[Erate] E Rate Central News for the Week of September 18, 2006
Sabrina.Ganoe at state.or.us
Mon Sep 18 13:29:11 PDT 2006
E-Rate Central News for the Week of September 18, 2006
* FY 2006 and FY 2005 Funding Status
* FCC Global Resolution Order on Form 486 Deadlines
* PIA Compliance Reviews of ESA Guidelines
* End of Summer Deferral Period for PIA Responses
* Comments Requested on New Draft Forms
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 and service providers.
To learn more about our services, please contact us by phone
(516-832-2880) or by e-mail <mailto:services at e-ratecentral.com>
(services at e-ratecentral.com). Additional E-rate information is located
on the E-Rate Central Web site <http://www.e-ratecentral.com>
FY 2006 and FY 2005 Funding Status
Two large waves are scheduled for this week.
Wave 22 for FY 2006 is scheduled to be released on September 19th for
almost $210 million. Cumulative national FY 2006 funding is now $868
million. Funding is still being provided only for Priority 1 services.
One reason for the size of Wave 22 is that the SLD just recently
completed the process it had established under the FCC's Bishop Perry
Order for addressing ministerial and clerical errors. Under this
procedure, the SLD had polled all applicants with pending applications
regarding potentially correctible errors. We believe that a number of
funding decisions that had been held pending applicant responses were
included in this wave. The size of the next few waves may be similarly
Wave 57 for FY 2005 is scheduled to be released on September 20th for
approximately $107 million. Cumulative national FY 2005 funding is now
The primary reason for the size of Wave 57 was the FCC's decision to
approve a reduction in the Internal Connections funding threshold to
81%. Applicants who had previously received FCDLs indicating that their
Internal Connections requests at the 81-83% level were "As Yet Unfunded"
will receive funding commitments in this wave. Priority 2 funding for
FRNs at 78-80% is still being held pending a decision on the final
funding threshold for FY 2005.
FCC Global Resolution Order on Form 486 Deadlines
On Thursday, the FCC released the fourth in a series of Global
Resolution Orders ("GROs") which began with the Bishop Perry Order. A
copy of this new GRO can be found at
was the case with the previous GROs, the new "Alaska Gateway" Order
grants a number of FCC appeals and, more importantly, instructs the SLD
to adopt more applicant-friendly procedures. The current list of GROs,
to which we expect a few more to be added later this year, is shown
GRO # FCC # Common Name Date # Appeals Subject
1 FCC 06-54 Bishop Perry 05/19/06 196 Clerical
and ministerial errors
2 FCC 06-55 Pattern Analysis 05/19/06 30
Form 470 similarities
3 DA 06-1642 Academia Discipulos 08/15/06 30
4 DA 06-1871 Alaska Gateway 09/14/06 128 Form 486
Note: Web links to any of these decisions can be found at
XX is either FCC or DA, and YY is the FCC sequence number as shown in
the table above.
The new GRO addresses the SLD's current practice of resetting the FRN
Service Start Date (usually July 1 of the funding year) of any applicant
who misses their Form 486 filing deadline to a later date (120 days
prior to the ultimate submission) and, for recurring services, reducing
the funding awards for a proportionally shorter year. Although the
Alaska Gateway Order reaffirms the SLD's Form 486 deadlines, it
instructs the SLD to reach out to any applicant missing a deadline to
provide an additional 15-day grace period before adjusting the Service
Start Date and reducing funding.
This is a particularly timely Order because the first Form 486 deadline
for FY 2006, affecting almost all applicants funded prior to July 1st in
Waves 1-10, is October 30th.
PIA Compliance Reviews of ESA Guidelines
About a year ago, the SLD posted extensive guidelines involving
Educational Service Agencies ("ESAs"). In many states, an ESA may serve
a number of roles including E-rate applicant (in its own right and/or as
consortium lead), technology plan reviewer, E-rate consultant, and/or
service provider - all potentially conflicting roles that E-rate rules
do not normally permit a single entity to perform. The SLD's guidelines
ult.aspx) were developed to permit an ESA to fulfill its various
state-chartered roles if, and only if, it adheres to strict
organizational and procedural safeguards.
Based on recent PIA inquiries we have seen, it appears that the SLD is
now actively investigating potentially conflicting roles involving
applicants and service providers generally, and ESAs specifically. The
standard inquiry is two pages. It begins with a notice that the
establishing Form 470 listed on the Form 471 being reviewed contains
contact information associated with a specific service provider. It
notes that: "program rules prohibit service providers from participating
in the competitive bidding process other than as a bidder."
We have seen two types of non-ESA inquiries. One involved a Form 470
contact name that was similar to, but was not actually, a service
provider SPIN contact. The other involved a current applicant employee
who had previously worked for a service provider (who had not updated
its SPIN contact information). In such cases, the applicant is asked to
explain the similarity or to contact the service provider to see if the
SPIN information will be corrected (or deactivated). The applicant is
instructed that it has "...15 days to resolve this issue with USAC's
Billing, Collection and Disbursement Division, or else you risk losing
funding associated with the FRN(s) cited above."
In the case of ESA applications, where there may be valid similarities
in contact information (personal name, or entity name and/or address),
two other sets of questions apply. One notes, as indicated above, that
"...an ESA operating as a service provider may raise potential conflicts
of interest. The ESA must demonstrate there is a separation of
functions between the applicant and the service provider." The
applicant is then asked the following:
Please provide us with documentation that delineates the
separation of function. This documentation could include organizational
flow charts, budgetary codes, and supervisory administration. On the
document please indicate which department, division, or district
functions as the applicant, service provider and/or consultant.
In addition, please indicate the service category
(Telecommunications, Internet Access, Internal Connections, Basic
Maintenance of Internal Connections) the ESA is providing and list the
application(s) numbers and the category of service that the ESA is a
recipient of E-rate funds.
If the ESA is both a service provider and an applicant, the following
questions are asked:
1. If yes, please provide, for the FRN(s) that cite the Form(s)
470 listed above, a complete list of all of the bid responses you
received along with copies of each of the service provider bid
responses. On your documentation you must provide the resulting Form
471 application number and FRN.
In addition, please provide a list of all of the service
category(ies) (Telecommunications, Internet Access, Internal
Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) for which you
provide service as a service provider, and list the application(s)
numbers and the category(ies) of service for which you are a recipient
of E-rate funds.
2. If no, explain your situation.
It should go without saying that ESAs serving various E-rate roles
should answer this type of PIA inquiry carefully and thoroughly.
End of Summer Deferral Period for PIA Responses
In recognition of the fact that many schools and libraries are closed or
are operating with reduced staffing levels during the summer, the SLD
has long had a summer deferment policy for handling applicant responses
to its requests for additional information on Form 471 applications and
other forms. If the SLD could not reach an applicant's designated
contact, action on the request would be deferred until early September.
The 2006 summer deferment period has now ended. Deferred requests will
be reinitiated and will become subject to the normal fifteen-day
Comments Requested on New Draft Forms
The FCC announced that it is proposing to make modifications in four
applicant forms (Forms 472, 479, 486, and 500) and two service provider
forms (Forms 473 and 474). The proposed changes are all minor, in many
cases reflecting new certification language required in the FCC's Fifth
report and Order (FCC 04-190) of August 2004.
The minor nature of the changes is a bit surprising given that potential
form revisions have been an issue for some time. The FCC had previously
solicited comments on draft versions of Forms 472, 473, and 474 in March
2005, and much more significant changes had been proposed by many at
that time. On the positive side, the slight modifications are unlikely
to cause any applicant or service provider confusion.
Draft copies of new forms and their instructions can be found alongside
current versions of the forms at
http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/required-forms.aspx. Prior to submitting
these forms to the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB"), with a
request for approval for the next three years, the FCC is inviting
another round of comments (due November 13, 2006).
Disclaimer: This newsletter may contain unofficial information on
prospective E-rate developments and/or may reflect E-Rate Central's own
interpretations of E-rate practices and regulations. Such information is
provided for planning and guidance purposes only. It is not meant, in
any way, to supplant official announcements and instructions provided by
either the SLD or the FCC.
Oregon Department of Education
Office of Assessment and Information Services
255 Capitol St. N.E.
Salem, Oregon 97310
(503) 378-5156 fax
sabrina.ganoe at state.or.us
Messages to & from this e-mail address may be made available to the
public under Oregon Law
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