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Monday, October 31, 2011

Global warming and the FCC's IT infrastructure

Faithful readers know that I fear that hraunfoss, the FCC server named for an Icelandic waterfall, is slowly drying up.  Well, just today I noticed an example of a server that has all but dried up.

If PIA thinks you don't have an FCC RN, they direct you to, which used to host the FCC's CORES registration system.  Svartifoss2 apparently still exists, but seems to exist only to forward requests to the appropriate server.

It seems that hraunfoss has avoided a similar fate for now, but it makes me worry.  With the melting of the glaciers in Iceland, the actual waterfalls are endangered, and it would be nice to think that the FCC could at least carry on the names.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Dating Game

Funds for Learning has made the suggestion that the dates of the window should be fixed.  I agree completely.

I'm at a conference today, and the number one question I'm getting from people walking by is, "When will we be filing this year?"  The answer is "I don't know."  OK, so I can tell them that it looks like we'll have a window very similar to last year, and the USAC Board confirmed that timing this week, but we still don't know the actual dates.

Imagine if the IRS waited until January each year to announce when your taxes would be due.

At least it's much better than in the past, when the window would open a few days after the Eligible Services List was released.

Now, I would like to see the window close much later than it is now, but I would settle for at least having a set date.  Imagine how nice it would be to know that 471s were due on March 25th each year.

Now if we could just figure out a way to make the window close on June 30th....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Time to lose the "entity"

Can you hear my teeth grinding?  Once again, USAC's New Brief is trying to explain "entities."  As I've said in the past, the word "entity" should be scrubbed out of every corner of this program.  Because "entity" and "billed entity" mean two different things, and the distinction is not consistently observed.

Want to find the entity number for a particular school in your district?  Use the Billed Entity Number Search tool, even though you're not looking for a billed entity.

As in the past, the News Brief says you can put an "entity number" in Block 1, when in fact, you should only put a Billed Entity Number in Block 1.  The confusion goes on.

We should be talking about "organizations" and "locations," not "billed entities" and "entities."

Or maybe my aversion to the word "entity" is left over from this movie.