November 15, 2019

TIP OF THE WEEK: This is the last call for registrations for Tribal training sessions in Tahlequah, OK on November 19 and Farmington, NM on November 21. If you are interested in attending a session or need more information, you can refer to the 2019 Tribal Training page. To register for a training, click the blue Register Here button on this page and provide the requested information.

Commitments for Funding Years 2019 and 2018

Funding Year 2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 33 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on November 14. As of November 15, FY2019 commitments total over $1.98 billion.

Funding Year 2018. USAC released FY2018 Wave 69 FCDLs on November 11. As of November 15, FY2019 commitments total over $2.24 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).

Updated USAC Website Launched

USAC launched its updated version of the USAC website earlier this week. The updated site features design and functionality changes to help users find the information they need, when they need it. We have posted a brief video on the website that demonstrates many of the site's new features. You can also refer to the November 1 SL News Brief for more information.

The site's navigation is new but the content mostly hasn't changed. However, any hyperlinks or bookmarks to USAC web content, including PDFs and CSV templates, will no longer link directly to these documents, but will redirect users to USAC's updated landing page, Users can then use the improved search functionality to navigate to the content they seek.

Here are the main features of the updated E-rate homepage:

At the top of the page, in the upper right-hand corner, there is a Search function labeled with the icon of a magnifying glass. You can use this to search for program reference materials and other program information. This is the easiest method to locate these documents, as the Reference Area from the previous version of the website is no longer available.

Below the E-rate banner, you now have three options: Manage Your Account, Resources, and Upcoming Dates.

  • Manage Your Account includes a link to sign in to EPC and links for both applicants and service providers to file invoices.
  • Resources on the homepage features links to some of the most commonly used resources that were previously available on the left-hand side of each page: Eligible Services List, Tools, Weekly SL News Brief, Training, and Announcements.
    • Each edition of the SL News Brief will now have the topics it covers listed under the link to that edition, rather than appearing in a list sorted by topic. Prior editions of the SL News Brief can be found in the SL News Brief archive where you can search either by topic or by date.
    • 2019 E-rate Training event information and links to presentations are located in the Regional Training section. At the bottom of the Regional Trainings section, you can also find the Training archive. This archive allows users to access and review agendas, training materials, and other information for training activities from previous years.
  • Upcoming Dates shows the most recent important program dates along with a link to the full calendar of upcoming dates posted in this section.

The next section, How It Works, contains information on eligible recipients of services and eligible services. This is followed by the section labeled "The Process," which contains the basic steps in the application process for applicants and a link to navigate to the process steps for service providers. You can click on the Get Started button to access more detailed information.

The final section, Announcements, contains important program notices such as deadline reminders, system outages, links to published SL News Briefs, and more. Click the "Read more announcements" link to access the full list of posted items on the Announcements page. 

You can also access the Latest News archive from the Announcements page. The Latest News archive includes the announcements that were posted on the previous version of the website. 

FCC Form 474 Is Moving to the E-File System

In early December, USAC will move the FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form, to the E-File system. This will increase security and prevent unauthorized users from accessing and completing the form.

After the form has been relocated, service provider users will need an E-File username and password to access, complete, and certify the form. Your company officer and general contact both have the ability to create new users, so we encourage you to contact them if you file invoices online but do not currently have access to the E-File system.

This change will not apply to service provider users who file electronic invoices (E-SPIs), who will continue to use the current electronic invoice submission process.

EPC Profile Fix Planned for Updating County Information

EPC profiles are currently designed to search for and include the county designation for users who update any of the address information in their profiles. However, in some cases, the system has been providing an incorrect entry for the county name.

Please note that having an incorrect county name in your address record does not affect our review processes or your applications, invoices, or other program forms or requests. We are collecting the county information in order to help us identify and provide outreach to program participants who are eligible for relief due to natural disasters, since these disaster designations are generally made on a county-by-county basis.

We expect to deploy a fix for this problem in mid-December. The fix will allow applicants to provide the correct county name if the system entry is still incorrect. We will announce in an SL News Brief when this functionality has been deployed so that applicants can then review their profiles and update their county designation if needed.

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