E-Rate Central News for the Week
April 16, 2012
The E-Rate Central News for the Week is prepared by E-Rate Central. E-Rate Central specializes in providing consulting, compliance, and forms processing services to E-rate applicants. To learn more about our services, please contact us by phone (516-801-7804), fax (516-801-7814), or through our Contact Us Web form. Additional E-rate information is located on the E-Rate Central Web site.
The FY 2012 Form 471 filing window is closed and application reviews have begun. USAC is expected to release a preliminary estimate of FY 2012 demand later this month. The first funding wave for FY 2012 is expected in May.
Wave 43 for FY 2011 will be released on Tuesday, April 17th, for $8.2 million. Cumulative funding for FY 2011 will be $2.14 billion. Priority 2 funding for FY 2011 is currently being provided only at the 90% level and is being denied at 79% and below.
Wave 94 for FY 2010 will also be released on Wednesday, April 18th, for $5.5 million. Priority 2 funding is being provided at all discount levels.
E-Rate Updates and Reminders
NSLP Income Eligibility Guidelines for 2012-2013:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's revised income eligibility guidelines for the 2012-2013 school year have been published in the Federal Register. The income levels qualifying for free or reduced-price meals have increased 2.55–3.35% from 2011-2012 levels, depending upon family size and locale. The qualifying annual income for reduced-price meals in the lower 48 states, for example, has risen from $41,348 to $42,643 (+ 3.13%) for a family of four.
E-Rate Central's sample E-rate income survey letters, in English and Spanish, have been updated and are available in the Discount Rate Optimization section of its Web site (see page 3).
Last Week's FCC Appeal Decision:
After skipping one week, the FCC was back at it again last week with the release of another appeal order (DA 12-569). In this case, the FCC granted eight waivers of USAC's Form 486 filing deadlines where USAC had originally denied or reduced funding by adjusting the service start date. As has been the case with most recent appeal orders, the FCC explained its decisions only as being consistent with precedent and, in these instances, indicating that the petitioners had demonstrated good cause for a waiver.
Based on a review of some of the underlying waiver requests, "good cause" apparently included:
- Forgetting to include some FRNs when filing an original Form 486.
- Conflicting advice from the USAC helpline on the Form 486 deadline while a SPIN Change Request was being processed.
- Overlooking the original deadline and missing the follow up warning letter during the move of the administrative office.
- Failure to file by a district employee who, as a result, has been reassigned.
Revised USAC and SLD Websites:
Updates of all of the USAC Web sites are now operational. For a brief overview of the changes, see the new USAC Web Site Tour.
Schools and Libraries News Brief Dated April 13 – PIA Review
Last week's SLD News Brief for April 13, 2012, provides a useful overview of the Program Integrity Assurance ("PIA') review process, discussing the major areas covered and the main types of modifications which may have to be made.
The primary areas addressed during the basic PIA review process are:
- Eligibility of the schools and libraries listed on the application
- Eligibility of the products and services listed on the Item 21 attachment
- Discount rate on the Block 4 worksheet(s)
- Competitive bidding process, including adherence to the 28-day posting requirement
- Discrepancies between the funding request and the Item 21 attachment and/or supporting documentation.
Based on that review, PIA may need to make modifications to an application, usually preceded by a request to the applicant to confirm such changes. Examples of such modifications include:
- Removal of ineligible products and services
- Removal of ineligible recipients of service
- Addition of eligible recipients of service
- Reduction in number of months of service
- Reduction in amount of funding based on additional documentation provided
- Changing contract start or end dates
- Changing from month-to-month services to contracted services
- Changing the establishing Form 470 application number
- Changing category of service.