Products and Services
TEM
E-rate
Other Services
Information
BTU Clients
Testimonials
Case Studies
Affiliations
FAQs
About BTU
meet the consultants
Links and Resources
Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

TEM FAQs

What percentage of savings can we expect to see?

What types of telecom services are included in the program?

So, there’s no upfront fees?

What if you make a recommendation that we already knew about or are working on ourselves?

How much of our time and resources will be needed to complete the project?

How long after we sign the agreement will I see the formal report?

What will I see in the formal report?

What does "Independent" before Telecommunications Consultants mean?

If you find a billing error, how far back can you go for credits?

If we’re already locked in to a contract with our carriers, is it still worthwhile to engage your firm?

Is obtaining competitive proposals from the carriers included in your TEM program?

OK, I’m ready to get started. What now?

 

E-rate FAQs

What is the E-rate program?

Are you confused by E-rate?

Who can receive E-rate funds?

How much money should I expect from this program?

How will I receive my award?

What E-rate services does BTU offer?

When do we file?

 

TEM FAQs

What percentage of savings can we expect to see?

Our clients average savings in the range of 20% - 60% of their telecom expenses, plus refunds.

top

 

What types of telecom services are included in the program?

We analyze bills for all local dial tone, long distance, data, wireless and any other telecom-related service.

top

 

So, there’s no upfront fees?

Correct. Under our Contingency fee program, you only pay if and when BTU is able to find savings. BTU shares in actual, measured savings once our recommendations are accepted by you and implemented by us. If there are no savings, there is no fee for our services.

top

 

What if you make a recommendation that we already knew about or are working on ourselves?

We ask you to provide to us in writing any areas of investigation that you do not wish for us to consider or that you are already working on yourselves. Therefore, we do not double our efforts and there is no conflict regarding sharing of savings.

top

 

How much of our time and resources will be needed to complete the project?

Since BTU handles everything, your time will be kept at a bare minimum. All you have to do is give us access to 2 – 3 months current bill copies and copies of your contracts. We will ask you to sign a Letter of Agency that will allow us to gain vital billing records and run studies. After that, we’ll begin our work off site and will only require minimal intervention by you such as answering a question or two along the way. We will return with a formal report which will detail specific savings opportunities and recommendations. You make the decisions and we perform all of the implementation and coordination through conversion and acceptance. We then monitor your bills every month to verify accurate savings calculations and provide you with the details.

top

 

How long after we sign the agreement will I see the formal report?

Depending upon the number of locations you have and the complexity of your network, you could expect to see a report within 4 – 6 weeks.

top

 

What will I see in the formal report?

Our reports contain not only information on billing errors and general recommendations, but specific documentation on your current inventory as well. Many of our clients are amazed when they see their inventory and realize what they’ve been paying for! Also included in our reports, where applicable, is actual data on the usage of your lines. We request telephone company traffic studies that allow us to determine if you have too many, too few or just the right amount of lines. We perform this service on all lines where the telephone companies will provide this data at no charge to you.

top

 

What does "Independent" before Telecommunications Consultants mean?

BTU Consultants are proud of our vendor-independence. BTU Consultants adheres to very strict Codes of Ethics. We do not sell any other services or products and do not accept any commissions or gifts from vendors. Therefore, all of our recommendations are made in your best interest. We are actively involved with the
Society of Communications Technology Consultants International (SCTC).

top

 

If you find a billing error, how far back can you go for credits?

This depends upon the issue. For tax related issues, normally 3 years. For other types of telephony issues it will be determined by the phone company tariff or your contract with the carrier.

top

 

If we’re already locked in to a contract with our carriers, is it still worthwhile to engage your firm?

Absolutely! We save our customers money in a variety of ways, not only through carrier changes. We will reconcile your bills to your existing contracts in our billing error review. Plus, a lot of times, we can make recommendations that can save you on the service without effecting the contractual commitment.

top

 

Is obtaining competitive proposals from the carriers included in your TEM program?

Yes. As a part of our normal TEM program, if you are not currently locked in a contract, or it is expiring soon, we will prepare and distribute our customized Request for Proposal (RFP) to all providers in your service area. We then analyze the carrier proposals and document to you the savings (and gotchas!) that you could realize with each. You decide which proposal to accept and we start the contract negotiations to ensure that you are well positioned and all carrier promises are reflected in the agreement. Of course, we then follow through with all implementation duties to assure a smooth transition of services.

top

 

OK, I’m ready to get started. What now?

Contact Janice Kloppe at 417-278-3535 or Janice@btu-consultants.com and we’ll get moving. I will send you a simple, one-page agreement to sign to get started. You will need to gather your phone bills (2 – 3 months most current or if you’re a seasonal company, the most representative months). We will need all pages of all bills. We will accept bills in electronic or paper format, however you currently receive them from the phone companies now is acceptable. I will send you a Letter of Agency (LOA) to approve, print on your letterhead & sign that gives me the authorization needed to obtain telephone company data.

top

 


E-rate FAQs

What is the E-rate program?

The E-rate program is a federally funded program to provide financial relief to help school districts, libraries and rural healthcare facilities with their telecom and internet services and in some cases with their voice and data equipment and cabling infrastructure. The primary objective is to help all students, library users and rural healthcare providers have affordable access to telecommunications and information services.

The Schools and Library Division (SLD) of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) that is under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are the organizations that run the program.

top

 

Are you confused by E-rate?

No wonder! In addition to keeping current with the ever changing rules and FCC orders, you are working on three funding years at any given time. BTU takes this juggling act away from you and makes sense of what the requirements are for the paperwork for each funding year.

top

 

Who can receive E-rate funds?

The E-rate program is designed to assist all schools, libraries, and rural healthcare facilities regardless of size. The schools category includes individual schools - public or private and school districts.

top

 

How much money should I expect from this program?

There are two primary factors that determine the amount of money that can be received in any given funding year. These factors include the level of poverty and urban/rural status of any given area. There are also factors that determine which children are defined as eligible children. The percentage rate typically varies from year to year. Discount rates range from 20 to 90% of the annual telecommunications, Internet and/or Internal Connections.

top

 

How will I receive my award?

Your school district makes the decision on how you want to receive your award. However, you can only receive your award after you have filed all of the required paperwork for each funding year and have received the approval from the SLD.

There are two funding options:

  • Discounts – you can receive discounts that are directly applied to your bills from your service provider. With this method you receive your money in real time - right away.

  • Checks – After you have paid your bills you may file another form that both you and the service provider certify. You will receive your check in about 30 days.

top

 

What E-rate services does BTU offer?

We provide consultative services as to what the requirements are for a successful filing. We create a profile of all of your services that are eligible for the program. We file all of the forms correctly and on-time.

Forms include: 470, 471, 486, 472, 500, SPIN changes, any necessary appeals.

top

 

When do we file?

You must file a new application each year if you want to receive your award each year. No exception! A challenge to this process is that you file for each funding year six to nine months before the year actually begins. We help you to make the right projections in order to maximize your return.

top