December 18, 2020

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that USAC may process your second-window Funding Year (FY) 2020 application as a modification to your first-window application or a service substitution in order to make a commitment decision more expeditiously. You should review the first question and answer in the October 9 SL News Brief and the notification(s) you receive from USAC for detailed information.

NOTE: USAC will not issue SL News Briefs on December 25, 2020, and January 1, 2021 due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Please see below for reduced hours at the Client Service Bureau (CSB).

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2020 and FY2019

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 34 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on December 17. As of December 18, FY2020 commitments total over $2.06 billion.

FY2019. USAC released FY2019 Wave 80 FCDLs on December 16. As of December 18, FY2019 commitments total over $2.42 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).

FCC Extends Gift Rule Waiver

On December 14, 2020, the FCC released an Order (DA 20-1479) that extends its temporary waiver of E-rate Program gift rules to assist schools and libraries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through June 30, 2021. For detailed information, please refer to the Order.

Client Service Bureau Reduced Hours

For the next two weeks, the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will be reducing its open hours due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

CSB will be open during its customary hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

However, CSB's hours are reduced for the next two weeks on Thursdays and Fridays:

  • Thursday, December 24, 2020 - CLOSED
  • Friday, December 25, 2020 - CLOSED
  • Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Friday, January 1, 2021 - CLOSED

CSB will resume its customary hours starting at 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, January 4, 2021.

AUP Audits

Each year, USAC undergoes an agreed-upon-procedures (AUP) review. The firm performing the review emails a number of balance verifications ("confirmations") to applicants and service providers. The purpose of these confirmations is to verify that the balances reported by USAC on specific Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) match the balances in the records of the applicants and service providers.

Next week, the firm reviewing USAC's procedures will send confirmations to a number of applicants and service providers. Each confirmation features the balance reported by USAC on a specific FRN as of October 31, 2020.

Applicants and service providers should review their records and respond by either:

  • Agreeing with the balance featured on the confirmation or
  • If it is different, noting the balance as of October 31, 2020 on their records and explaining how they determined that balance.

The confirmations are being sent from We ask that you add this email address and domain to your safe senders list, check your email filters for messages from this email address, and respond promptly to any confirmation requests you receive.

Winter Deferral Period Starts Today

Many E-rate Program participants are unavailable during the winter holiday season, and USAC recognizes that participants may need additional time to respond to requests for information.

During our annual winter deferral period, Friday, December 18, 2020 through Friday, January 8, 2021, USAC will only continue reviews of forms and requests where documentation has already been received or participants respond to information requests sent in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

If USAC does not receive a response during this period, the form or request will be placed in a deferred status until January 8, 2021.

However, we will be reviewing applications during the winter deferral period if we have answers to our questions. For those of you who are able to respond to our questions during this time, please do so. This will allow us to continue our work and issue funding decisions more quickly.


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