June 18, 2021

TIP OF THE WEEK: REMINDER TO APPLICANTS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS: June 25, 2021, is the last day to invoice for Funding Year 2019 recurring services with an approved deadline extension. Applicants and service providers who have not completed invoicing USAC for these services should keep this deadline in mind.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2021 and FY2020

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 10 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 17. As of June 18, FY2021 commitments total over $1.37 billion.

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 59 FCDLs on June 16. As of June 18, FY2020 commitments total over $2.41 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).

Schedule for Removal of BEAR PIN Requirement

Next month, USAC will remove the requirement for applicants to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access the FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form). The internal tool we will use for new BEAR Form access requests – the BEAR Access Tool – will process requests more efficiently, communicate our decisions more quickly, and eliminate the need for both applicants and USAC to maintain PIN records.

BEAR Form filers will still access the BEAR Form through One Portal, USAC's multi-factor authentication (MFA) platform. After we deploy the new BEAR Access Tool, BEAR Form filers who choose the BEAR Form option on their One Portal dashboard will be able to access the BEAR Form login screen, enter the appropriate Billed Entity Number (BEN), click the Login button, and start or continue working on a BEAR Form for that BEN.

BEAR Form filers who currently log in to the BEAR Form with an email address that is different from their One Portal email address (their One Portal username) will need to request BEAR Form access under their One Portal username. To request access they will complete a BEAR Access Template and attach it to a customer service case in EPC. (This template will be very similar to the current PIN Request Template.) The information you provide in the template is still necessary because that information is used to pre-populate specific fields in the BEAR Form. New BEAR Form filers and existing users who want to request access to additional BENs will follow the same process.

Here is the schedule for the activities surrounding the deployment of the BEAR Access Tool:

 Date  Activity
June 23  The last day to request a new PIN
June 30  The last day that USAC will issue PINs (those requested by June 23)
July 1-6  Existing PIN credentials copied to new BEAR access database and verified
July 7  The last day to file a BEAR Form using an existing PIN
July 8-9  BEAR Access Tool deployed and verified
July 12  The first day to file a BEAR Form without a PIN
July 12  The first day to request BEAR Form access via the BEAR Access Template

Supply Chain Reminders for Service Providers and Applicants

As a reminder, when service providers log in to E-File, they will see two new supply chain certifications included in the FCC Form 473 (Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form).

The first certification affirms compliance with the section 54.9 prohibition on using Universal Service Fund (USF) support to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, operate, manage, or otherwise support equipment or services produced or provided by the covered companies. The second certification affirms compliance with section 54.10, which prohibits the use of any federal subsidies on any communications equipment and services on the Covered List. Based on this Covered List, recipients of universal service support may not use federal subsidies, including universal service funds, for telecommunications equipment or video surveillance equipment produced by Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, and Dahua.

After service providers certify the FCC Form 473 for FY2021, "2021" will show up in the Service Provider Download Tool and the SPIN Search Tool on the E-Rate Tools page for that Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN). As a reminder, service providers who have more than one SPIN must file a separate form for each SPIN.

Service providers who have already filed their SPAC Forms for FY2020 that did not include the certifications will not be required to recertify the form, but these certifications will now be required for service providers who file an FY2020 SPAC Form for the first time. USAC updated the FCC Form 473 User Guide to reflect these changes.

  • FY2020 applicants: If you requested services or equipment in FY2020 that contains components, products, or services produced by any of the above-named companies, or any of their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, you cannot invoice for these services or equipment. Instead, you should immediately request a service substitution prior to invoicing in order to ensure complete program compliance.
  • FY2021 applicants: Please ensure you are not requesting funding for services or equipment from any of the above-named companies, or any of their parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries. If your submitted funding requests include services or equipment from these companies or any of their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, please submit a service substitution via a RAL request in EPC.
  • FY2022 applicants: As you proceed with competitive bidding beginning in July, please ensure you are not requesting funding for services or equipment from Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, or Dahua, or any of their parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries.

Finally, service providers who participate in multiple USF programs must complete these annual certifications for each other program (i.e., Rural Health Care, High Cost, and Lifeline) in which they participate. For additional information and FCC form due dates, visit USAC's Supply Chain webpage.


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