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Monday, September 10, 2007

Training pre-assessment

The SLD has released the slides for the trainings that start this week. My pre-assessment of the training.

The Good:
Sessions devoted to tech planning and competitive bidding. Both of these are areas where applicants often lose funding. Of course, a lot of that is due to bad rules (e.g., the "2-signature/2-date" rule, which was of course never really a rule, but which nevertheless torpedoed millions in funding; or the "sufficient resources" rule, which requires applicants to certify that they have secured funding 3-6 months before their budget is secure).

The Bad:
PowerPoint-as-handout. It's a pet peeve of mine for two reasons:
  1. Slides with enough info to be of any use as a handout induce the presenter to read. I don't want to spend an hour listening to someone read.
  2. Slides cannot contain enough information.When Slide 7 of the Competitive Bidding stack says, "Make sure that you have a Letter of Agency" (LOA), that doesn't tell me in which circumstances I need one, or what it needs to look like. However, since the slides have not been approved by the FCC, there may be statements that are not in alignment with the FCC's thinking, like, for instance, USAC's apparent belief that an LOA is required any time a consultant works on an application, not just when s/he is a contact or signatory on the form. So maybe it's just as well that the handouts don't try to actually spell out the rules.
The Ugly:
Only one hour to cover Eligible Services (which includes Item 21 Attachments and Service Substitutions). 63 slides in 60 minutes. I'd better arrive Friday morning highly caffeinated.

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