E-Rate Central News for the Week
June 4, 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.
There is growing concern that funding is being delayed, perhaps as the result of SLD system problems. The current funding status is as follows:
- The first wave for FY 2012, which USAC had originally indicated would be released in late May, has not yet been scheduled. When issued, it will include Priority 1 services only. As discussed in our newsletter of April 30th, USAC's preliminary estimate of FY 2012 demand showed a total increase of 21.5% over the comparable figure for FY 2011. At this level, funding for Priority 2 may not be fully available even at 90%.
- Wave 47 for FY 2011 will be released on Tuesday, June 5th. Cumulative funding for FY 2011 is $2.17 billion. Theoretically, Priority 2 funding for FY 2011 is currently being provided at the 90% level and is being denied at 79% and below. In practice, however, Priority 2 has not been funded since Wave 44 on April 24th. Wave 46, released two weeks ago, included funding for only twelve applications, all Priority 1.
- No funding wave for FY 2010 is scheduled this week. Last week's FY 2010 Wave 95, included only four applications, again all Priority 1.
E-Rate Updates and Reminders
FCC Appeal Decisions Watch:
The FCC issued one appeal decision (DA 12-855) last week granting requests from five petitioners seeking the reversal of USAC denials or funding reductions because of applicant failure to respond to requests for additional information and/or failure to file Item 21 attachments for FY 2011 applications.
Most significantly, the FCC provided specific Item 21 relief for 23 applicants included as examples in a petition filed by the State E-Rate Coordinators' Alliance ("SECA"). Unfortunately, the FCC did not address the more general blanket waiver sought by SECA that would have covered a much larger number of FY 2011 application and/or FRN denials. Interestingly, of the 23 applicants cited in the SECA petition, 14 had already been funded by USAC in various FY 2011 appeal waves. Other applicants denied funding for missing Item 21 attachments may want to file their own appeals with the FCC citing this decision.
Tech Plan and CIPA Deadline Reminders:
With less than a month remaining before the start of FY 2012, school applicants for services other than pure telecommunications are reminded that their Internet safety policies must be updated to include a component regarding the education of minors about appropriate online behavior (including cyberbullying). Priority 2 applicants with technology plan approvals expiring June 30, 2012, need to have updated plans approved by the start of the coming year. Additional information on these deadlines is available in our newsletter of April 23rd.
SLD System Problems:
The SLD, which has been taking its systems offline for maintenance over the last couple of weekends, is still working to resolve some outstanding problems with the DRT and the Form 486 notification process. Since last week, we count 39 additional FY 2012 applications, plus funding data for Waves 45-46 for FY 2011, that have been added to the DRT. On the other hand, certain large FY 2012 applications, categorized as "statewide," are still not in the DRT. Further, we have identified 93 additional applications, currently designated as "Certified – Out of Window," that have been removed from the DRT, but which are likely to be reinstated once USAC processes late-filed certifications.
Please note that E-Rate Central's funding history tools, which rely on the DRT, will also be missing some data until the SLD's system problems are resolved.
Schools and Libraries News Brief Dated June 1 – Applicant Summer Tips
The SLD's News Brief for June 1, 2012, provides a few tips to applicants seeking to speed application and invoice processing over the summer, namely:
- Monitor the contact information you provided on program forms and requests.
- Respond to any PIA review questions.
- Respond to any Problem Resolution questions (for paper form processing).
- Submit your BEAR forms for service already received for FY 2011.
- Review your CIPA status (see above).
- Label and store program-related documents.
- Make sure the technology plan that covers FY 2012 services has been approved (see above).
- Subscribe to the SLD News brief from a personal e-mail account.
- Start making plans to attend applicant training in the fall.