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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Let's do the Time Warp

Here's a fun appeal: the applicant admits that it had no contract when it submitted the 471 on Feb. 8th, but then signed a contract Feb. 13th, but with an effective date of Feb. 7th. Their lawyer says that the contract is effective Feb. 7th.

It's like a trippy Star Trek episode. When we signed the 471, we didn't have a contract, but by the time PIA review rolled around, we had a contract which existed before the 471 was filed.

To avoid situations like this in the future, the FCC should stop requiring applicants to have a binding contract before filing the 471. Forcing applicants to set a service provider, equipment models and prices 6-18 months before installation results in less cost-effective solutions.

What to do?

Do what we all do when we're making up budgets for the next fiscal year. Get quotes from vendors and set the expected cost based on that. Then sign a contract when it's time to start the project, and send the details of the project then. The current contracting set-up just drives up the cost of the program.

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