May 14, 2021

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that you are required to retain your program documentation for at least 10 years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request. For specific information, you can refer to the Documentation Retention web page and the E-Rate Program Applicant Document Retention List.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2021 and 2020

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 5 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on May 13. As of May 14, FY2021 commitments total over $1.01 billion.

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 54 FCDLs on May 12. As of May 14, FY2020 commitments total over $2.38 billion.

On the date that USAC issues FCDLs, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC).

Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

On May 11, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report and Order (FCC 21-58) establishing the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program. Congress appropriated $7.171 billion for the ECF Program, which will be administered by USAC.

During the first funding window, schools and libraries will be able to apply for funding for purchases to be made between July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 of eligible equipment, including Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and laptop and tablet computers, as well as commercially available broadband internet access services to meet the remote learning needs of students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and broadband connections sufficient to engage in remote learning.

Where there are no commercially available broadband internet access services available, schools and libraries will be able to seek ECF Program support to construct or self-provision networks to connect students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise not be connected to the internet or for the customer premises equipment needed to receive access to educational content through datacasting.

Stay Informed

In the coming weeks, USAC will provide more information about the ECF Program, including timing for the program's application window.

As part of this effort, we will conduct ECF outreach including informational emails and trainings. Sign up to stay informed about the ECF Program and receive information about future training sessions. Please continue to check the USAC website for updates on the ECF Program and watch your email for important communications.

Get Ready

Schools and libraries that plan to participate in the program can get ready to apply by making sure they have an FCC Registration Number and an active registration (see below). If a school or library has already registered with both the FCC and, applicants should check to ensure their registration has not expired or will not expire in the near future.

  • Schools and libraries can obtain an FCC Registration Number by visiting the FCC Commission Registration System (CORES) and completing the registration process.
  • registration is necessary for all organizations that receive funds from the U.S. government. Because this registration is not required to participate in E-Rate, program participants may not have completed this registration previously. The registration process can take more than a week, so USAC recommends schools and libraries begin the process now. Applicants can apply for the ECF Program before their registration is approved, but will not be able receive program funding until they have completed their registration.

ECF Program applicants can complete these registration steps before the application window opens.

Reminder to Register for Our May 26 Webinars

USAC is conducting two webinar events on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 – an office hour webinar on the supply chain certification process and a regular webinar on the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) application review and selective review processes.

  • The first webinar will be conducted using an office hour format. It will allow service providers to ask questions that relate to the supply chain certification process for all four USF programs (Lifeline, High Cost, E-Rate, and RHC).
  • The second webinar will feature a presentation on the PIA and selective review processes with an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

The schedule below includes the time, topic, recommended audience, and experience level for each event. Click the links below to register today.

Date and Time



Experience Level

May 26, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Supply Chain Office Hours Service providers All levels
May 26, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. EDT Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Review and Selective Review Applicants Beginner

We will give preference to questions about the topic under discussion.

Please visit our Webinars page for more information about E-Rate webinars.


To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2021, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005