"It's That Wonderful Time of the Year! Data Collection Time!" (10.12.14)
CSM's E-rate Funding Year 2015 Data Collection Process
With the onset of Autumn, we at CSM are busying ourselves (like little squirrels with their nuts) planning your District's E-rate applications for the upcoming Funding Year 2015 filing window. While the FCC has not officially announced the filing deadline for 2015, we anticipate the window will open in either December or early January and our staff will be contacting you very shortly to request required documentation so that we can process your applications accurately and efficiently.
Online Access to Bills
As many of you already know, E-rate 2.0 has brought many new changes to the program, one of which is that there will be flash cuts to funding for certain calling features associated with local voice and cellular service.
This will require us to perform an extensive analysis of your District's bills to ensure all ineligible costs are removed from your E-rate funding requests. Your dedicated account support team will be contacting you this week with a request for copies of September 2014 phone bills. We highly encourage you to set up online access to these bills. The benefits of online access are many, including allowing us to more readily access this critical information for analysis and audit purposes. The outreach will include web links to various providers' instructions for setting up online access.
New FCC Survey Questions and Budget
The FCC has instituted new data-gathering features in the Form 471 that require applicants to provide information on their Internet connectivity and on-campus network needs. We have prepared an online form for you to complete and submit this information to us, along with the budget information we request every year. Ray Malcor and Nicole Esparza from our team will be reaching out to you with web links to your District's specific survey in the upcoming weeks so, please don't ignore their emails! The survey should take only minutes to complete.
Each year, we ask you to provide official reports to substantiate the free and reduced lunch eligibility for students enrolled at your schools. For our customers in California, we will ask for the standard reports for October, such as CalPads and CNIPs, along with a request for you to identify any schools that may be participating in the USDA's Community Eligibility Provision ("CEP") program. For our customers in other States, we will ask that your standard reporting forms be sent to us. Letitia Ortiz from our team will be in touch with you in early November with more details so, please don't ignore her emails either!!!!!
We ask that you please respond to our team's requests within a few days. The sooner we receive this information from you, the sooner we can get your applications into USAC's system for processing. The FCC has established a performance target for USAC to have all 2015 funding commitments issued by September 1, and we want to make sure your District's applications are first in line in front of the more than 40,000 applications USAC will likely have to process this year.
If you have any questions or concerns about your specific situation, please contact your CSM Consultants right away!
As always, we welcome your feedback and comments and if you have an idea for an alert or some other topic of discussion, be sure to pass it along to your dedicated CSM Team.
CSM E-Rate Team