Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Am I blue

I got my first batch of "Notification of Form 470 Posted but No Associated Form 471" letters. I have nothing but gripes about this letter.

Those of you who have been reading this blog can guess the first one: I am saddened to see a letter on blue paper inside a white envelope. As I keep saying, envelopes should be color-coded. Actually, the smaller envelope size makes the blue peeking through less pitiful, but in Sept./Oct., when letters for 3 funding years are flying around, it would be nice to have colored envelopes.

And who came up with that catchy title? If I were going to make a parody of a USAC letter, it would have a title like that. How about calling it the "Missing 471" letter? Even more accurate, give it the title: "Useless Notification: File Without Reading."

I read somewhere that they sent out 26,000 of these things. I'll bet 25,000 of the letters went to applicants who were not allowed to submit the Form 471 yet, since their Form 470 had not been submitted by December 20th, 28 days before the letters went out. I'm all for USAC communicating more, but this letter communicates nothing for most applicants.

The letter is a response to the FCC's instructions in Paragraph 24 of the Bishop Perry Order: "USAC shall also develop a more targeted outreach program and educational efforts to inform and enlighten applicants on the various application requirements.... USAC should also notify applicants that have filed an FCC Form 470, but have failed to file an FCC Form 471 or its certification by the close of the filing window." Let's see:
  • Targeted: Uh, according to a recent white paper from Funds for Learning, there are about 23,000 applicants each year. 26,000 letters to 23,000 applicants is "targeted"? Strike One!
  • "Failed to the close of the filing window": This letter does not notify applicants that they have failed to file by the close of the window. It notifies us that we have failed to file an application 21 days before the close of the window, and in most cases before we're allowed to file. Strike Two!
  • The FCC never said anything about using paper. It galls me to get two sheets of paper and a non-color-coordinated envelope telling me nothing new. Email me. Strike Three!

This letter should be dejectedly dragging its bat back to the dugout.

No comments:

Post a Comment