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May 2004 Announcements

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



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Miscellaneous Updates to Web Site (5/28/04)

Following is a list of the documents or pages that have changed on this web site since the last posting on updates:

A new topic area called “Training and Outreach” has been created in the left-hand column of the SLD web pages.  A new document titled WebEx Recordings now has a link under this topic area.  This document provides information on recorded training sessions available to applicants and service providers.

The document Contract Guidance has been updated to include information for applicants if (1) the state files a Form 470 or (2) the applicant files a Form 470 and considers a state master contract as one of the bids.

The document Service Substitutions has been updated to reflect the guidance from the FCC that the SLD can now approve service substitutions if the substituted service costs more than the original service.  (If the requested substitution involves an increase in pre-discount cost of an eligible item, the request will be funded at the amount originally approved.)

The document Contact Us has been updated to remove extraneous information.

The link to the Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force has been moved from the Quick Links area to the Reference Area.  An additional link to Submit a Question has been posted to the new “Training and Outreach” area.

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Manufacturer Enrollment Begins for Eligible Products Database Pilot Program (5/27/04)

Manufacturers can now enroll in SLD’s Eligible Products Database pilot program. Manufacturers who have completed the enrollment process will soon be able to start uploading data to the pilot program.  We expect this upload function to be available no later than July 1, 2004.

Follow this link to access the enrollment form

You may follow this link for more information on the Eligible Products Database pilot program, or follow the new link under the topic heading “Service Providers” on the left-hand side of this web page.

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Renegotiation or Cost Allocation of Contracts that Contain More Than Basic Maintenance (5/27/04)

For any contract mentioned on a Funding Year (FY) 2004 application and funding request or pending FY 2003 application and funding request, where the contract includes maintenance that is more than “basic” in nature, the FCC permits applicants 90 days from the effective date of the Third Report and Order [FCC 03-323; effective 03-11-04] – in other words, until June 9, 2004 – to take one of two actions:

1. Renegotiation:  to renegotiate those contracts to exclude all costs for maintenance services that are more than “basic” or
2. Cost Allocation:  to provide SLD with an itemized breakout of the components of the contract, clearly identifying the portion of the contract price to be allocated to basic maintenance. 

Definition of Basic Maintenance

Basic maintenance services are “necessary” if, but for the maintenance at issue, the connection would not function and serve its intended purpose with the degree of reliability ordinarily provided in the marketplace to entities receiving such services without E-rate discounts. Basic maintenance services do not include services that maintain equipment that is not supported or that enhance the utility of equipment beyond the transport of information, or diagnostic services in excess of those necessary to maintain the equipment’s ability to transport information.  (Third Report and Order, para. 23)

If the applicant and the service provider renegotiate a contract, the resulting contract changes should be consistent with the original Form 470 posting.  For applicants who prefer to follow the cost allocation approach, this approach is available for signed contracts in existence on March 11, 2004 (the effective date of the Third Report and Order).  The burden is on the applicant to justify what portion of the contract price should be allocated to basic maintenance.

Applicants affected by this guidance should, as appropriate:

1. provide immediate notice to SLD that they are renegotiating a contract and, after renegotiating the contract, provide certain relevant information to SLD; or
2. provide a cost allocation of existing maintenance contract(s) clearly breaking out the components and costs of the contract(s) that constitute basic maintenance.

SLD will not apply the 30% rule, whereby a funding request is denied if 30% or more of the costs are ineligible, to existing contracts based on ineligible non-basic maintenance services prior to contract renegotiation and cost allocation.  If SLD determines that the renegotiated contract or cost allocation is appropriate SLD will approve the funding requests at the appropriate pre-discount amount.  After contract renegotiation and cost allocation, SLD will apply the 30% rule consistent with normal practice. 

Renegotiated Contracts

A. Applicants should provide immediate notice to SLD that they are renegotiating a contract.

The notice to SLD should provide the following information:

1. “Contract Renegotiation Intent” at the top of the first page
2. Entity number and name of the Block 1 entity
3. Application number (s) and funding request numbers (FRNs) of all FRNs that are subject to the renegotiated contract
4. The original contract #, service start date and contract expiration date
5. Statement that the applicant will be renegotiating the above contract(s)
6. Signature, printed name and official title of either the contact person or the authorized signer on the Form 471.  If the signatory here is different than the signer of the Form 471 and the authorized contact person on the Form(s) 471, please explain the change.

B. After renegotiating the contract, the applicant should provide a report on the renegotiated contract.

The report to SLD should provide the following information:

1. “Contract Renegotiation Confirmation” at the top of the first page
2. Entity number and name of the Block 1 entity
3. Application number(s) and all FRNs that are subject to the renegotiated contract
4. The original contract #, service start date and contract expiration date
5. A statement by the authorized contact person on the Form 471, or the authorized signer on the original Form 471 saying that this contract (contract #) replaces the original contract between this entity name and the service provider name and service provider identification number (SPIN) for maintenance services listed on application # (s) __, FRN #s ___, ___, ___
6. The new contract information as follows:
  1. New contract #
  2. Date the re-negotiated contract was signed, and
  3. Contract expiration date (must be consistent with the original contract expiration date provided to SLD)
7. The new contract, which must detail the maintenance that will be performed, and
8. Signature, printed name and official title of either the contact person or the authorized signer on the Form 471.  If the signatory here is different than the signer of the Form 471 and the authorized contact person on the Form(s) 471, please explain the change.

Cost Allocation of Existing Contracts

In lieu of renegotiating contracts that include maintenance other than basic maintenance, applicants may submit an allocation of costs under the existing contract for basic maintenance and other than basic maintenance.  Such applicants should submit to SLD a report with the following information:

1. “Maintenance Contract Cost Allocation” at the top of the first page
2. Entity number and name of the Block 1 entity
3. Application number (s) and all FRNs that are subject to the cost allocation
4. The original contract #, service start date and contract expiration date
5. An allocation of the costs of the contract between basic maintenance and maintenance that is other than basic
6. Signature, printed name and official title of either the contact person or the authorized signer on the Form 471.  If the signatory here is different than the signer of the Form 471 and the authorized contact person on the Form(s) 471, please explain the change.

Alerting SLD to Contract Renegotiations/Cost Allocations

Applicants who plan to renegotiate and who have already been contacted by a PIA Reviewer may alert the reviewer to the contract renegotiation or to the intention to submit a cost allocation of the contract.  Be sure to include all the information noted above.

Contract Renegotiation or Cost Allocation Notices may also be submitted by e-mail, fax or on paper as follows:

By e-mail:    Send an e-mail
By fax: 973-599-6584
By mail or courier: Contract Renegotiation/Cost Allocation – 3rd Order
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 – Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ 07981

Important Notes

  • Whether an applicant submits a renegotiated contract or a cost allocation of an existing contract, the burden is on the applicant to justify the costs associated with basic maintenance.
  • If an applicant plans to provide SLD with a renegotiated contract or a cost allocation of an existing contract, that must be done by June 9, 2004.  That deadline can be met by faxing or e-mailing the appropriate documentation by that date or by sending the documentation with a postmark no later than that date.  SLD encourages applicants to retain proof of submitting such documentation by the deadline.

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Holiday Hours Announcement (5/26/04)

The Schools and Libraries Client Service Bureau will be closed on Monday, May 31, 2004 in observance of Memorial Day. The Client Service Bureau will resume normal operations on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 at 8:00 a.m. EDT.

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USAC Issues RFP for Expanded Outreach Initiative (5/11/04)

USAC has recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a vendor to help USAC in its expanded outreach efforts to recipients of E-rate discounted services. A central component of the expanded outreach will be site visits, which will:

  • Allow USAC to see firsthand how E-rate funds are being used,
  • Provide another way for USAC to assist applicants and service providers with E-rate, and
  • Allow USAC to gather information to improve outreach to all applicants and service providers.

We expect these site visits to start in late summer. As the vendor provides reports on its visits, USAC will review the information gathered and prepare and post a "Best Practices" document based on that information. USAC will also take this information into account when designing future outreach and education efforts, and explore administrative changes to make the application process run more smoothly.

Vendors interested in responding to this RFP may contact USAC through e-mail. Interested vendors should include their contact information and pertinent information about their companies in the e-mail message.

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Revised Notice to Applicants and Service Providers: Early Filers of FCC Form 470 for Funding Year 2005 (posted 5/6/04, revised 6/3/04)

Applicants:

In general, applicants should not file FCC Form 470 (hereinafter “Form 470”) for a funding year until the SLD posts a notice on this web site that the appropriate form is available. At that time, the paper form will be available for downloading from the Applicant Forms area, and the online drop-down menu option for that funding year will be available on the online Form 470 in the Apply Online area.

However, some applicants may have very long procurement cycles or other reasons for filing a Form 470 for Funding Year (FY) 2005 before this online option is available.  We would expect this would usually be the case only where new contracts or contract extensions must be signed, not in cases where non-contracted tariffed or month-to-month services are being sought. 

Applicants in this situation may file the current Form 470 either online or on paper by following the instructions for the form, together with the additional guidance below.  However, please note that because the Form 470 for FY2005 may be different from the current Form 470, these applicants may be required to file a supplemental form to complete the information required by the FY2005 Form 470.  The supplemental filing, if required, will not require the competitive bidding process initiated by the original Form 470 to be re-opened.

A notice will be posted to this web site when the FY2005 Form 470 is available. The guidance below should NOT be used once this notice has been posted.

A separate notice will be posted to this web site when the supplemental form, if necessary, is available.  If the supplemental form becomes necessary and is not filed by the deadline that would be set, funding requests that rely on that Form 470 will not be funded.

Guidance for applicants filing on paper:

  • Use the Form 470 with a date of May 2003 in the lower right-hand corner.
  • In Item 2, provide the correct dates for Funding Year 2005 (July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006). Please note that, if the SLD data enters this form, it will appear on our web site as a Form 470 for Funding Year 2004.
  • In Item 13, provide language to clearly identify the services requested on this Form 470 as beginning after the Allowable Vendor Selection/Contract Award Date for this Form 470.

Guidance for applicants filing online:

  • In Item 2, choose Funding Year 2004 (July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005) from the drop-down menu.
  • In Item 13, provide language to clearly identify the services requested on this Form 470 as beginning after the Allowable Vendor Selection/Contract Award Date for this Form 470.

For applicants who filed a current Form 470 before this guidance was posted and who are seeking new services or seeking to extend existing contracts, please note the following:

  • Applicants who have already filed the current Form 470 seeking new services or seeking to extend existing contracts need not re-file their Form 470.
    • Applicants who did not indicate in Item 13 or in another Item of their Form 470 that they were seeking new services or seeking to extend existing contracts need not re-file their Form 470.
  • FY 2005 requests for non-contracted tariffed or month-to-month services that rely on FY 2004 Forms 470 posted after the close of the FY 2004 filing window will not be denied because the applicant used the FY 2004 Form 470.
  • Remember that, in the above situations, applicants may still be required to file a supplemental form to complete the information required by the FY2005 Form 470.

Service Providers:

Service providers, please note this guidance and be alert for these Forms 470 if you wish to pursue these business opportunities.  You are reminded that you can limit your search to Forms 470 posted on or after a specific date in the Form 470 - Search Posted area of this web site.

 

Content Last Modified: June 3, 2004