Service provider conference calls every Wednesday

The SLC invites service providers and vendors to join a regularly scheduled conference call to learn about and discuss billing issues, invoicing procedures, and other aspects of the eRate. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of SLC staff and to share solutions with each other. The call occurs each Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. The number to call is 800-991-9019, passcode 708855#.

The minutes of past calls and the list of issues discussed will also be posted on the SLC’s web site when they become available, the corporation said.

Some applicants to be notified early of specific line-item rejections On Sept. 4, the SLC announced it would be notifying about 400 applicants that a particular line item of their Form 471 applications had been rejected prior to data entry for violating program rules.

These applicants will receive a special letter labeled Form S stating that a specific line from Item 15 or 16 of their Form 471 could not be accepted for data entry, but the remainder of their application would be processed.

There are several possible reasons for the Form S rejections, the SLC said. In some cases, the requested service is not being provided during the current program year—for example, a one-time order that was delivered and paid for in 1997.

In other cases, applicants didn’t comply with the rules governing the posting of Form 470. All services not covered by a written contract signed before Jan. 30, 1998, had to be filed as “New Services” on Form 470 and posted on the SLC web site for 28 days before a contract or service agreement could be signed and the applicant could file a Form 471 for that service.

Applicants who receive a Form S and wish to appeal their specific Funding Request rejection are instructed how to do so in the letter, the SLC said.

If you receive a Form S letter and you have any questions, call the SLC’s toll-free help line at (888) 203-8100. Modified SPINs for some vendors Some vendors have had to change their Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) in the past few months. The SLC has tried to correct such SPINs on all the Form 471 applications it reviews, but that means future communications may list different SPINs from those you originally included in your Form 471.If you encounter this situation, consult the “List of Modified SPINs” on the SLC’s web site (http://www.slcfund.org/ann_9_2.asp) to see if your service provider has changed its SPIN since you filed your Form 471. You should then confirm the new number with your service provider. The List of Modified SPINs contains names and contact information for those service providers that have recently changed their SPINs.

The SLC urges you to use the corrected SPIN for all future business involving that particular service provider. If the SPIN it lists is incorrect, notify the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) immediately by calling (888) 641-8722.

Sprint “Form 471 Worksheet”

Sprint Corp. recently informed its local (not long distance) telecommunications services customers of a special form it will require them to complete in order to process their eRate discounts.

The form, which Sprint is calling a Form 471 Worksheet, is adapted from the SLC’s “Optional Prediscount Cost Calculation Grid” and includes additional data Sprint has advised its customers that it needs for its own billing procedures.

The Sprint worksheet does not replace the FCC Form 471 or any other required form, the SLC said. But for Sprint customers, Sprint’s modified worksheet can be substituted for the Optional Prediscount Cost Calculation Grid.