July 2, 2021

TIP OF THE WEEK: Remember that, starting July 1, FY2021 applicants can no longer check the Early Filing box on the FCC Form 486. You must now wait until services have started before certifying your FCC Form 486 for FY2021.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2021 and FY2020

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 12 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 1. As of July 2, FY2021 commitments total over $1.50 billion.

FY2020. USAC released FY2020 Wave 61 FCDLs on June 30. As of July 2, FY2020 commitments total over $2.42 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).

FY2022 FCC Form 470 Deployed

USAC deployed the FCC Form 470 for FY2022 on July 1, 2021. Applicants who are ready to open their competitive bidding process for FY2022 services can now submit and certify this form in EPC.

As a reminder, in last week's SL News Brief, we provided details on the changes to the FCC Form 470 beginning in FY2022, which included the following topics:

  • Separate screens for Category One and Category Two service requests
  • Tiered guiding statements to assist users in their selections for service and function types
  • Alert messages and requirements for special circumstances related to certain function types
  • Save & Create Another Request, Save Request, and Cancel buttons added for entering service requests
  • Shortcut to create a related Basic Maintenance request under Internal Connections
  • Additional text added to Internal Connections drop-down options that include licenses and other associated options

For more information, you can refer to last week's SL News Brief and the FY2022 FCC Form 470 video walkthrough.

Additional Information on the PIN Removal Process

Next week, 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 for access 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 and the new BEAR login screen, BEAR Form filers who choose the BEAR Form option on their One Portal dashboard will 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.

July 7, 2021, is the last day that BEAR Form filers will need to use a PIN to log in to the BEAR Form. On July 8, we will start the migration of the information from the BEAR Form tables in our databases and the deployment of the BEAR Access Tool and the new BEAR Form login screen. While the process should be finished in a few days, we ask that you wait until July 12 to start a new BEAR Form in order for us to completely test all the features of the deployment.

Here are the most important aspects of the new BEAR Form access:

USAC will transfer your current BEAR Form credentials. You will be able to file BEAR Forms for all of the BENs you filed for in the past, but you will no longer need a PIN to do so.

Check the email address(es) you use to file BEAR Forms. Some BEAR Form filers have more than one user account in EPC, each with a different email address. When you log in to One Portal, the system will carry over your One Portal username to the BEAR Form login screen, so you will only have access during that session to the BENs associated with that username. You can consolidate your access to all of your BENs under the same email address by completing a BEAR access template for the BEN(s) that currently are associated with other email addresses.

Verify the BEN(s) you will use to file BEAR Forms. As long as you have access to the BEN you enter on the BEAR login page, clicking the Login button will take you to the BEAR Form. If you enter a BEN on the BEAR login screen that you do not have access to, you will receive an error message. To see the name of the entity associated with the BEN you enter, you can click the BEN Name button on the BEAR login screen.

To start filing BEAR Forms for the first time, ask your account administrator to set you up as a new user in EPC if you do not already have an EPC account. You must request access to the BEAR Form yourself by opening a customer service case in EPC and attaching a completed BEAR access template to the case. Another person cannot request BEAR Form access on your behalf.

  • We will post the BEAR access template to the USAC website on July 12. We need the information included in the template to populate the appropriate fields in the BEAR Form. All the fields are required, but we can add the customer service case number for you when we process your request. (We use the case number to follow up if you have a question about your access.)
  • We will send you an email confirmation after we have processed your request. The email lists the BEN(s) for which you now have access. If you request access for a BEN for which you already have access, we will simply include that BEN in your confirmation email. Remember there is no PIN to lose or forget.

We will be updating the USAC website content related to BEAR Form access so that you will know what to expect.


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