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February 17, 2022

Funding Year (FY) 2022 FCC Form 471 Filing Window Countdown

The Funding Year (FY) 2022 FCC Form 471 application filing window is now open. The application filing window will close on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Days to window close

34

FY2022 FCC Forms 470 filed

18,897

FY2022 FCC Forms 471 filed

7,614

 
FCC Forms 470 and 471 counts as of yesterday, 9:00 p.m. EST

E-RATE TIP: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 is the last date that you can submit and certify an FCC Form 470 and still wait the required 28 days before submitting and certifying your FCC Form 471 by March 22, 2022, the last date of the FY2022 FCC Form 471 application filing window.

FILE EARLY: The FY2022 FCC Form 471 application filing window closes March 22. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit and certify your form, especially if you need help or have questions about what information to include on your form.  

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2021

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 44 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on February 10.  As of February 17, FY2021 commitments total over $2.59 billion.

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

Reminder: Next Week's February 25 Invoicing Deadline

February 25, 2022 is the deadline to submit an invoice for FY2021 recurring services if the applicant or service provider already requested and received a one-time extension of the October 28, 2021 deadline.

Any invoices submitted after this date will be denied as untimely and will require a waiver of the invoice filing deadline rule from the FCC.  Parties requesting a waiver will need to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances to justify a waiver of the invoice filing deadline date.

Requesting an invoice deadline extension
If you have not already requested a one-time extension and need additional time to complete your invoicing process, you can request an extension of the February 25 invoicing deadline.  You will receive an additional 120 days to complete your invoicing process.

Note that if you have already requested and received a one-time, 120-day invoice deadline extension, USAC may not approve an additional extension without a waiver from the FCC.  All invoices must be submitted on or before your invoice filing deadline date. The new E-Rate FRN Invoice Deadline Tool provides the ability to search, view, and download data related to invoice filing deadline dates (see article below).

Reminders for Filing an FY2022 FCC Form 471

Below are reminders for some of the actions you should be undertaking before the application filing window closes on March 22, 2022.

Wait the full 28 days before selecting your service provider(s) and submitting and certifying your FCC Form 471.
You are required to wait at least 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is certified before you may choose a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit and certify your FCC Form 471.

  • EPC will not allow you to create a contract record if the FCC Form 470 you try to cite for the contract has not been posted for at least 28 days.
  • For services provided under tariff or on a month-to-month basis, EPC will not allow you to finish entering a funding request for those services if the FCC Form 470 you cite on the request has not been posted for at least 28 days.

Make sure that you are able to work on an FCC Form 471.
Your account administrator must have granted you with user rights to complete and/or certify the FCC Form 471.  Note that new users must first accept the terms and conditions for EPC use by clicking the Tasks tab from the menu at the top of the landing page and choosing the appropriate task.

After your rights have been assigned, you can click the FCC Form 471 link at the top of your organization's landing page to start your form.

If you have access to the form but cannot enter information or take other actions, call our Customer Service Center (CSC) at (888) 203-8100 for assistance.

Start your FCC Form 471, even if you are not ready to provide all funding request details.
After you start your form, you can see your progress through the form by referring to the progress bar at the top of each page.  If you need to stop before you have finished, the system will create a task for you under the Tasks tab to allow you to resume your work at the point you left.  Be sure to review the following as you progress through your form:

  • Your organization's information (e.g., name, address, telephone number, attributes).
  • Your related entities' information (e.g., name, address, urban/rural status, attributes, student counts for schools, library square footage and library main branch designation for libraries).
  • Your organization's urban/rural designation and discount calculation.

Because entity profiles are locked, you will not be able to make any entity changes at this point.  However, by making a note of any necessary updates, you will be ready to submit a RAL Modification Request (see article below) to inform us of those updates.  View the FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter Modification Guide to learn how to submit modification requests for your FCC Form(s) 471.

Create a contract record for each new contract or legally binding agreement.
You must have a contract record in your profile for each contract or legally binding agreement you intend to use on your FY2022 FCC Form 471.  You then cite the contract record on each funding request for services that will be provided under that contract when you create the funding request on your form.

  • If you created a contract record in an earlier year for a multi-year contract that covers your services for FY2021, you can cite that contract record this year.
  • If you created a contract record in an earlier year for a contract with voluntary extensions, you do not need to create a new contract record if your extension covers services for FY2022.  First, work with your service provider to exercise the extension for your FY2022 services.  Then, when you cite that contract record on a funding request, enter the last date of service for FY2022 in the appropriate field on the funding request.  You do not have to create a new contract record simply because you exercised an option to extend the contract.
  • Learn How to Create a Contract Record:
    • How to Create a Contract Record video.
    • How to Create a Contract Record for Commercially Available Broadband/Low Cost High Speed Internet Access (which is exempt from competitive bidding) video.

Contact the Customer Service Center (CSC) as soon as possible if you need assistance.
You can open a customer service case in EPC or call CSC at (888) 203-8100.  Do not wait until the last minute to contact us with questions or issues.  If you choose to open a customer service case, you will also be able to attach one or more documents that provide any information we need to process your request.

New E-Rate Open Data Tools Available

Two new E-Rate data tools are now available on USAC’s Open Data platform.  The E-Rate FRN Invoice Deadline Tool provides the ability to search, view, and download data related to invoice deadline dates, funds remaining for invoicing, and the invoicing mode (BEAR vs SPI).  View the training video to learn how to use this tool.

USAC also rolled out the E-Rate FRN Status Tool FY2016+ this week, which provides funding request data including funding status, funding wave data, and disbursements.  View the training video to learn how to use this tool. 

Interim SPIN Will Be Available March 11 for FY2022 FCC Form 471 Submissions

Some service providers who are new to the E-Rate program may have applied for, but not received, a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN).  Some applicants, whose service providers have multiple SPINs or are undergoing a merger or acquisition, may not be sure which SPIN to include on an FCC Form 471 funding request.

In such cases, USAC enables an "interim SPIN" (143666666) shortly before the close of the FCC Form 471 application filing window.  The interim SPIN will be available starting March 11.  However, we encourage applicants to identify the correct SPIN on their FCC Form 471 funding requests, when possible, to speed USAC's review of their application.

Applicants can file an FCC Form 471 funding request and use this interim SPIN as a placeholder so they can timely file their form.  They can then update the SPIN through a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) Modification Request (see article below) or during the review of their application.

Extended CSC Hours for the Application Filing Window

The Customer Service Center (CSC) will be open additional hours in advance of the close of the FY2022 FCC Form 471 application filing window to help applicants with last-minute question and any issues. The FY2022 application filing window closes March 22 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Here are CSC's hours starting Friday, March 18 (all times are ET):

Date

Hours

Friday, March 18

8 a.m. -- 10 p.m.

Saturday, March 19

Closed

Sunday, March 20

Closed

Monday, March 21

8 a.m. -- 10 p.m.

Tuesday, March 22

8 a.m. -- 11:59 p.m.

Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) Modification Guide Now Available

USAC issues an FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) to both the applicant and service provider(s) in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) after an FCC Form 471 application is certified.  The letter contains many of the details submitted on the FCC Form 471 and provides a means to correct any mistakes.  If you were not able to make all of the appropriate updates to your applicant profile in EPC before the close of the EPC FCC Form 471 administrative window, you can provide updated information by filing a RAL Modification Request after submitting and certifying your FCC Form 471 application(s) but before you receive your funding commitment decision letter.

Applicants receive the RAL in their EPC News Feed after certifying an FCC Form 471. The RAL modification function in EPC allows you to provide specific information in an organized format, which makes it easier for Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) reviewers to locate and understand the changes you want to make.  Go to the Ministerial & Clerical Errors page to see the types of changes that are allowed and not allowed for the FCC Form 471.  To learn how to submit modification requests for your FCC Form(s) 471, view the FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter Modification Guide.

February 2022 Training - Recordings Available on Demand

Below are on demand recordings from our February webinars. 

E-Rate Tribal Training Webinar with Question and Answer Session
February 3

View an overview of the E-Rate program and general topics such as the application process, the competitive bidding requirements, important program terms, eligibility, and program discounts.  Additionally, we will focus on the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that amends the FCC’s definition of “library” in the rules to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible for support through the E-Rate program.

Invoice Training
February 10

This webinar was designed to help E-Rate program participants (applicants and service providers) understand the invoicing process.  We discussed how to submit the FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) and the FCC Form 474 (SPI Form), invoice filing deadlines, invoicing reviews, and more. 

The New Tribal Library Order and FY2022 E-Rate Tribal Training Series

The FCC adopted a Report and Order (Tribal Library Order) at its January 27 open meeting that amended the FCC’s rules by updating the definition of a library, and clarifying that Tribal libraries are eligible for support through the E-Rate program.  The new rules were published in the Federal Register on February 14, and will become effective on March 16, 2022.  Tribal libraries are able to apply now for E-Rate support for Funding Year (FY) 2022, which runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

The Commission added “Tribal library” to the definition of a “library” in the E-Rate rules, and amended the rules to recognize that Tribal libraries are eligible for support from state library administrative agencies under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018.  In the Tribal Library Order, the FCC also explained that Tribal Councils can designate a library as a Tribal library (for example, through a Tribal Resolution), and Tribal libraries should be able to demonstrate that they have three basic characteristics of a library:

  • Regularly scheduled hours,
  • Staff, and
  • Materials available for library users.

Any Tribal library that is eligible for LSTA funding under the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 and has not been validated in the E-Rate program should be prepared to demonstrate their eligibility by providing:

  • Documentation from an authorizing Tribal government entity (such as a charter or ordinance or letter from the Tribal Council), as well as documentation that shows that the applicant has characteristics of a library, including regular hours, staff, and materials, or
  • A signed letter from a state library agency.

The FCC also directed USAC, together with FCC staff, to develop targeted outreach efforts to increase awareness of the program among Tribal libraries and adopt new metrics to gauge the participation of Tribal libraries in the E-Rate program.

During the upcoming FY2022 Tribal Training Series, USAC will offer an E-Rate Information Session, a walkthrough of the FCC Form 470 (the First Form), and a walkthrough of the FCC Form 471 (the Second Form). The E-Rate Tribal Training sessions are focused on schools and libraries that self-identify as a Tribal Entity but are also open to anyone who would like to learn more about applying and receiving E-Rate support for Tribal schools and libraries.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kraynal Alfred, USAC Tribal Liaison, at TribalTraining@usac.org or (202) 572-5733. You can also Subscribe to the E-Rate Tribal Newsletter. 

Session   Date  Links

Session 1: E-Rate Program Overview for Tribal Schools and Tribal Libraries 

 February 3

Watch a Recording

Slide Deck 

Session 2: FCC Form 470 Walkthrough for Tribal E-Rate Applicants (The First Form) 

February 10 

 Watch a Recording

Slide Deck

Session 3: Office Hours for Tribal E-Rate Applicants 

February 15 

Watch a Recording 

Slide Deck

Session 4: FCC Form 471 Walkthrough for Tribal E-Rate Applicants (The Second Form) 

 March 8

4 p.m. ET

Register 

Session 5: Office Hours for Tribal E-Rate Applicants 

March 15 

4 p.m. ET

 Register

 

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