Edmond, Okla. (March 9, 2011) – According to analysis by Funds For Learning, the next 15 days of the Funding Year 2011 E-rate filing window should be very busy. An estimated 19.5 percent of applicants file the Form 471 within 20 days of the close of the filing window. But Funding Year 2011 is off to a slow start, with only $581 million being requested thus far, 43 percent lower when the same formula is applied to the same time frame in Funding Year 2010.
One reason for the delay in filing may be due in part to the changes surrounding Basic Maintenance requests for Funding Year 2011. With the FCC Sixth Report and Order released this past September, the Federal Communications Commission expressed its desire to be good stewards of the Universal Service Fund by having applicants receive reimbursement for “[actual] work performed or for hours of labor actually used.”
The changes to basic maintenance requests resulted in many questions from E-rate stakeholders, which subsequently led to further explanations from the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC). Many applicants have been hesitant to file their applications in case further guidance is released.
Unfortunately, waiting for further guidance from USAC doesn’t come without risk. USAC’s online application system experiences high traffic, resulting in many time out sessions and complications for applications submissions. Also, the longer an applicant waits, the less time they have to review their application, identify and correct errors, and submit before March 24.
Funds For Learning’s E-rate Manager for Applicants can relieve some of the stress and assist schools and libraries that have yet to file their Forms 471 for Funding Year 2011. The web-based tool helps schools and libraries secure vital technology funding through the E-rate program, by enabling applicants to generate E-rate forms and paperwork, track pending applications, receive notifications of upcoming deadlines, and stay compliant with document retention requirements.
In addition, last month Funds For Learning released the education industry’s first E-rate application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. E-rate Manager for iPhone is a free mobile version of the award-winning E-rate Manager service, and allows current users to access funding requests and commitment amounts, the names of service providers and remaining funding balances, from their compatible Apple devices.
For more information about E-rate Manager, visit www.FundsForLearning.com.
About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants and service providers through the complex and ever-changing E-rate regulatory process. With more than 10 years of experience in providing professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program, Funds For Learning exists to provide high-quality solutions for the needs of E-rate stakeholders. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Edmond, Okla. For more information www.fundsforlearning.com, or phone 405-341-4140.
• Cathy Cruzan, Funds For Learning, LLC, 405-471-0900, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-839-9800, email@example.com