Back-to-School E-rate Update 2013
September 11, 2013
Happy Back-To-School, E-raters!
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an E-rate update on several pending issues:
E-rate Beginners and Advanced Training in PA - Yesterday we announced the dates and locations of the fall E-rate trainings in PA (http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2013/09-10-13.html), being held in October, November and December. In order to reach different applicants, we moved two of the trainings to new locations this year. Please plan to attend one of the 3 in-person trainings if you are new to the program, or the veterans training for returning filers to receive the latest updates.
Delays in FY 2013 Funding Commitments - Out of PA's requested $67 million in Priority 1 funding requests for FY 2013, less than $18 million has been funded (about 26%). That also equates to about 500 PA applicants without funding commitment letters two and a half months into the funding year. Please know that we have expressed our concerns to USAC and they have promised to hire more PIA staff to review applications. In the meantime, just know that the delays aren't the result of anything you did wrong.
E-rate 2.0 NPRM Deadline is Monday - If you are planning to submit comments to the FCC related to their E-rate Reform Notice of Proposed Rule Making, the deadline to submit initial comments is Monday, September 16. Reply comments are due October 16. A summary of the NPRM proposals is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2013/08-06-13.html. A guide to submitting comments to the FCC is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/Listserve-Archive/2013/08-06-13_2.html. If you would like me to review your comments before they're submitted, please send them to me by Sunday, September 15 at noon.
FY 2014 Form 470 Available for Use - Although the Form 471 application window dates have not yet been set, it's not too early to begin the competitive bidding process for your E-rate eligible services by posting a Form 470. A separate, detailed message will be sent about how to file the Form 470 (and if you're unsure how to complete this form, I encourage you to file after you've been to Beginners' Training). Don't forget, if you are applying for E-rate on Priority 2 services/equipment, you must have a written, dated technology plan prepared before you can file the Form 470 (the plan does not need to be approved until July 1).
FY 2012 BEAR Deadline: October 28, 2013 - For those applicants that did NOT receive discounted bills during FY 2012, the official deadline to submit the Form 472 BEAR to collect reimbursement funding is October 28, 2013. Although USAC is going to be flexible with this deadline, you don't want to wait until then because it may take longer to receive your reimbursement due to the rush of BEARs submitted at that time. Now is the very best time to submit the form. I'll send a list in early October of the applicants that still having funding remaining to be collected, so file now and avoid the list! Information on filing the BEAR is available at:
FY 2013 Form 486s - If you HAVE been funded for FY 2013, please don't forget to file your Form 486 to 'turn-on' funding with USAC. I will send a list of applicants with 486 due dates in early October. If you have NOT yet been funded for FY 2013, you can't file the Form 486 until you receive your FCDL.
SPIN Change Restrictions Reminder - E-rate rules for allowable SPIN changes have become much, much more restrictive. Applicants may only switch E-rate vendors for one of these three reasons: breach of contract, a vendor unable to perform service, or vendor bankruptcy. Lower price is no longer an allowable reason to switch vendors. And the replacement vendor that must be selected must be the vendor that scored the second highest in the bid evaluation process (and you must provide your bid evaluation matrix with your SPIN change request to USAC). It is extremely important that you keep this new rule in mind from now on. If you switch vendors for any reason other than these three (breach of contract, bankruptcy or inability to perform service), you will lose your E-rate funding for the year. Should you have special circumstances that require you to change vendors that don't fit into one of these three reasons, please let me know and I can help draft your explanation to USAC.
If you have any questions about any of these issues, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 - o
717-730-9060 - f