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About the Schools and Libraries ProgramSchools and Libraries Tools

October 2002

Please click on the topic below to view the most recent announcements:

 

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Recorded Information Available 24 Hours a Day Via Phone (10/31/02)

Beginning at 8:00 PM EST tonight, October 31, 2002, the SLD Client Service Bureau (CSB) will provide certain program information via our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. This recorded information will be available when you call us at 1-888-203-8100, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Instructions for accessing this information will be outlined at the beginning of your call. The information provided in these recorded messages will also be available in the appropriate area of this web site. You can always reach a customer service representative, during normal business hours. When you call the Client Service Bureau, we recommend that you listen carefully to the options we offer. Your answer may be just one or two buttons away.

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Revised Instructions for Calculating Library Discounts for FY2003 (10/31/02)

The FCC has released a Public Notice (DA 02-2792, released October 23, 2002) announcing a revision in the method libraries use to calculate their discounts under E-rate. This revision is reflected in the revised Form 471 and Instructions (see related posting below).

To review the revised instructions for library discount calculations, please refer to the section on Block 4, Worksheet B in the revised Form 471 Instructions [PDF format, 4.24MB] posted in the SL Forms section of this web site.

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FCC Approves Form 471 for Funding Year 2003 (10/30/02)

The FCC has approved a revised Form 471 to be used for Funding Year 2003 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2003). This revised form is designed in a scannable format that facilitates the data entry process. References to Privacy Act language have been removed, as much of the information reported on these forms is now publicly available.

Form 471 should not be filed until the opening of the Form 471 application filing window on November 4, 2002. The online version of this form will not be available until that date. To download a paper copy of the revised form, please refer to the SL Forms section of this web site.

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Deadlines Approaching for Invoices and Forms 486 (10/24/02)

Applicants should take note of two deadlines that are approaching in the month of October.

Invoices for Recurring Services for Funding Year 2001. If your Form 486 Notification Letter was issued on or before June 30, 2002, invoices for recurring services must be postmarked no later than October 28, 2002. If you are filing Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Forms 472 for recurring services, remember that those forms must be certified by the service provider before you can submit them to the SLD.

You may qualify for an invoice deadline extension, which must be requested by the October 28, 2002 deadline. Further information and the criteria for approving such a request can be found in the Reference Area of this web site under Invoicing Deadlines and Extension Requests.

Forms 486 for Funding Year 2002. If your Service Start Date is July 1, 2002 and your Funding Commitment Decision Letter was issued on or before that date, your Form 486 must be postmarked no later than October 29, 2002 to avoid an adjustment to your Service Start Date and a potential adjustment to your funding commitment.

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CIPA Category 4 Corrections Completed (10/23/02)

The SLD has identified all applicants in Category 4 defined in the new guidance on CIPA for libraries that received funding commitments for Funding Year 2001.    Libraries and consortia containing libraries in Category 4 received Form 486 Notification Letters featuring adjusted Service Start Dates (SSD).  These letters may also have featured reduced Funding Commitment Amounts.  These adjustments were the result of the application of the 10/28/2001 penalty for Funding Year 2001. 

These adjustments have been revised and can be reviewed in the Revised SSD and Funding Commitment Report [MS Excel format, 38kb]. These applicants will be receiving a REVISED Form 486 Notification Letter in the next several weeks but their SSD(s) and funding commitment amount(s) have been corrected and invoices will be processed based on these corrections.

If you believe that your SSD should have been corrected but your information is missing from the report or incorrect, you should send a letter to notify the SLD.  This letter must be postmarked on or before 10/28/2002.  State in the letter that the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 Notification Letter was not revised. Refer to the New Guidance on CIPA Certifications posted in the Reference Area of this web site for complete information on submitting your letter.

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Revised Eligible Services List (10/18/02)

The SLD has posted a revised Eligible Services List in the Reference Area of its web site. The Eligible Services List provides applicants and service providers information about the products and services eligible for E-rate discounts, and the conditions under which they are eligible.

In this revised list, entries can be eligible for funding under the conditions described for each entry, unless the designation "Not Eligible" is included. Additions or revisions to the list are highlighted in bold.

The FCC is considering changes in eligibility to certain products and services in a rulemaking proceeding. (See Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order in CC Docket 02-6, released January 25, 2002, FCC 02-8.) Changes to product and service eligibility as a result of FCC decisions will be incorporated through a future revision of the Eligible Services List.

Read the revised Eligible Services List in Adobe Acrobat format.

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Upgraded Functionality for Data Retrieval Tool (10/18/02)

The SLD has rolled out a new version of its Data Retrieval Tool.  The new version includes the following enhancements:

  • A new screen allows the user to choose the columns of data to be included in the data file
  • The Billed Entity Number (BEN) is now included as a filter item and is included in the data file if chosen
  • A new indicator has been added to the first screen of the tool to show the  “as of” date of the data.

The Data Retrieval Tool Instructions have been updated to reflect the new functionality.

The SLD continues to work with its billing and disbursement vendor on the acquisition of actual disbursement data.  (Currently the Data Retrieval Tool shows only the amounts that the SLD has authorized to be disbursed.)  Once the SLD has acquired this data and successfully incorporated it into the Data Retrieval Tool, it will post a What’s New announcing its availability.

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Ellen Wolfhagen, SLD's Director of Service Provider Support, Will Depart USAC at the End of October (10/17/02)

Ellen Wolfhagen, who has been a member of the management team of the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company since April 1999, will leave USAC at the end of October to return to her home state of Washington and assume the job of Program Manager for the statewide K-20 Educational Network.

Ellen served first as SLD’s General Counsel, and, on May 1, 2000, became SLD’s Director of Service Provider Support.  In her first job, Ellen played a key role in helping ensure that SLD’s practices were consistent with FCC rules.  As that duty was transferred to USAC’s General Counsel, Ellen assumed responsibility as SLD’s liaison to the service provider community.  In that role, she significantly improved the working relationship with one of our key stakeholder groups by holding regular conference calls for service providers to offer program updates, helping service providers understand and comply with program rules and making sure that we considered service provider issues at every step in the process.  She has responded to thousands of service provider phone and e-mail inquiries, and conducted annual series of service provider workshops around the country.

In her new position, Ellen will assume the leadership of a statewide initiative she had worked on in its inception.  Of her tenure at SLD, Ellen said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to really make a difference in how the program operated.  I’m very proud of some of the innovations that I helped bring about such as SPIN changes and corrections and the Form 500.”

“Ellen has made a major contribution to the success of the E-rate at tremendous personal sacrifice,” said George McDonald, USAC Vice President for the Schools and Libraries Division.  “We have been very fortunate to have a person with Ellen’s commitment, intelligence, and energy helping guide SLD and our service provider constituents over the past 3-1/2 years.  Ellen has built a strong relationship with the service provider community, one that I am committed to maintaining.”

“Ellen has not only made great contributions to the Schools and Libraries program, but to Universal Service programs more broadly,” said Cheryl Parrino, USAC’s CEO.  “Ellen has served on interdivisional working groups to help us achieve better integration across programs and worked closely with our billings, collections, and disbursement vendor to ensure that payments flow smoothly to service providers.  She will be sorely missed.”

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Form 486 Now Available Online (10/15/02)

Form 486 is now available for filing online in the Apply Online/View Forms area of the web site.  This online form can be used for Funding Years 2001 and 2002.

The Form 486 is in a scannable PDF format.  Online filers must use Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or higher to successfully complete the form.  If you would like to download this free software, you may do so from PDF Help located in the Reference Area of this web site.

Please note the following:

  1. No Save & Exit.  At this time, you must complete your Form 486 in one session — no Save & Exit function exists.  After submitting your online Form 486, you may certify your form either online or on paper.  When the Save & Exit functionality is available, a notice to that effect will be posted on this web site.
  1. Printing Your Form.  When you have completed entering data on the last page of the form, you must click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.  You will then see a dialog box with the message that the information on your form has been successfully submitted.  If you want a printed copy of your form, you must then click on the “Print” button on this page before you click on the “E-cert” button or exit the form.  You will not be able to print a complete copy of your form after you click on the “E-cert” button.  This printed form will feature your Form 486 Application ID in the upper left-hand corner of pages 1 and 7.
  1. E-certifying Your Form.  If you click on the “E-cert” button and then successfully submit your certification online, you will get a dialog box with your Cert ID Number.  This means your form has been successfully certified online.

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Form 471 Certification Date Now Included In Form 471 Display Tool (10/9/02)

The Form 471 Display Tool has been modified to display the certification date of the Form 471. Previously, the field in the upper right hand corner of the Block 1 display was labeled "Appl. Postmark Date." We have changed this label to "Cert. Postmark Date." If this field contains a date, it means that the SLD has recorded the date that that Form 471 was successfully certified.

The date that appears will be:

  • the date that the Form 471 was certified online, or
  • the postmark date of the complete (including certification) paper Form 471, or
  • the postmark date of the paper certification page that certifies Form 471 data entered online.

The label is hyperlinked to a text box containing the above information.

Note that this date is only visible when you view Block 1. It is not visible when you use the "Display Entire Application" function.

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Update to SPIN Change Guidance Posted in Reference Area (10/7/02)

The SLD has updated its guidance on SPIN changes to allow applicants more time to request SPIN changes.

For more information, please refer to SPIN Change Guidance posted in the Reference Area of this web site.

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Web Site Down for Maintenance (10/4/02)

We will be performing routine maintenance on our equipment starting Sunday, October 6 at 12:01 a.m., EDT. During this time, users will be unable to visit the Schools and Libraries area of the web site. We are expecting normal service to be returned October 7 at 5:00 a.m., EDT. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you.


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  Content Last Modified: April 29, 2003