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Monday, September 26, 2016

New VP

As you might expect, my reporting from the USAC training will involve me taking tidbits out of context and giving my opinions.

I was able to drag myself down for the Beginners session, and I learned something!  Mackenzie said that the target length for the filing window is around 75 days.  I had certainly noticed that the window is usually around 75 days, but this is the first time I've ever heard that it's an actual target.

I thought Craig Davis, new head of the E-Rate program for USAC ("Vice President, Schools & Libraries Program"), struck a nice balance of positivity and realism.

Mr. Davis said that USAC will shortly hire a new Director of Stakeholder Engagement.  I guess it's not news, since the job listing was posted 7 months ago, but it's news to me.  I'm all for more stakeholder engagement, but reading the job description, the "Your Role" section mentions "understand the challenges our stakeholders face", but under "Responsibilities," it's all about pushing information out to stakeholders.  There is no mention of listening to stakeholders.  I guess I was hoping "engagement" would involve information flowing both ways.  But after looking at the background of the USAC-wide VP of Stakeholder engagement, I can see that "engagement" is what those of us without MBAs would call "marketing."  Oh, well.

Mr. Davis also mentioned that he wanted to "de-leverage your risk" in applying for the E-Rate.  That sounds good.  Since I'm not investing in E-Rate, I'm not clear on what my risk is, or how I'm leveraged, but I'm hoping it means "reduce the risk of funding denial."  I think USAC and the FCC moved a long way in that direction in the 3 years after Bishop Perry, but I'm hoping this means we'll see more movement in that direction.

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