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USAC's Latest News Archive gives you access to all announcements related to the Schools and Libraries Program as they were made throughout the years.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released an Order (FCC 01-376) which amends its procedural rules for filing appeals. The amended rules are "due to recent emergency events in Washington, D.C. resulting in the unforeseeable and understandable disruption of regular mail delivery and of the processing of other deliveries due to the threat of contamination." The amended rules will become effective on the date the Order is published in the Federal Register (the "effective date") and will remain in effect until further notice. Read More
Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for Wave 11 of Funding Year 4 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2001) will be issued on schedule. However, due to the holiday, detailed and cumulative information on Wave 11 will not be posted to this web site until Thursday, January 3, 2002. This information would ordinarily be available on Monday, December 31, 2001.
For the first time in Funding Year 4, this wave will include approved requests for Internal Connections at discount percentages of 88% and above.
The Federal Communications Commission has released new information in Public Notice DA 01-2919 on filing hand-delivered or messenger-delivered appeals. Effective December 18, 2001, hand-delivered or messenger-delivered appeals will be received by the FCC at a new filing location in Washington, DC.
The Appeals Procedure document posted in the Reference Area of this web site has been updated to reflect the information contained in the Public Notice on delivery location, hours, and other requirements for appeals delivered by hand or by messenger.
Applicants are reminded that they must comply with any applicable state or local requirements when participating in the competitive bidding process used in the universal service discount mechanism. This is especially important in areas that require payment bonds on public projects.
The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25, 2001 in observance of the Holiday Season. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, 2002 in observance of New Year's Day. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Wednesday, January 2, 2002 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
Applicants can now determine the status of their Form(s) 471 filed for a particular Funding Year. This feature is available from the "Apply Online" page of this web site.
To determine the status of your filed Form(s) 471, click on the button labeled "Application Status" in the Form 471 column of the "Apply Online" page. Then enter your Entity Number and Funding Year, and click "Search." The search will return a list of Form(s) 471 for the Entity Number and Funding Year specified, with the most recent status of each Form 471. A table listing each Application Status message and an explanation of the message will precede your search results.
Michael Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has appointed eight individuals to the Board of Directors of the Schools & Libraries (USAC). The appointments are a result of a FCC public notice soliciting nominations to fill the vacancies that would be created when the terms of six current members expire on December 31, 2001, and to fill two vacant positions on the board. The USAC Board represents the diverse stakeholders that participate in the universal service programs. The terms are staggered and six expire each year. Read More
SLD recognizes that some products and services available in the commercial marketplace may contain both eligible and ineligible components, and has developed procedures for accommodating these situations. The two methods for mixed eligibility components are called "cost allocation" and "ancillary use." They are separate and distinct, and are not necessarily available in all cases.
Cost Allocation: Most often, applicants who seek products and services that have a combination of eligible and ineligible components must cost-allocate the components so that requests for funding include only the eligible portion. Item 23 of Form 471 includes columns expressly for this purpose. The document "Cost Allocation Guidelines for Services that Contain Eligible and Ineligible Components," posted in the Reference Area of this Web site, provides further information. Applicants who specifically seek ineligible components, in addition to eligible components, must utilize the cost allocation approach for the request to be approved for funding.
Ancillary Use: In limited circumstances, the principle of ancillary use applies. In such cases, an eligible product or service can include ineligible components on an ancillary basis, and the full package can be eligible for discount if certain conditions are met, such as:
SLD has received reports that some applicants have issued Requests for Proposals that require ineligible components as part of the RFP. Applicants are on notice that the cost allocation guidelines must be employed in such cases. The conditional exception for ancillary ineligible services would not apply.
Applicants for Funding Year 5 that have issued a Request for Proposals seeking both eligible and ineligible components, and that have failed to specify the need for separated costs, may avoid denial of their funding request by obtaining separate pricing from bidders, and asking for discounts only on eligible products and services. In such cases, the original RFP need not be re-issued and re-competed under SLD policy, assuming that this modification of the terms of the solicitation is in compliance with all state and local procurement laws and regulations.
SLD has issued this notice to warn applicants that seeking ineligible components in a Request for Proposals or other solicitation instrument, without obtaining separate pricing for eligible and ineligible components, will result in denial of any associated funding request.
Note the following examples which illustrate applicable SLD program rules:
Example 1: An applicant seeks bids for Internet access service, and asks that the bids include ineligible filtering. The applicant must ensure that the ineligible filtering is costed fairly and separately from the eligible Internet access, or the entire funding request risks denial.
Example 2: An applicant seeks basic Internet access service. An evaluation of bids received indicates that the most cost-effective offering includes ineligible filtering. This bid may be accepted if it complies with the requirements for bundled Internet access service: (1) the ineligible components are not priced or sold separately, (2) any ineligible content, if included, is minimal, and (3) the applicant determines that this bundled offering is the most cost-effective means for obtaining Internet access. The evaluation of cost-effectiveness must be made without considering the benefits related to ineligible features.
In limited circumstances, the evaluation of cost-effectiveness may consider the overall package rather than be limited only to considering the eligible features. Such an expanded bid evaluation is permissible when the full package is a reasonable business bundling, and the prices of the eligible components are reasonable, e.g., meet the conditions as provided by SLD's Cost Allocation Guidelines for Services that Contain Eligible and Ineligible Components.
Remember that the person authorized to sign Form 471 must have successfully completed the PIN Request Process and received a User ID and PIN before they can electronically certify Form 471. Click here for more information on how to request a PIN.
If applicants would like to electronically certify their Form 471, they must have already clicked the "Submit" button on the "Stop Sign" page during the online application process. The authorized person must follow the instructions below to electronically certify the form:
The opportunity to use the "Certify Complete" function on the Form 470 is now available as well.
Additional filing tips for Form 471 applicants:
In the last two weeks, the SLD has added an electronic certification option to both Form 470 and Form 471. This new feature will help applicants speed the filing of their forms. To obtain more information on how you may qualify to receive your User ID and PIN so that you can electronically certify these forms, click here.
Schools and libraries are already filing their certifications online. Gayle Scriven, the Director of Florence Public Library in Florence, Kansas, was the first to complete the electronic certification of Form 470 online. Florence Public Library serves a population of 670. "I liked the concept of the electronic signature process; that's why I used it. We are open 15 hours a week; our one computer is in use all the time, and it is only because of the E-rate program that we can afford this service."
Tomahawk School District in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, was the first applicant to electronically certify its Form 471. Lin Kautza, District Technology Coordinator, said, "Electronic certification is more time-effective, and streamlines the application process. I have moved from manual filing to online filing to electronic certification, and I appreciate the immense time savings these improvements have made."
For more information on electronically certifying your Form 470, click here. For more information on electronically certifying your Form 471, click here. You may also call the SLD Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants who would like to electronically certify Form 470 or Form 471 must have a valid User ID and PIN. Following are tips to assist with the PIN request process:
Only the authorized person can request a PIN. Only the authorized person named on one of the following forms can apply for a PIN. This means the person named as the authorized person in Form 471 Block 6, Item 36 (for FY2, Item 32) or Form 486 Block 4, Item 14 - NOT the contact person:
The first and last names of the authorized person must match the first and last names on file in the SLD database. Do not enter titles, prefixes, initials, or suffixes in the last name and first name fields, and make sure the last name and first name are entered as they appear in Form 471 Block 6, Item 36 (for FY2, Item 32) or Form 486 Block 4, Item 14. The PIN verification process uses only a last name and a first name for each authorized person from the SLD database.
For example, Mr. James Doe, R. James Doe, James Doe III, and Father James M. Doe should be entered as follows:
What is your Last Name? Doe
What is your First Name? James
In addition, if the printed name of the authorized person is "James Doe" but the signature used is "Jim Doe" on the Form 471 or Form 486, then James Doe must be entered on the PIN Request Form (see above) to ensure that the name matches the information in the SLD database.
The Entity Number you enter must match the Entity Number featured on the relevant Form 471 or Form 486. The Entity Number can be found in Form 471 Block 1, Item 3 or Form 486 Block 1, Item 2.
The Funding Request Number (FRN) you enter must match a funded Funding Request Number on the relevant Form 471 or Form 486. You might have more than one funded Funding Request Number on your form; however, only one Funding Request Number is required to complete the PIN Request Form. Funding Request Number(s) can be found in the following locations:
SLD has added the capability for online submission of certifications to the online Form 471.
To be able to submit certifications for Form 471 online, you must have a valid User ID and PIN. To obtain a PIN, you must be the authorized person named on either (1) a Form 471 for Funding Year 2 or later that was approved for funding or (2) a Form 486 for Funding Year 2 or later that was successfully data entered. To request a PIN, you must go to the PIN Request Area of this web site; if your request is successfully processed, you will receive your PIN by mail. More information on User IDs and PINs is available in the Online Submission of Certifications posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
Applicants who reach the online Form 471 Block 6 certification page will now have two options, each with its own button - to continue either with electronic certification or with manual certification.
For electronic certification, you will check the appropriate Block 6 certifications and click the "Submit" button. You will need to enter the User ID that you selected when applying for your PIN and the PIN assigned to you by the SLD. Then you must click the checkbox to affirm your compliance with the electronic certification process, and click the "Done" button.
For manual certification, you will check the appropriate Block 6 certifications, click "Submit," and then print a completed certification page for the authorized person to sign and submit to the SLD. When you print out Block 6 using your browser, the form will automatically include Form 471 Application Number, Entity Number, Billed Entity Name, and Billed Entity Address. If you mail attachment(s) separately from the Form 471 or the Block 6 certification page, be sure to mark your attachment(s) and include your Form 471 Application Number, Entity Number, Billed Entity Name, and Billed Entity Address. This information is necessary to match the attachments with the correct application.
REMINDER: The following application materials associated with a Funding Year 5 Form 471 must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 17, 2002 or postmarked on or before January 17, 2002 in order for the request to receive consideration as inside the window:
Your Item 21 Attachment(s) is not required to be received or postmarked by January 17, 2002, but the SLD must have the Item 21 Attachment(s) to process the Form 471. (See Form 471 Minimum Processing Standards and Filing Requirements for detailed instructions on how to label your Item 21 Attachment(s)).
SLD has added the capability for online submission of certifications to the online Form 470.
To be able to submit certifications for Form 470 online, you must have a valid User ID and PIN. To obtain a PIN, you must be an authorized person named on either (1) a Form 471 for Funding Year 2 or later that was approved for funding or (2) a Form 486 for Funding Year 2 or later that was successfully data entered. To request a PIN, you must go to the PIN Request Area of this web site; if your request is successfully processed, you will receive your PIN by mail. More information on User IDs and Pins is available in the Online Submission of Certifications posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
Applicants who reach the online Form 470 Block 5 certification page will now have two options, each with its own button - to continue either with manual certification or with electronic certification.
For manual certification, an applicant will check the appropriate Block 5 certifications, click "Submit," and then print a completed certification page for the authorized person to sign and submit to the SLD.
For electronic certification, an applicant will check the appropriate Block 5 certifications, click "Submit," fill in the User ID and PIN and check a box to affirm compliance, then click "Done."
SLD is beginning the process of closing out disbursements on Funding Year 3 commitments.
File your Form 486 NOW, if you have not already done so.
Funding Year 3 Form 486 Deadlines
Funding Year 3 Invoicing Deadlines (BEARS or SPIs)
Previously SLD had stated that November 20, 2001 was the deadline for BEARs and SPIs for Funding Year 3. We are changing that date, to allow for compliance with the newly established guidance for filing Forms 486.
As the Funding Year 5 Window opens, USAC and SLD would like to remind schools and libraries that they do not evaluate, approve, or endorse particular service providers that may offer their services to participants in the Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism.
USAC has received a number of inquiries from schools and libraries asking whether the fact that a service provider has obtained a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) implies some measure of approval or endorsement of the service provider on the part of USAC. The answer is no.
USAC assigns a SPIN to a service provider that requests it primarily for billing purposes. The SPIN is simply an identification number which must be obtained in order for a service provider to participate in the program. Any individual service provider may obtain a SPIN by providing the information requested on Form 498 - the Service Provider Information Form - and submitting it to USAC. USAC does not evaluate, approve, or endorse particular service providers. Such an evaluation must be made by each school or library seeking services.
Schools and libraries should be wary of assertions by service providers and others that USAC or SLD has in any manner approved or endorsed a particular service provider. Neither USAC nor SLD evaluates, approves, or endorses particular service providers.
If you have any questions about USAC's policies with regard to service providers or SPINs, please contact the SLD Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100.
Today, Monday, November 5, 2001 at noon EST, the Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 5 (July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003) will open.
The window will remain open for seventy-four (74) calendar days and will close on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Following are the Form 471 filing requirements for Funding Year 5:
Form 470 certification: A completed Form 470 certification is a Block 5 certification with the signature of the authorized person. Forms 470 with completed certifications submitted in a previous year meet this requirement, as do those filed for Year 5 and submitted to the SLD with a postmark date on or before January 17, 2002. Any Year 5 Form 471 Block 5 funding request based on a Form 470 whose certification has not been received by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 17, 2002 or postmarked on or before January 17, 2002 will be rejected.
January 17, 2002 deadline: Failure to make the January 17, 2002 deadline for Form 471 application materials will place the entire application outside the window, and the applicant's funding will be jeopardized.
The Funding Year 5 FCC Forms 470 and 471 may be filed online or downloaded for manual filing. The forms are also available via mail by calling our Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100.
Applicants who have completed the FCC Form 470 28-day posting period, and have selected their vendors for tariffed or month-to-month services and/or have executed contracts for contractual services, may submit the FCC Form 471, Services Ordered and Certification Form, to the SLD.
Certain applicants may qualify to request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and User Identification (User ID) to submit form certifications online.
To obtain a PIN and User ID, an individual must be the authorized person identified on either (1) a funded Form 471 for Funding Year 2 or later or (2) a Form 486 for Funding Year 2 or later which was successfully data entered. The authorized person applying for a PIN must also provide an e-mail address. Such authorized persons can apply now for a PIN in the PIN Request Area of this web site. When the online PIN application process is successfully completed, a computer-generated PIN will be mailed to the authorized person in a secure mailer via the United States Postal Service.
Additional guidance on requesting PINs may be obtained from Frequently Asked Questions, Online Submission of Certifications in the Reference Area of this web site.
With a valid PIN and User ID, an authorized person can submit certifications online for those forms for which that functionality has been added. Applicants are reminded that using a PIN to certify a form online is equivalent to signing a form with a hand-written signature, and that they are affirming the certifications requested on the form just as if they had signed the form using their hand-written signature. Should the certifications prove untrue, authorized persons will be held to the same enforcement standards as those who affirm the certifications on paper.
The functionality permitting the submission of certifications online will be added first to the Form 470 and, shortly thereafter, to the Form 471. We will post a notification in the What's New section of this web site each time this functionality is available for a form. Applicants who qualify for a PIN and who wish to submit certifications online for Funding Year 5 can apply for a PIN, begin the data entry of the form online, save their work, and then complete the application process - including the submission of the certifications online - after they receive a PIN and after the online certification functionality is added to the form.
The Schools and Libraries Division has updated the list of Entity Numbers in the Reference Area of this web site. This list provides links to tables of entity numbers created from the SLD database on November 2, 2001. If you can't find your entity number in the list, contact the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100.
USAC would like to make schools and libraries aware of reports it has received of individuals and/or organizations misrepresenting their relationship to the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC. In some cases an individual claims to be an investigator working for USAC. In others, an organization claims to be an "SLD certified" consultant.
Individual Misrepresenting Himself as SLD Investigator
USAC has received reports of an individual approaching schools in the New York area claiming to represent the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC in an investigation of the schools' service providers. The reports indicate that, during the course of meeting with school personnel, the individual makes a number of accusations about the school's current service provider and then attempts to solicit the school's business for his company. Schools and libraries should be aware that this individual is not an employee or agent of the Schools and Libraries Division and has no authority to represent us. If you are approached by any individual claiming to represent the Schools and Libraries Division in this manner, please contact the Client Service Bureau immediately at 1-888-203-8100 to report the incident.
The Schools and Libraries Division does not conduct informal investigations of service providers at school or library sites. We do conduct on-site audits from time to time. Our auditors notify the appropriate schools and libraries, however, well in advance of the audit and provide verifying identification upon request.
Organization Misrepresenting Itself as SLD "Certified"
USAC has learned that an organization that offers consulting services to schools and libraries related to the Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism advertises itself as an "SLD certified" consultant. This is a misleading claim. Neither SLD nor USAC certifies or otherwise approves outside consultants or service providers.
If you have any questions concerning this notice or the relationship of particular individuals to the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC, please contact the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100.
We are currently experiencing some difficulties in answering your calls at the SLD Client Service Bureau. When you call, you will receive a message asking you to hold, but we are unable to pick up your call.
We will post another announcement as soon as we can take your calls again. We apologize for this inconvenience.
The SLD web site will be in transition to prepare for the opening of the Funding Year 5 Form 471 application filing window. The transition period will last from midnight EST on Sunday, November 4, 2001 until noon EST on Monday, November 5, 2001.
As we prepare for the application filing window opening during this time, users will be able to browse the Schools and Libraries area of the web site but will not have access to the interactive functions, e.g., apply online, search posted Form 470, deleted 470 applications, etc.
Normal service will return when the Funding Year 5 application filing window opens on November 5, 2001 at noon EST. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you as the window opens.
Correspondence sent to you from the SLD is color-coded by Funding Year for easy identification. For Funding Year 5, SLD correspondence will be printed on blue paper.
Correspondence relating to earlier Funding Years will continue to be color-specific. The color for correspondence relating to Funding Year 4 is pink; the color for correspondence relating to Funding Year 3 is yellow.
On Monday, November 5, 2001, at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST), the FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 5 (July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003) will open.
The window will remain open for seventy-four (74) calendar days and will close on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 11:59 P.M. EST.
For Funding Year 5, the earliest date that a Form 471 can be filed is November 5, 2001, the date established by the SLD as the opening of the Form 471 application window. The Form 471 application window is the period during which applications will be considered as having arrived simultaneously. All Form 471 applications, including certifications, postmarked on or before the last day of the window are considered as if they had arrived on the same day, and have priority over those postmarked after the closing date of the window.
Applicants are reminded that they must complete the FCC Form 470 28-day posting period before executing any contracts for contracted services, before selecting their service provider for tariffed or month-to-month services, and before signing and submitting Form 471.
The SLD has posted a new Eligible Services List for use by applicants as they prepare their FCC Forms 471 for Funding Year 5. Applicants and service providers should review this list carefully, as it indicates changes and clarifications in the eligibility of some products and services.
In the Telecommunications Services section, the new Eligible Service List includes entries for Wide Area Network and Wireless Wide Area Network.
In addition, a description for "On-premise Equipment for End-to-End Service" is provided. This is an outgrowth of an FCC determination that, in certain limited circumstances, service providers may install components at an applicant site as part of the provision of Telecommunications Services or Internet Access.
For Internet Access, new entries have been added for Application Services (such as software provided over the Internet), Internet2, and Specialized Services (such as Voice over IP and Virtual Private Networks).
In the Internal Connections category, new or changed entries include Client Access Licenses, Servers, Virtual Private Network components, and Voice/video over IP.
The Miscellaneous section now includes entries for Dark Fiber and Professional Services.
The category of service can be a key factor in the eligibility of products and services. For example, a Virtual Private Network service may be provided over telecommunications links in the Telecommunications Services category; however such a service may not be provided in the Internet Access category. Similarly, components that have the capability for providing voice or video over IP (VoIP) can now be eligible as Internal Connections, but a service that provides VoIP over the Internet is not eligible.
The Eligible Services List is saved as a PDF file that may be downloaded and viewed using Adobe Acrobat, version 4.0 or higher. View the Eligible Services List now, or go to the Eligible Services List in the Reference Area of this web site. (If you need assistance viewing or downloading PDF files, see the PDF Help document in the Reference Area of this web site.)
In conjunction with the updated Eligible Services List, the SLD has also posted a new document that provides a more general description of eligible products and services. View the Eligible Services Framework.
The SLD has posted a new document entitled "Eligible Services Framework." This document provides a broad overview of the criteria by which a product or service is found to be eligible or ineligible for discount under the Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism.
In general, eligible products and services provide a conduit for the flow of information. This new document describes the three categories of service - Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and Internal Connections - and specific eligibility requirements for each.
The Frequently Asked Questions section of the document includes information about amortization of up-front capital charges, eligibility of Wide Area Networks, and the demarcation between Wide Area Networks and Local Area Networks.
The Eligible Services Framework is available in the Reference Area of this web site.
More detailed information about specific products and services is contained in the Eligible Services List, located in the Reference area of this website.
SLD has sent a communication to applicants who were issued a Funding Commitment in Waves 1-6 of Funding Year 4 reminding them of the October 28, 2001 CIPA deadline.
For Funding Year 4, Billed Entities who were issued a Funding Commitment before October 28, 2001 and whose Service Start Date(s) is on or before October 28, 2001 must postmark a properly completed Form(s) 486 on or before October 28, 2001 in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date. If the Form 486 is postmarked later than October 28, 2001, the Form 486 postmark date will become the start date for discounted services on those Funding Requests featured on the Form 486 and will reduce the funding commitment for the relevant Funding Request as appropriate. Although CIPA requirements do not apply to Telecommunications Services, Billed Entities who were issued Funding Commitments for Telecommunications Services before October 28, 2001 must still certify on a Form 486 postmarked by October 28, 2001 that CIPA requirements do not apply.
Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for Wave 6 of Funding Year 4 were issued on September 28, 2001. SLD has temporarily suspended further production of FCDLs until after October 28, 2001. If you have not received an FCDL in Waves 1-6, check the Funding Commitments section of this web site to verify whether or not you are listed. If you are listed in Waves 1-6, that means a Funding Commitment was issued. If you have not received your FCDL, call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 to request a duplicate FCDL.
For information on other deadlines relating to the Form 486, please see the Instructions for Form 486 and the Frequently Asked Questions on CIPA and Form 486 on this web site.
SLD has posted two sets of additional materials to the Reference Area.
Under the heading "Letters (Samples)," you can now find samples of the Receipt Notification Letter, Receipt Acknowledgment Letter, Funding Commitment Decision Letter, and Form 472 BEAR Approval Letter. Note that these sample letters are for reference only.
Under the heading "Presentations," you can find copies of the PowerPoint presentations that were delivered at the SLD Train-the-Trainer Workshop on September 17-18, 2001. These presentations contain information useful for training purposes.
The Schools & Libraries (USAC) is pleased to announce that, after a nationwide search, George McDonald has been appointed USAC Vice President with overall responsibility for the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD). Mr. McDonald has been serving as acting head of that Division until the search was completed.
We are currently experiencing a phone outage at the Client Service Bureau. Technicians are working on the problem, but we do not yet know when service will be restored.
We will post another announcement as soon as phone service is restored. We apologize for this inconvenience.
If you are required to complete Form 479, you must submit your Form 479 to your Billed Entity, NOT to the SLD or the FCC. FCC Form 479, Certification by Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, is used by Administrative Authorities who are not Billed Entities to certify the status of the Administrative Authority's compliance with CIPA. If you need additional information regarding who must file Form 479, see the Form 479 Instructions and the Form 486 Instructions.
We have been receiving some Forms 479 in Lawrence, KS; each form will be returned to the entity that submitted the form.
The second wave of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for Funding Year 4 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2001) will be mailed Tuesday, August 7, 2001. The wave will include over 3,600 letters to applicants, reflecting commitments of almost $207 million in Universal Service discounts.
Information about this second wave is posted in the Funding Commitments area of this web site.
This wave of letters will continue to reflect denial of requests for Internal Connections at discount percentages of 84% or less. Approved requests for Internal Connections at 90% discount will appear on some letters in this wave with a Funding Status of "As Yet Unfunded." When we determine whether funds will be sufficient to fully fund such approved requests or whether proration will be required and, if so, what the proration factor will be, a second commitment letter will be issued showing the commitments on those 90% Internal Connections requests. Some FCDLs in this wave may still indicate that Funding Commitments for Internal Connections will not be made below 90%. See the What's New posting for 7/24/01 for more information.
Applicants who receive Funding Year 4 Funding Commitment Decision Letters should read the letters carefully, particularly noting that there is a NEW Form 486 dated July 2001 that MUST be used to notify SLD of Actual Service Start Dates.
SLD has posted a corrected version of the FCC Form 486 Instructions on this web site.
On page 10 of the earlier version, paragraph two under Situation #5 stated:
The Billed Entity must complete Form 486, including the certification(s) in Item (11), and postmark the Form 486 no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486.
The paragraph has been corrected and it now reads:
The Billed Entity must complete Form 486, including the certification(s) in Item (11), and postmark the Form 486 no later than 120 days after the date of the FCDL.
The SL Forms section of this web site features the corrected version of the Instructions. Use this corrected document for assistance in completing your Form 486.
SLD has posted a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the implementation of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) as it affects the application process for E-rate discounts. These FAQs also include information about the new Form 486. This document is posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
View the FAQs relating to CIPA and Form 486.
During the first few waves in Funding Year 4, applicants and service providers may see the following message on Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) under "Funding Commitment Decision Explanation" for some Internal Connections Funding Requests:
"Funding cap will not provide for Internal Connections less than 90% discount to be funded. Please see
www.sl.universalservice.org for further details."
This message is currently incorrect. As indicated in an earlier notice on this web site, SLD has not yet determined whether funds will be available for requests for Internal Connections with approved discount percentages between 85% and 89%. No denials for such requests will be issued in the first wave(s) of Year 4 commitments. At this time SLD has, however, determined that funds will NOT be available for requests for Internal Connections with approved discount percentages below 84%.
As more applications complete the review process, we may determine that funds will not be sufficient for Internal Connections requests with approved discount percentages below 90%. At that time, we would issue such denials and post a notice to that effect on the web site.
A new version of FCC Form 486, Receipt of Service Confirmation Form, is now available in the Schools and Libraries Forms section of this web site in both a Word version and a PDF fill-in print-out version. This new version of Form 486, dated July 2001, MUST be used to inform SLD that services have begun to be delivered or, if the applicant is filing the Form 486 early, that the applicant has confirmed that services will be delivered by the date specified for early filers on the Form 486.
Certifications for the purpose of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) are also featured on this version of the Form 486. Starting with Funding Year 4, each authority responsible for the administration of a school or library (the Administrative Authority) must certify the status of its compliance with CIPA. Certifications for schools for the purpose of CIPA may be made by the relevant school, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school. Certifications for libraries for the purpose of CIPA may be made by the relevant library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library.
There are firm deadlines for submission of Form 486 beginning with Funding Year 4. In order to meet those deadlines, Billed Entities who must collect Forms 479, Certification by Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, from Administrative Authorities they represent will need to do so to meet the Form 486 deadlines.
Click here for more information on the Children's Internet Protection Act and the specific certification relating to "undertaking actions."
Certain recipients of E-rate funding have received or may receive extensions of the implementation deadline for delivery and installation of non-recurring services (that is, FRNs that have one-time charges). Such extensions can occur for various reasons, including:
Applicants can now use the newly-posted FRN Extension Table to determine the extended deadline for the implementation of non-recurring services and the last date for receipt by SLD of an invoice [BEAR Form (Form 472) or Service Provider Invoice Form (Form 474)] for those services. Applicants whose deadlines have been extended can locate their Funding Request Number(s) in the table and then look to the right of the FRN to find the implementation deadline for delivery and installation of non-recurring services and the last date for receipt by SLD of an invoice for those services.
If you believe that the deadlines listed for one or more of your FRNs are incorrect, or that one or more of your FRNs should appear on the table but are missing, you should file an appeal using the Appeals Procedure posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
In addition to the information required in the Appeals Procedure, your appeal letter should also include the following information:
Contact Person name
Contact Person telephone number
Form 471 Application Number(s)
Funding Request Number(s)
Correct extended deadline
for qualification for extended deadline
In addition to FRNs for non-recurring services, the table features some FRNs that do not have one-time charges. Such FRNs are shown on the table if the FCDL was issued late and the applicant or Service Provider must have additional time to submit invoices. Recurring services MUST be delivered during the 12-month (July 1 - June 30) Funding Year, so the entry for such FRNs in the column headed "Last Allowable Date for Delivery and Installation for Non-Recurring Services" will be June 30 of the relevant Funding Year (or it may be blank).
Note that a valid contract is still required for services implemented under the extended deadline. If implementation will not occur until after the Contract Expiration Date on the relevant Form 471, applicants must first extend the contract and then notify SLD using a Form 500 before invoices can be processed.
FRNs appear on the table during the period before the last allowable date for SLD to receive an invoice and for 30 days after that date, at which point they are deleted.
Click here to view the FRN Extension Table. You may also access the table by going to the "Apply Online & View Forms" section of this web site and clicking on the button marked "FRN Extension Status" under the "Utilities" header.
FCC Form 479, Certification by Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, is now available in the Schools and Libraries Forms section of this web site in both a Word version and a PDF fill-in print-out version.
Form 479 will be used by Administrative Authorities who are not Billed Entities. It is not required for Funding Years prior to Funding Year 4 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2001). Form 479 is submitted to your Billed Entity, NOT to the SLD.
Starting with Funding Year 4, each Administrative Authority must certify the status of its compliance with CIPA. Certifications for schools for the purpose of CIPA may be made by the relevant school, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school. Certifications for libraries for the purpose of CIPA may be made by the relevant library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library.
There are firm deadlines for submission of Form 486 beginning with Funding Year 4. In order to meet those deadlines, Billed Entities who must collect Forms 479 will need to do so in advance of the Form 486 deadlines.
Click here for more information on the Children's Internet Protection Act and the specific certification relating to "undertaking actions."
Click Here to access Form 479
On June 29, 2001, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report and Order (FCC 01-195). Under this Order, the FCC's rules of priority for allocating discounts on requests for Internal Connections in Funding Year 4 will not be revised.
In addition, the deadline for the implementation of non-recurring services under the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism is extended to September 30 following the June 30 close of the Funding Year. This rule change affects Funding Year 4 and later Funding Years. Further, the Order provides for an additional extension under certain circumstances.
SLD will provide a link to this Order from a subsequent "What's New!" posting when the Order becomes available on the FCC web site.
Following is a summary of the two areas covered by the Order:
The Commission has decided NOT to revise the current rules of priority allocations. That means that funds are first allocated to approved requests for Telecommunications Services and Internet Access and, if funds remain, to those approved Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for Internal Connections that qualify for a 90% discount. If funds remain after funding all approved Internal Connections FRNs at 90%, Internal Connections requests at 89% are funded, and on downward through the discount percentages. An analysis of the priority allocation options that SLD earlier posted on its web site suggested that, given demand, funds in Year 4 will be sufficient for all approved FRNs for Telecommunications Services and Internet Access but may not be sufficient for all approved requests for Internal Connections at 90%. If that ultimately is the case, commitments would be made on 90% Internal Connections FRNs based on a prorated share of the total discount request.
SLD will begin Year 4 funding commitments as soon as possible. It will take some time to determine exactly how much of the approved requests for Internal Connections will be able to be funded. We will let you know as soon as we know when Year 4 commitments will begin to flow.
Extension of deadline for non-recurring services
The Report and Order also provides for a permanent extension of the Funding Year for the implementation of non-recurring services (in all service categories). The new rules are: recurring services must be delivered in the July 1 - June 30 time period; non-recurring services (FRNs with a one-time cost component) must be delivered and installed in the period July 1 through September 30 of the following year. (For example, for Year 4, recurring services must be delivered between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002; non-recurring services must be delivered and installed between July 1, 2001 and September 30, 2002.)
Contracts for non-recurring services may be voluntarily extended to coincide with the appropriate deadline for implementation. However, other contractual provisions may not be extended beyond the dates established by the FCC's rules without complying with the competitive bidding process. The FCC does not increase the amount recipients receive; the Order merely allows them additional time in which to complete the receipt of their non-recurring services.
The FCC also created four categories of waivers that would allow the applicant further time to implement non-recurring services. The criteria for those categories are:
The Funding Commitment Decision Letter is issued by the SLD on or after March 1 of the Funding Year for which discounts are authorized;
A Service Provider change authorization or service substitution authorization from the SLD is received on or after March 1 of the Funding Year for which discounts are authorized;
The Service Provider is unable to complete implementation for reasons beyond the Service Provider's control; or
The Service Provider is unwilling to complete installation because funding disbursements are delayed while SLD investigates their application for program compliance.
SLD will consider whether criteria (1) and (2) have been satisfied and adjust the deadline accordingly. Recipients of non-recurring services who wish to satisfy criterion (3) must submit documentation to the SLD on or before the September 30 following the close of the Funding Year. Recipients of service who meet criterion (4) must certify to the SLD on or before September 30 following the close of the Funding Year that their Service Provider was unwilling to deliver or install non-recurring services before the expiration of the deadline because SLD had withheld payment for those services on a properly-submitted invoice for more than 60 days after the submission of the invoice.
Note that this Order extends the deadline for delivery and installation of non-recurring services for Year 2 out-of-window applications to September 30, 2002.
The SLD has added a new search function to the Funding Commitments area. The Automated Search of Commitments (ASC) allows users to search for schools and libraries commitment information. This function replaces the Adobe PDF individual wave reports posted after every wave and cumulative reports posted after each funding year. Now the user can narrow down results using specific criteria such as applicant name, city, and zip. Go to ASC
We will be upgrading our equipment starting Saturday, June 9 at 11:00PM. During this time, users will be able to browse the Schools and Libraries area of the web site but will not have access to certain functions, e.g., apply online. We are expecting normal service to be returned early morning Monday, June 11. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has requested the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company to provide information about the potential impact of the proposal by the FCC to change the funding priorities for Funding Year 4.
On April 30, 2001, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 01-143) suggesting an alternative to the current rules of priority for funding commitments. On May 8, that FNPRM was published in the Federal Register. Comments are due on or before May 23, 2001, with reply comments due on or before May 30, 2001.
Read More >>
SLD will be posting detailed guidance in the near future on the requirements for recipients of service and for Billed Entities under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). These requirements will affect recipients of funding commitments for Funding Year 4 and later. Because schools will soon be closing for the summer, SLD is addressing one specific question immediately:
If Funding Year 4 applicants intend to certify on their Form 486 that they are undertaking actions in Funding Year 4 to comply with the requirements of CIPA by Funding Year 5, what should they do now?
View SLD Response >>
The Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM) adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on revising the funding priorities for Year 4 and after was published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2001.
The notice can be found on pages 23204-23208 of the Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 89, for Tuesday, May 8, 2001. It is available on the web in both text and PDF versions as the only entry in PROPOSED RULES under the "Federal Communications Commission" heading on the Federal Register web site.
Comments are due on or before May 23, 2001. Reply comments are due on or before May 30, 2001. Addresses for filing comments are available under the heading "ADDRESSES" at the beginning of the notice.
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to seek comments on a proposed revision to Year 4 funding priorities. This notice may affect the funding status for Internal Connections requests now under review by the Schools and Libraries Division.
Comments on the NPRM must be received at the FCC within 15 days of the Notice's publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments must be received within the following 7 days. The FCC will issue a final rule after that period.
Under the proposal, Priority One funding status would continue to include Telecommunications Services and Internet Access services.
The notice proposes, however, changing the priority system for Priority Two: Internal Connections. Under the proposal, priority would still be given to the needier recipients, but if a recipient had received a funding commitment for Internal Connections in Year 3, that recipient would not be eligible for Year 4 funding for Internal Connections.
More specifically, the proposal would require SLD to examine Form 471 Block 5 requests (Funding Request Numbers, or FRN's) and consider the recipients receiving those Internal Connections services, as featured in the relevant Block 4 worksheet of the Form 471. Any recipients featured in the Block 4 worksheet that had been associated with a Year 3-funded FRN for Internal Connections services would be ineligible for funding.
The impact of the proposal would be to allow funding for Internal Connections to reach the neediest schools and libraries, some below the 90% discount level, who did not already receive Internal Connections funding in Year 3, to receive funding commitments in Year 4.
Click here to view the NPRM.
Please watch this web site for further information.
On April 17, 2001, the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Schools & Libraries (USAC) reported to the Federal Communications Commission that a revised projection of $5.195 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking E-rate discounts for Year 4.
This updated and revised estimate eliminates funding requests on applications with missing or late-postmarked certifications or Item 21 attachments. Because in Year 4 all forms needed to have both their certifications and attachments filed within the application window, the number of applications deemed to be inside the window has declined to 35,312, reducing the estimated demand.
The reduction of $592 million from the SLD's February 28 estimate has two components: a $374 million reduction due to missing or late certifications and/or attachments, and a $219 million data-entry correction.
There are certain factors that will likely further reduce the demand level. First, while efforts have been made to eliminate duplicate requests, inevitably SLD will discover more duplication as processing of the Form 471 applications continues.
Second, SLD's efforts to assure that applications are substantially complete and that funds are committed only for eligible services, for use by eligible entities with the appropriate discount rate, and are otherwise consistent with program rules, will further reduce the demand.
Click here to view the updated and revised demand estimate.
In an order released April 30, the FCC extended the Year 3 deadline for implementing non-recurring services from June 30, 2001 to September 30, 2001.
The FCC action provides three more months for the implementation of non-recurring projects, giving schools and libraries the summer months to complete such work.
Those entities with funding commitments that wish to undertake work during this period should examine their contracts for non-recurring services. If the contract expires June 30, 2001 or earlier, they should make provision for a contract extension and file FCC Form 500, Adjustment to Funding Commitment and Modification to Receipt of Service Confirmation Form to notify SLD of the new Contract Expiration Date. This change is necessary so that invoices for this period can be honored. Notably, the FCC order provides that contracts for non-recurring services approved for Funding Year 3 discounts may be voluntarily extended until September 30, 2001.
Funding recipients are reminded that this order applies only to non-recurring services. For recurring services, the June 30, 2001 deadline remains.
On Friday, April 27, 2001, SLD is scheduled to release funding commitments for certain Year 2 Form 471 applications. These applications were completed and/or received after the close of the Year 2 Form 471 filing window on April 6, 1999 but on or before March 31, 2000. The first wave of these commitments will include funding commitment decisions on the majority of these applications, but additional waves will be issued to complete this group of commitments. These commitments followed the processing of Year 3 applications.
The SLD has determined that sufficient funding is available to fund all applications received during this period which have passed SLD's Program Integrity Assurance review procedures.
On March 1, 2000, the SLD posted on this web site a description of the priorities for funding these Year 2 Form 471 applications; because sufficient funding is available for these applications, the priority ranking outlined in the March 1 posting is now unnecessary.
Data on these funding commitments are scheduled to be posted on April 30, 2001 to the Year 2 Data section of the Funding Commitments area of this web site.
For recurring services, the commitments cover only those services installed and delivered during Funding Year 2, which ran from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000. If SLD receives an invoice for payment - either a BEAR Form (Form 472) or a Service Provider Invoice Form (Form 474) - referring to these commitments and the recurring services were delivered after June 30, 2000, that invoice will not be paid.
For non-recurring services, these commitments will be available for services installed and delivered up through September 30, 2001, consistent with the extension in the FCC Order released on November 1, 2000 (DA 00-2444).
Applicants receiving these commitments should consider whether they need to file FCC Form 500, Adjustment to Funding Commitment and Modification to Receipt of Service Confirmation Form, as their immediate next step. If applicants have been waiting for these commitment letters to start non-recurring services - and if the Contract Expiration Date reported on the Form 471 has passed - SLD will not be able to process a Form 486 with an Actual Service Start Date after the Contract Expiration Date. Such applicants should first negotiate a contract extension with the service provider and then file a Form 500 to notify SLD of the new Contract Expiration Date. Such applicants may then file a Form 486 notifying SLD of the Actual Service Start Date. After that, invoices may be submitted to SLD for payment.
Click here to view a copy of FCC Form 500. Click here to view a copy of FCC Form 486.
SLD has developed a new procedure for administering Service Substitutions as a result of a February 2001 FCC decision (DA 01-387, released on 02/14/2001).
Service Substitutions involve a modification in products or services from those specified in the Form 471. The same functionality contained in the original description of services must be maintained; the applicant is requesting changes only in the specific technical components involved.
Following are the key points of the new procedure:
The FCC has indicated specific criteria that must be met for a Service Substitution
request to be approved. This information and instructions for requesting service
substitutions are provided in the document entitled Service
Substitutions posted in the Reference Area of this web site. Note also that
the outdated document "Service Changes" has been removed from the Reference
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently modified the Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution methodology to reduce the interval between the accrual of revenues and the assessment of universal service contributions based on those revenues. Currently, contributions to the USF are based on a carrier's interstate and international end-user revenue generated 12 months prior. The new methodology shortens the lag from 12 months to six months.
In order to administer this change, the Order modifies reporting requirements for USF contributors. Going forward, the FCC eliminated the semi-annual September 1 FCC Form 499-S. However, in addition to the annual FCC Form 499-A due each April, four quarterly FCC Form 499-Q worksheets will be filed throughout the year. Form due dates, revenue data reported and invoicing time period are summarized below:
FCC Form 499-Q
Revenue Reported on Form:
Utilized to meet USF contributions:
May 11, 2001*
1Q: January - March 2001
July - September 2001
August 1, 2001
2Q: April - June 2001
October - December 2001
November 1, 2001
3Q: July - September 2001
January - March 2002
February 1, 2002
4Q: October - December 2001
April - June 2002
April 1, 2002
Annual: January - December 2001
July 2002 True-up
*For subsequent years, the first quarter revenue reporting will be due on May 1.
Telecommunications providers qualifying for the USF De Minimis Exemption (using process outlined on page 5 of the Form 499-Q instructions) do not need to complete the Form 499-Q. However, for all other USF contributors, the first Form 499-Q must be submitted to USAC by Friday May 11, 2001. We advise each carrier to review the instructions prior to completing the form. The FCC has made significant changes in the format and content of customer information reported.
Now that the window for filing Form 471 for Year 4 has closed and the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Team is gearing up to review the filed applications, the SLD would like to remind applicants of two issues related to the portion of bills for which applicants are responsible. The PIA Team will be reviewing applications for compliance with these and other program rules.
For a discussion of service provider price reductions and promotional offers, please refer to the "Free Services Advisory" section of the Pitfalls to Avoid in Filing Form 470 posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
For a discussion of the non-discount portion of funded connections and services, please refer to the Obligation to Pay Non-Discount Portion posted today in the Reference Area of this web site.
On February 28, 2001, the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) reported to the Federal Communications Commission that $5.787 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking E-rate discounts for Year 4. This revised estimate is based on counting the dollars requested in 37,188 applications received or postmarked by January 18, 2001, the close of the Form 471 filing window.
There are several factors that will reduce ultimately the funds requested from the estimated level. First, because this year all forms needed to have both their attachments and certifications filed within the application window, the number of applications deemed to be inside the window is likely to decline, reducing the estimated $5.787 billion of demand as SLD processes these materials.
Second, while efforts have been made to eliminate duplicate requests, inevitably we will discover more duplication as we process these applications.
Third, SLD's efforts to assure that applications are substantially complete and that funds are committed only for eligible services, for use by eligible entities with the appropriate discount rate, and are otherwise consistent with program rules, will further reduce the demand.
Click here to view the revised estimate.
Schools that choose not to use an actual count of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program may use only federally-approved alternative mechanisms which equate one measure of poverty with another.
One of the above federally-approved mechanisms is an income survey. Guidance on income surveys - as well as the other federally-approved alternative mechanisms - can be found in the Alternative Discount Mechanisms Fact Sheet posted in the Reference Area of this web site.
For Year 4 only, schools undertaking an income survey must use actual family income data for 1998, 1999 or 2000; in other words, the data used must not be earlier than 1998. Additional guidance for future years will be posted in the Reference Area at a later date.
In situations where the original Service Provider (as indicated on the Form 471) has gone out of business or has filed for bankruptcy protection prior to processing BEAR payment(s) for applicants, SLD may now assist applicants in obtaining such BEAR payments through a "Good Samaritan" Service Provider. If you need such assistance, please call our Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 and indicate you need a Good Samaritan. The process will then be explained to you.
The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Schools & Libraries (USAC) reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that $5.52 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking E-rate discounts for Year 4.
Almost 84% of the over 37,000 applications were submitted electronically using SLD's web site, compared to 79% in Year 3.
The $5.52 billion is an interim figure, and not USAC's final demand estimate. This figure may change - up or down - based on completion of the data entry process.
When a final estimate is produced, it will be posted on this web site.
The Notice of Proposed Rule Making adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on the implementation of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CHIP Act) has been published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2001.
The notice can be found on pages 8374-8377 of the Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 21, for Wednesday, January 31, 2001. It is available on the web in both text and PDF versions as the only entry under the "Federal Communications Commission" heading on the Federal Register web site.
Comments are due on or before February 15, 2001. Reply comments are due on or before February 22, 2001. Addresses for filing comments are available under the heading "ADDRESSES" at the beginning of the notice.
Click here to read a brief description of the Children's Internet Protection Act.
Program participants are reminded that it is a violation of FCC rules and SLD Form instructions for a Form 470 to be filed without the express authorization of the named entity. For this reason, SLD has removed certain Year 4 Forms 470 from the web site in instances where the SLD has evidence that such Forms were not authorized. Some Forms 470 were taken down on January 23, 2001; these Form numbers are featured in bold in the Year 4 section of the Deleted Form 470 Application Numbers list. The SLD will also deny Funding Requests that cite those Forms 470. Should it come to the attention of SLD that other Forms 470 were filed without the express authorization of the named entity, those Forms will also be removed.
Schools and libraries are reminded to read the Forms and instructions carefully and call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 if they have questions.
View List of Deleted Form 470 Application Numbers
Applicants who may be sending in Form 471 materials today are well advised to obtain documentation of the "postmark" date of January 18, 2001. Specifically, applicants are encouraged to:
obtain a "Certificate of Mailing" from the United States Postal Service (Form 3817) which will give the applicant a receipt showing today's postmark date, or,
for those using express delivery services, obtain a copy of the tracking document showing that the package was "picked up" today.
If you are still filing your Form 471, and are filing electronically, you must have a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) for each Funding Request in order to progress through Block 5 of the electronic form. Filers who do not have a SPIN will receive an electronic message as they attempt to complete the form directing them to call the SLD Client Service Bureau (CSB) for assistance.
Please note that SPIN assistance is available for those online filers who have been unable to secure a SPIN from their service providers. (Manual filers are able to provide either the service provider name or the SPIN in order to meeting Minimum Processing Standards.) Call the CSB toll-free at 1-888-203-8100, and representatives will provide a tool for completing the form electronically. You are urged to secure the SPIN from your service provider before you begin your electronic filing, but in cases where this is not possible, the Client Service Bureau can help you work through the electronic form. Remember that CSB hours of service are 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.
As we near the close of the Form 471 application window, we are re-posting the filing requirements for your convenience.
1. Application Materials: All materials associated with Form 471 must be postmarked no later than January 18, 2001 in order for the request to receive consideration as inside the window. This requirement is to help us give applicants earlier funding decisions. These materials are:
2. Item 21 Attachment Labeling: Label your attachment as "Item 21 Attachment," and include the application number of the Form 471 it supports. Be sure to label the attachment to correspond with each Block 5, Item 21 of your application.
3. Form 470 Certification: A completed Form 470 Certification is a Block 5 certification signed with an original signature by the authorized person. Forms 470 with completed certifications submitted in a previous year meet this requirement, as do those filed for Year 4 and submitted to the SLD with a postmark date no later than January 18, 2001. Any Year 4 Form 471 Block 5 funding request based on a Form 470 whose certification has not been received by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 18, 2001 or postmarked by January 18, 2001 will be rejected.
4. January 18, 2001 Deadline: Failure to make the January 18, 2001 deadline for Form 471 application materials will place the entire application outside the window, and the applicant's funding will be jeopardized.
For those choosing to deliver their application(s) to the NCS facility in Lawrence, Kansas, we must receive your application by 11:59 PM EST on January 18, 2001.
Following are driving directions to the NCS facility.
In order to assist applicants as we near the end of the Form 471 filing window, the Client Service Bureau will be open on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST. The Client Service Bureau will also be open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST on Monday, January 15. You can reach the Client Service Bureau Help Line by calling 1-888-203-8100.
We are currently experiencing a phone outage at the Client Service Bureau. Technicians are working on the problem, but we do not yet know when service will be restored. In the interim, you can address any questions to: email@example.com.
We will post another announcement as soon as phone service is restored. We apologize for this inconvenience.
A confusing entry listing Video CODEC as eligible has been removed from Page 31 of the Eligible Services List.
A coder/decoder (CODEC) is a device comprising an encoder and a decoder in the same equipment. The CODEC produces a coded output and compresses and decompresses audio and video signals.
To be eligible for discounts, the CODEC must be part of an eligible component. This is reflected in the retained entry for "CODEC" on Page 15 of the Eligible Services List.