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E-Rate 2.0 Reform


Speak now or forever hold your peace!  On July 24, 2013, the FCC adopted and released the long awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) which allows all interested parties to submit comments regarding their proposed rule changes and other reform ideas.

 

Comments are due to the FCC no later than 11:59pm (EST) on September 16, 2013

Reply comments will be due no later than 11:59pm (EST) on October 16, 2013

 

The documents below should allow you to more easily navigate the document that is the NPRM.

 

Please also be on the lookout for registration information for a free webinar we plan to broadcast during the week of August 19, 2013 where we will answer all of your burning questions and allow you an opportunity to collaborate with your peers.

1). NPRM Summary for TN

2). E-Rate 2.0 NPRM FCC-13-100A1

3). NPRM Comments Submittal Instructions

4). NPRM Comments Submittal Template

 

If you have any questions or concerns before then, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 855.453.7283 or via email at

  • Receiving Responses from Bidders


    1/11/13

    In the January 4 SL News Brief we provided additional information about posting the FCC Form 470, which applicants file to open a competitive bidding process for the services they desire. In this issue, we are including guidance on receiving responses from bidders.

 

  • Responding to questions from potential bidders


When completing the FCC Form 470, applicants must provide sufficient detail for a service provider to be able to formulate bids. This allows potential bidders to determine whether they provide the types and quantities of services that applicants are looking for. However, service providers may need further detail about the services in order to submit a responsive bid.

Applicants – and consultants that act on behalf of applicants – should respond to bidder inquiries in a timely manner so that competitive bidding deadlines can be met. Not responding to a potential bidder can result in a compromised competitive bidding process which can result in funding denial.

However, service providers also have a responsibility to respond to posted FCC Forms 470 and RFPs with specific requests for information necessary to prepare responsive bids. Simply sending a generic email to the applicant saying that the service provider can provide the general type of service requested and requesting a call-back would not be considered a good faith response to an FCC Form 470 posting. Emails that can be identified as "spam" do not require a response – especially if the applicant has indicated in the FCC Form 470 and/or RFP a specific procedure or mechanism for submitting questions.

  • For example, if an applicant posts for "local and long distance telephone service on 10 existing landlines," a service provider would probably not need more information in order to craft a responsive bid.
  • On the other hand, if an applicant posts for "local and long distance telephone service for 10 new cell phones," the service provider would probably need information on the number of minutes that might be used, the likelihood that roaming charges would occur, and other information to craft a responsive bid.
  • One solution is to post questions received from potential bidders along with your answers on your website. With questions and answers easily available, all potential bidders will have access to the same information – a key component in a fair and open competitive bidding process.

 

  • USAC's Annual Fall Training Kicks Off in Washington, DC


    9/28/12

    USAC's Annual Training kicks off on October 1, 2012 in Washington, DC and Kim and several of her staff members will be front and center to bring you the latest, hot off the press updates as told by senior Schools and Libraries Division officials.

 

  • FCC Releases Eligible Services List Report and Order


    9/27/2012

    On September 27, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission released a Report and Order (DA 12-1553) releasing the Eligible Services List for Funding Year 2013.
    The complete ESL can be accessed here.

 

  • Final P2 Funding Thresholds Set for FY2012 and FY2011


    8/1/2012

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the USAC Board have reviewed and approved USAC's proposed funding thresholds for FY2012 and FY2011 Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections) funding requests. The FCC and the USAC Board have approved USAC to take the following actions:

    USAC will target issuing commitments and denials using these thresholds immediately.

    Please note, however, that Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviews are ongoing, and USAC cannot issue funding decisions on an application until the reviews for all funding requests at all discount levels on that application are complete. For example, if an FCC Form 471 for FY2012 has one P2 funding request at 90 percent and another P2 funding request at 85 percent, USAC must wait until the review of the funding request at 90 percent has been completed before issuing a Funding Commitment Decision Letter for that application. Note further that the PIA review process may result in a change to the discount level(s) originally requested.

    As a reminder, approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) funding requests continue to be funded at all discount levels for both funding years.
    • Set the final funding threshold for approved FY2012 Priority 2 (P2) funding requests at 90 percent. P2 funding requests at 89 percent and below will be denied for lack of funds.
    • Set the final funding threshold for approved FY2011 P2 funding requests at 88 percent. P2 funding requests at 87 percent and below will be denied for lack of funds.