By Rachel Kimbrough
If you’re a Rip & Replace program participant and haven’t started on your application, we’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is: you’re way behind.
The good news is: the application deadline has been extended – but not by much.
The FCC’s Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program application window opened on Friday, October 29, 2021. Initially the deadline for participants to submit an application using Form 5640 had been January 14, 2021. Since then, the deadline has been extended to January 28, 2021.
While that extension grant a bit of relief for those struggling to gather the required documentation, participants would be wise to get well ahead of schedule regardless. Gathering financial documents, quotes, invoices, purchase orders, change orders, etc. is one matter.
Navigating the platform to actually submit that information in the required format is another matter entirely. If you’ve not yet familiarized yourself with, visit here to have a look around and understand what you’ll need to do to translate your carrier’s information to the FCC’s required format.
For the carriers who’ve already begun work in the field toward Rip & Replace efforts, any actual invoices, paid or unpaid, will need to go into your application with exact dollar amounts. For carriers who’ve not yet begun work and therefore may not have invoices on hand, you’ll need quotes at the very least for all projected work required to complete your program within the one-year timeline established by the FCC.
We strongly advise all carriers to engage the services of a project management firm of some kind to process your application on the front end, and to process and manage reimbursements during the life of the program on the back end.
In any case, whether you’ve started your application or not, take heed: the cost catalog was updated on December 17, 2021.
If you’d already started mapping out your projected program costs against the existing cost catalog, go back through and verify that your projected costs still align with the updated catalog.
For those who’ve yet to begin gathering documentation for your application, be sure to use the most recently issued cost catalog to ensure your projections align with the FCC’s established guidelines.
This doubling-back effort is just another way that an engaged PM firm can add value to any carrier’s application process – and that service, too, is reimbursable.
Whether you’re halfway done or just getting started, QComm offers start-to-finish services to manage Rip & Replace program participants throughout the life of the program. Get in touch for your quote today.