service substitution requests:

  1. The substituted products or services mentioned in the request have the same functionality as that contained in the original proposal.
  2. The substitution does not violate any contract provisions or state or local procurement laws.
  3. The substitution does not result in an increase in the percentage of ineligible services or functions, that the requested change is consistent within the scope of the establishing FCC Form 470, including any requests for proposal for the original services.

Applicants can help USAC more efficiently process their service substitution requests by properly and accurately responding to the certification statements. Reference the following guidance on how to certify your service substitution request:

Properly respond when certifying to the accuracy of the statements.

  • By answering “Yes” the applicant is certifying that the statements are true.
  • By answering “No” the applicant is certifying that the statements are not true.

Many applicants answer “No” to the certification statements unintentionally. If an applicant answers “No,” USAC must perform additional outreach to confirm they are answering as intended, thus increasing the processing time of the request.

If you need assistance with your service substitution request, contact the Customer Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 or create a customer case in EPC.

Reminder of June 30 Deadline to Complete Special Construction Required to Light or Use the Fiber

To be eligible for E-rate Program discounts for special construction charges – whether for leased lit fiber, leased dark fiber, or a self-provisioned network – special construction must be completed in time for the fiber to be lit (or for a self-provisioned network involving another technology to be in use) by the end of the relevant funding year (i.e., June 30, 2019 for FY2018). If this June 30 deadline is not met and you have not received an extension, the special construction charges will not be eligible for support under program rules.

If you sought support for special construction related to leased dark fiber or self-provisioned networks, you may request a one-year extension of the June 30 deadline by demonstrating that construction was unavoidably delayed due to weather or other reasons or the late issuance of an FCDL. You must demonstrate that the reason or reasons have unavoidably delayed special construction in a manner that prevents the fiber from being lit (or a self-provisioned network using another technology to be in use) by the June 30 deadline.

If you sought support for special construction charges related to leased lit fiber, you may also request a one-year extension on this basis if you requested support for the special construction charges in a funding request that is separate and distinct from the leased lit fiber recurring charges.

Applicants seeking an extension of the deadline to complete special construction should take one of the following steps:

  • If you have received your FCDL and you need to request an extension of this deadline, file an FCC Form 500 on or before June 30, 2019.
  • If you have not received your FCDL and you need to request an extension of this deadline, file a customer service case in EPC and attach a completed FY2018 Special Construction Deadline Extension Request (SCDER) to the case on or before June 30, 2019.

For detailed information on both filing options, you can refer to the May 17, 2019 SL News Brief.

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