FCC 477 Reporting update

Hello folks!

Starting with December 31 2011, all FCC 477 Reporting should be done based on the 2010 Census tracts.  Here is the link to the FCC notice which outlines the new procedures. Regarding Freeside, a few changes are needed to make sure your Freeside server is ready for the new requirements.
  • Check to make sure you are running 2.3.2 or newer, if not, you will need to upgrade.
  • Under Configuation -> Settings, set census_year to 2012, not 2010.
  • Lastly, run the upgrade program to update the census tracts. As the freeside user run: freeside-censustract-update username ( Replace username with a valid username on the system )
Following the above steps will have your ready for this year’s round of FCC 477 reporting.  ( If you need to do your first FCC 477 report, see the documentation. )

– Jeremy

Address standardization

Hello folks,

Today I would like to show you an often over looked feature in Freeside, address standardization. Address standardization can dramatically reduce human error when entering data into the system and save money on bulk postage. Address standardization in Freeside works by querying the USPS database, resulting in cleaner and more accurate billing data.

The first step in enabling this feature in Freeside is to register for a USPS Webtools account. New account signup is located here. Once you receive your login and password you will need to fill out an additional form to let the USPS know you will NOT be using their service for batching purposes. You can find this form here. [Edit: Important: Do not check the “Non-U.S. Postal Service® package shipments”, “Address database cleansing”, or “Address batch processing” checkboxes]

While you are waiting to be approved, enter your USPS Webtools API UserID and Password into the Freeside back office interface by going to: Configuration-> Settings . The two settings you are looking for are called usps_webtools-userid, usps_webtools-password.

Once your application has been accepted and you have added the above configurations, address standardization will work. Whenever you edit customers with unstandardized information, you will receive the option to use the entered data or to use the standardized address.