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ERate Update for July 2010

July 20th, 2010

Well another ERate year has come and gone, and with the end of one year and the beginning of another, there are a few things I want to remind you of.

For ERate Year July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010:

If you chose to receive your discount as a check instead of discounts on your bill, now is the time to fill out your BEAR forms.  This is very easy to do now that it’s online.  Just have your Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) handy for the 09-10 year and go to this site:  https://www2.sl.universalservice.org/bear/login.aspx

The PIN that the site asks for is the same as the password you use to electronically certify your submitted forms.

REMEMBER:  When you fill out a BEAR form you calculate the actual cost of services for the year (add up all your bills), then you take that figure and compare it to the amount approved on the FCDL.  You must use whichever is LOWER for Column 14 on the form.

REMEMBER:  You will need a separate BEAR form for each SPIN number.  If several of your FRNs have the same SPIN number, then you can enter all of those FRNs on a single BEAR form.

For ERate Year July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011:

For the upcoming year, the most important thing is to fill out the Form 486. You have 120 days from July 1, 2010 to fill out the form (or 120 days from the time you receive your Funding Commitment Decision Letter, whichever is later).  The Form 486 tells ERate the services that you actually intend to purchase from the FCDL.  Just because you are approved for a service on the FCDL doesn’t mean you have to accept it, and likewise doesn’t mean that the ERate folks assume you will get it.  The Form 486 clarifies which services you intend to move forward with.

You can fill out the Form 486 online at:  http://www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp

If you haven’t received your Funding Commitment Decision Letter yet, don’t worry.  They are only about halfway through the applications.  You will have 120 days from the time it is issued to fill out the 486.  You can check the status of your application at http://www.sl.universalservice.org/menu.asp.  Just click on “Application Status” under “Form 471”.  You will need your application number and security code from the application process.

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