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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Christmas in April

Is there anyone else out there excited about the announcement that the USAC website will be down for 3 days, April 20-23? I'm not at all excited that the site will be down for the weekend.  By the end of 3 days, I'll be going through withdrawal.  I'm excited for two reasons:

  1. The first is that my optimistic nature (faithful readers will need a moment to stop laughing at that self-characterization) thinks that if they're taking the site down for 3 whole days, when it comes back up, it will be hugely improved. I can't remember the site ever being down for so long. And they're even taking down the static pages.  What will we see?  Will the Data Retrieval Tool show each disbursement on each FRN?  Will the online 471 allow you to just snag all the info from the previous year, and then edit it, instead of starting from scratch each year?  Will they replace that picture of the girl with a pencil with a picture of a girl using some kind of service eligible for E-Rate funding?
  2. I'm also pleased that the downtime is being announced so far in advance. It was in the News Brief on March 30th and appeared on the website April 5th. I am hopeful that we've send the end of announcing on Friday that they'll be doing site maintenance starting that day and running through the weekend when the 486 and BEAR deadline is Monday.  
The combination of possible treats and advanced notice is like knowing Christmas is coming: I can't wait to see what the website will be like on April 23rd.  How will I be able to fall asleep on April 22nd?  But if this is just a replacement of creaky hardware with no change in functionality, it will be like opening that big shiny box under the tree to find it's just socks and underwear.


  1. Oooh, a sneak peak. USAC released a tutorial and a self-paced tour showing the new look of the Website:

    It's looks spiffy. And hey, the little girl with the pencil has been replaced by a different girl sitting at a computer. All right!

    And I can hardly wait to put a link to USAC on my Facebook page! Then everyone can Like it.

  2. Now USAC is saying the Web site will be down starting Thursday night. OK, it's only one work day, and it's in the slow period where the window is over, but the FCC hasn't approved the PIA processing rules.

    But dang, the announcement comes only 48 hours before the downage. So much for advanced notice.

    And it's not an email blast with the subject: "AYUGA! AYUGA! SLD site going down Thursday night!" They announce it by putting it in the "Latest News" section of the website. Even I don't keep up on what's said there, and no one is farther down the E-Rate rabbithole than I.