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Monday, May 20, 2013

A wave on the horizon

A Special Edition News Brief has announced that USAC ran a funding wave last Friday, but that the letters won't be coming out until the 29th.  That's 12 days to print 12,023 FCDLs.  It seems really slow.  What, are they using typewriters over at USAC?

Now I have to know how many typewriters they'd need.  A good typist can produce 60 wpm, a typical page has 250 words, so that's about 4 minutes/page.  An FCDL is 2 pages of useless boilerplate, followed by one FRN/page, but each of those is only half a page, so let's use one page per 2 FRNs, and since the first wave will largely be small, simple applications (averaging just over $10,000 total), let's say 2 pages of FRNs.  So that's 4 pages, which should take a typist about 16 minutes.  Let's make it 15 minutes so I don't have to get out a calculator.  That means 4 FCDLs per hour, or 30 per day (let's give our typist a half hour for lunch).  Let's put 3 shifts of typists on each typewriter; that gets us 90 FCDLs/typewriter/day.  In 12 days, each typewriter could produce 108 FCDLs.  I'll round that down to 100 FCDLs to avoid using a calculator, which means USAC would 120 typewriters staffed by 360 typists.

Anyway, no complaints from me.  It's great that the first wave will come out in May.  Even better, all these applications sailed through without any questions from PIA to applicants, apparently thanks to the new streamlined application processing rules.  It's impressive that a quarter of 471s have been processed.  True, only about 5% of the requested funding is in the first wave, but in a way that's good; it follows my suggestion that application review of FRNs under $3,000 (half the FRNs in the program) should be a spell-check.

Let's hope PIA is streamlined for the larger applications, too.

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