Get Started »
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 FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau announced that all federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support payments must be made by electronic funds transfer (See Public Notice DA 09-2126, released September 28, 2009). Currently, USAC still issues Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) payments by check.
Beginning in 2010, USAC will issue BEAR payments electronically where there is banking information provided in Block 11 (Schools and Libraries Remittance Information) on the Service Provider's FCC Form 498. When a BEAR payment is issued electronically, an e-mail will be sent to the remittance contact in Block 11 of the Service Provider's FCC Form 498 to inform them of the payment. Remittance statements, which precede BEAR payments by approximately 2 weeks, will continue to be sent by either e-mail or hardcopy as requested on the Service Provider's FCC Form 498.
For now, USAC continues to issue checks for both Service Provider Invoice (SPI) FCC Form 474 and Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) FCC Form 472 payments to companies who have not provided electronic banking information. However, USAC reminds all Service Providers that the FCC's Public Notice indicates that, at some future date, payments will be held in the absence of electronic banking information. Again, USAC will provide more details once the FCC sets that specific date.
All newly filed Forms 498 now require Service Providers to provide electronic banking information to USAC. USAC encourages all service providers to update their Form 498 information using USAC's E-File System.
If you have any questions, please contact USAC Customer Operations at (888) 641-8722 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit us at www.usac.org.
The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Friday, January 1, 2009 in observance of New Year's Day. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Monday, January 4, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
The FY2010 application filing window opened at noon EST on Thursday, December 3, 2009 and will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 11, 2010. The filing window will be open for 71 days.
Applicants should note that FY2010 Forms 470 can be filed now.
Traditionally, a high percentage of Forms 471 arrive at USAC during the final week that the window is open. We urge you to file early so that:
We also urge you to file online:
The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Thursday, November 26, and Friday, November 27, 2009 in observance of Thanksgiving. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
The Federal Communications Commission has directed USAC to fund approved requests for Priority 2 services (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) for FY2008 at the 87% discount level. Applicants that have been waiting for funding decisions at 87% will start receiving those decisions within the next few weeks.
USAC will also be issuing funding decisions on Priority 2 services for FY2009 at the 80% discount level and above. The previous threshold for FY2009 Priority 2 commitments was 85%.
Upcoming SL News Briefs will continue to provide summary funding information. You can also refer to the Automated Search of Commitments tool for detailed funding information.
The Apply Online page including all online forms and most search tools will be unavailable on Saturday, November 14, 2009 from 4:00PM until Midnight EST due to scheduled system maintenance. The outage will affect all pages located at: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/. During this time users will be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.
On November 3, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released Public Notice DA 09-2376 seeking comment on Broadband Needs in Education. Comments are due to the FCC by November 20, and reply comments are due by December 11, 2009.
On November 5, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) FCC 09-96 proposing revising the FCC rules regarding the E-rate program to comply with the requirements of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. Comments will be due to the FCC 30 days after, and reply comments will be due 45 days after, the NPRM is published in the Federal Register.
The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau announced September 28 that all federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support payments must be made by electronic funds transfer (See Public Notice DA 09-2126).
The notice states that recipients of USF support payments shall provide their financial institution information and other relevant information on FCC Form 498, which is being updated to reflect these requirements. USAC encourages all service providers to update their Form 498 information using USAC's E-File System. Once the updated 498 form is processed, all following support payments will be made electronically.
The Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a further public notice announcing the effective date of the electronic payment requirement. After the effective date, USAC will not make USF support payments to any entity that has not provided financial institution information sufficient to enable payment through electronic funds transfer.
Please note: Service providers in the Schools and Libraries Program that currently use the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR Form 472) form will continue to receive check payments even if they provide electronic banking information until further notice.
If you have any questions, please contact USAC at (888) 641-8722 or email@example.com.
The Schools and Libraries Fall Training in Atlanta, GA is still scheduled for September 30, 2009. If you are registered for this training and have questions or need to cancel your registration, please e-mail USAC TRAINING. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.
To download the agenda or presentation materials, go to 2009 Fall Training Agenda and Presentations.
To get to the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center using the Metro Rail System, take the RED line Train that says "Shady Grove" and get off at the White Flint station. To get to the conference center, turn left as you exit the train and go up the escalator and out to the street. Turn to the right and the conference center will be in front of you just across Rockville Pike. Cross the pike using the underpass and walk one-half block to the Marriott conference center entrance.
The Metro is easy to use. Metro stations have maps of the system and fare machines to purchase farecards. You can use cash or a credit card.
The ride to White Flint is 24 minutes from downtown (Metro Center), and the peak fare is about $8 roundtrip. You can purchase a farecard after you have entered the Metro station that you are using (e.g., Metro Center, Farragut North, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, etc.). At most stations there is an information booth in case you need help. Trains run every few minutes.
You can get more information – including a trip planner – on the Washington Metrorail website.
If you are driving or flying into one of the three regional airports, follow the links below for directions:
Driving Directions and Parking information
Coming from Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
Coming from Reagan National Airport (DCA)
Coming from Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Map of the Marriott Bethesda North
The SLD IT upgrade has been successfully completed and you may access our systems and conduct business in the normal fashion starting at 9:00 am EDT today. You are free to file forms online such as Form 470 and Form 486 as well as check form status and access the other interactive functions.
Note that some update work will be going on during this week. Specifically, on Monday:
As with all major systems upgrades, there will be some things that we will need to fix, and we will do that as quickly as possible. To that end, if you have functions that do not work for you other than those noted above, please report them to our Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 and we will get them taken care of as soon as possible. If there are any major common problems, we will post them on our website and give you a status report in a timely manner as to when those problems will be fixed.
As was indicated in past communications, we will be paying invoices this week and we plan to resume running waves this week in order to begin issuing FCDLs dated next week.
We would like to thank all of you for your help and patience during the upgrade. You have made the difference!
The Apply Online page including all online forms and most search tools will be unavailable from 5 pm EDT September 1 until 9 am EDT September 14 due to the system upgrade. During this time users will be unable to file or certify forms online. More information is available in the USAC IT Upgrade FAQs or the special SLD News Briefs issued 8/13, 8/20 and 8/27 and posted on our website, or by calling our Client Service Bureau toll free at 888-203-8100 for more information.
USAC is in the process of improving its Schools and Libraries Program information technology (IT) systems. As part of this effort, we will be conducting a major upgrade of our IT infrastructure in the first two weeks of September in order to allow us to begin to make additional improvements in the future. The infrastructure upgrade is essential, but it will require us to take down the interactive areas of the USAC website in which applicants and service providers file forms and conduct searches of Schools and Libraries Program data.
On July 31, 2009, the FCC issued a Public Notice in which it announced that $900 million in unused Schools and Libraries funds will be carried forward from previous funding years. As a result of carrying forward this funding, disbursements to schools and libraries in Funding Year 2009 will increase and support will be provided in excess of the annual $2.25 billion cap.
For more information, visit 2009 Newark, NJ Training.
For more information, visit the 2009 Schools and Libraries Fall Training.
On June 2, 2009 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice (DA-1233) establishing the comment period for the Funding Year 2010 Eligible Services List.
Comments on the draft Eligible Services List, which is attached to the Public Notice, are due to the FCC on or before June 23, 2009. Reply comments are due to the FCC on or before June 30, 2009. For information on filing comments with the FCC, please refer to the Public Notice.
The Public Notice includes a high-level summary of the changes being contemplated. The FCC has also included a red-line version of the Eligible Services List which highlights each of the specific proposed changes.
This proceeding is limited to determining what services are eligible under the FCC's current rules; it is not intended to be a vehicle for changing any eligibility rules.
Each fall during the months of September and October, USAC conducts a number of applicant training sessions around the country. This year we have increased the number of sessions from seven to eight to make the training more accessible to program applicants.
We have also changed the sessions from a day and a half to one day so that costs associated with the training are less of a financial burden. Note that USAC does not charge a registration fee to attend the training.
The one-day trainings, which are targeted to school, library, and consortium applicants, will offer several full sessions on all aspects of the program. In addition, attendees can choose from a number of individual tracks.
USAC has finalized the list of metropolitan areas where training sessions will be held. Detailed registration and hotel information will be posted on the USAC website in the near future.
Following is an alphabetical list of the training locations:
USAC Provides Demand Estimate for Funding Year 2009 to FCC
On March 10, 2009, the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) reported to the Federal Communications Commission that $3.99 billion in requested funding has been estimated for schools and libraries seeking discounts for Funding Year 2009. This estimate is based on the dollars requested in 40,140 applications received or postmarked by February 12, 2009, the close of the Form 471 application filing window.
There are several factors that will reduce ultimately the funds requested from the estimated level. First, while efforts have been made to eliminate duplicate requests, inevitably we will discover more duplication as we process these applications. Second, USAC's efforts to assure 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.For detailed information, please refer to the FY2009 Demand Estimate [PDF, 1 Mb].
Each year, on the weekend before the filing window closes, USAC reboots its systems to enhance the performance of the network in preparation for the large volume of online Forms 471 that come in during the last few days of the window.
The Apply Online system will be unavailable from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. EST on Saturday morning, February 7. Applicants will be able to see the Apply Online page but they will not be able to start a new form or work on an existing one while the system is offline.
Also, the Client Service Bureau will be open this weekend and on the evening of the window close for any last-minute questions. Applicants can call 1-888-203-8100 or use Submit a Question to pose their questions and get prompt answers.
CSB is normally open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. However, USAC has expanded the hours CSB will be open during the week preceding the close of the window:
|Saturday, February 7||9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST|
|Sunday, February 8||9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST|
|Monday, February 9||8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST|
|Tuesday, February 10||8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST|
|Wednesday, February 11||8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST|
|Thursday, February 12||8:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m. EST|
If you are filing your invoice (BEAR Form 472 or SPI Form 474) on paper, be sure to use the April 2007 version.
We encourage both applicants and service providers to file invoices online. You can find links to both online forms - as well as a service provider link to certify online BEAR Forms - on the Required Forms page.
January 15, 2009 is the last day you can post a Form 470 for FY2009 to the USAC website and still comply with the 28-day waiting period before filing a Form 471. However, if you wait until the deadline to post your Form 470, you will have to do all of the following on February 12, the last day of the filing window:
Remember also that you must comply with all applicable state and local procurement and contract rules and regulations. In some cases, you may need to post your Form 470 earlier than January 15 in order to meet your state and/or local requirements.