Today, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) releases the application form for the rural broadband experiments, FCC Form 5610, and provides additional information to assist potential applicants in completing the application form. The Bureau also announces that a brief delay in the timing of the applications for rural broadband experiments in order to complete testing of the electronic submission system.
The Bureau is releasing screenshots of the electronic Form 5610, as well as the bid form and descriptive data form that applicants must complete and attach as part of the application process. Applicants are reminded that they must attach a dedicated bid form for each proposed project, but should only attach a single descriptive data form listing all of their proposed projects. The Bureau also is making available additional informational materials for applicants, specifically, a sample project information submission, a guide to working with the rural broadband experiments census block list, and a guide to completing the bid form. All these materials are available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/rural-broadband-experiments.
We also announce a brief delay in the opening of the filing window and the corresponding deadline for the submission of rural broadband experiment applications. The electronic submission system must be able to accept and process the applications, securely and efficiently. We are currently testing the site to ensure that it meets these expectations and requirements, which we anticipate will be completed in four to six weeks. To allow ample time to complete this testing process and resolve any technical issues, the Bureau is moving back the filing window and October 14th application deadline to ensure that the system is fully prepared to process the anticipated number of applications. The Bureau will release a public notice announcing the revised deadline for applications at a later date. Given the recent Paperwork Reduction Act approval by the Office of Management and Budget, the later filing deadline will also provide filers with additional time to become familiar with the application form and associated requirements.
Because of the delayed filing window, the Bureau is postponing the webinar originally scheduled for Monday, September 29. The webinar will now take place on Thursday, October 9 at 2p.m. EST. Parties interested in attending this webinar should email RBEwebinar@fcc.gov to register. The webinar will walk through each step of completing Form 5610, allowing potential applicants to view the application platform prior to the opening of the filing window. A recording of the webinar will be archived on the same webpage for interested parties that are unable to attend.
For additional information on this proceeding, contact Ian Forbes (Ian.Forbes@fcc.gov) of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, (202) 418-7400.