Schools and Libraries News Brief
June 12, 2009
Commitments for Funding Years 2009 and 2008
Funding Year 2009. USAC will release FY2009 Wave 8 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) June 16. This wave will include commitments for approved Priority 1 requests (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) for schools and libraries at all discount levels. As of June 12, FY2009 commitments total just under $382 million.
Funding Year 2008. USAC will release FY2008 Wave 56 FCDLs June 15. This wave will include commitments for approved Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance requests at 88% and above and denials at 86% and below. As of June 12, FY2008 commitments total just under $2.29 billion.
On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.
Tips for Filing Form 486 Online
With each FY2009 funding wave, more and more applicants become eligible to file the Form 486 early, that is, before services have started. Remember that to file early, all of the following statements must be true:
Check the box in Item 6a if you are filing early.
Filing Form 486 early is an option if you meet the requirements listed above. Remember that you must check the box in Item 6a to notify USAC that you meet those requirements so that the system can process your form. You must also check this box if you are filing on paper.
List FRNs from different Forms 471 on the same Form 486.
The Form 486 is specific to a funding year. That is, if you have just received a commitment for an FRN from FY2008 and another FRN from FY2009, you must file two separate Forms 486. However, if you filed several FY2009 Forms 471 and you have commitments for FRNs that appeared on more than one of those forms, you can file one Form 486 and list all of the committed FRNs on that one form.
In Item 5, identify the contact person that should get program letters.
USAC issues certain letters to the contact person in Item 5 of the Form 486. Specifically, USAC will issue both the applicant version of the Form 486 Notification Letter and the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form Notification Letter to that contact person. If the contact person at your organization changes, you can update your form by following the instructions in the Contact Information Change guidance.
Following are some tips for filing your Form 486 online quickly and correctly.
Use Internet Explorer 6.0 or above.
The forms developed for online use on the USAC site work best with Internet Explorer 6.0 or above. We recommend that Mac users use Netscape 7.0 or above. Other web browsers – such as Safari or Mozilla – are not supported on either PCs or Macs.
Here are a few more tips about system requirements:
For more information and tips on online filing, refer to the Tips and Troubleshooting document posted on the USAC website.
Try the Form 486 interview version if you have trouble with the standard version.
Data you enter in an online Form 486 is saved in USAC's database and can be accessed through the Apply Online page by both the standard version and the interview version of the form (the "Create Form 486" button and "Form 486 Interview" button respectively). In the standard version, you enter information directly into the form, while the interview version asks you a series of questions and then enters your answers in the appropriate form fields. If you wish, you can start with one version of the form, save your work before you push the Submit button, and later complete the form using the other version.
Pay attention to any popups or warning messages that occur.
The online system has built-in popups to notify you of errors and provide certain other helpful information. This allows you to make necessary corrections before you submit your form. The system also populates some information in the form based on information you have already entered.
However, many applicants that file forms on paper fail to provide all necessary entries or include entries that are inconsistent. They must then wait for USAC to contact them because the missing or inconsistent information prevents USAC from completing data entry. Moreover, if USAC cannot reach the applicant to get the correct information, the form may be rejected.
If you are having difficulty with online filing, you can Submit a Question or call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 to get help.