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March 17, 2022

Funding Year (FY) 2022 FCC Form 471 Filing Window Closes March 22

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. EDT for all application submissions except those that include new Tribal library entities as recipients of service (see below). Please do not wait until the last minute to complete and certify your form, especially if you have questions about the information to include on your form.

Days to window close

6

FY2022 FCC Forms 470 filed

21,819

FY2022 FCC Forms 471 filed

21,624

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

E-RATE TIP: Review the FCC Form 471 walkthrough videos.  We have posted recorded video walkthroughs related to the FCC Form 471 in the Videos section of the USAC website including starting your form, creating funding requests, and certifying your Category One and Category Two FCC Form 471 applications.  There are also videos on creating contract records.

FEBRUARY CORRECTION:  The 2/17/2022 E-Rate News Brief incorrectly reported that February 25, 2022 was the deadline to submit invoices for FY2021 recurring services.  The invoicing deadline was actually for FY2020 recurring services.  We apologize for any confusion. 

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2021

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 48 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 10.  As of March 17, FY2021 commitments total over $2.62 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).

WCB Extends FY2022 FCC Form 471 Filing Window for New Tribal Libraries

The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) released an order (DA 22-231) granting a waiver of the FY2022 E-Rate application filing deadline for new Tribal library entities that file within 65 days of the window close. Applications with at least one new Tribal library listed as a recipient of service will have until Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET to submit and certify the FCC Form 471 in EPC.

Please note that Thursday, April 28, 2022 is the last date for these Tribal library applicants to submit and certify an FCC Form 470 and still wait the required 28 days before submitting and certifying the FCC Form 471 by the May 26 filing deadline. We encourage Tribal library applicants to file their FCC Form 470 as soon as possible and not to wait until April 28, 2022.

You may contact the USAC Tribal Liaison, Kraynal Alfred, at Tribaltraining@usac.org or the Customer Service Center at (888) 203-8100 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, if you have any questions about the FCC Form 470 or the FCC Form 471.

Extended CSC Hours for Final Days of 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 questions and any issues.  

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

  • Friday, March 18 – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 19 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 20 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, March 21 – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 22 – 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

Last-Minute Filing Tips for the FCC Form 471 Application Filing Window

In last month's E-Rate News Brief, we provided some FCC Form 471 tips for first-time filers.  Below are some additional tips to keep in mind during this last week of the FCC Form 471 application filing window.

Returning to an incomplete FCC Form 471
If you are not finished with a form and you need to exit the form or EPC times you out, you can click the SAVE & CONTINUE button to save your work on the current page and then exit the browser.  EPC will create a task for you under the Tasks tab and in the My Tasks list on your landing page to return to the form and complete your data entry.

We strongly encourage you not to use the SAVE AND SHARE button that appears at the bottom of many of the entry screens of your form.  This button will send a task to everyone in your organization to continue working on the form except you.

If you have provided all of the required information but you are not a full-rights user, you can click the SEND FOR CERTIFICATION button in EPC after you review the PDF version of your form to create a task for all full-rights users to be able to access, review, and certify the form.

Certifying your FCC Form 471
You can certify the FCC Form 471 yourself if you are a full-rights user for this form.  Check with your account administrator if you believe you should have these rights but are unable to certify your form.

Remember that sending a form to full-rights users in your organization will mean that you will no longer have access to edit the form.  You do have the ability to review the information you provided on a PDF version of the form before you send it for certification, and full-rights users must review that PDF version before they can proceed to certification.

Correcting information on the FCC Form 471 after it is certified
You are not limited to correcting entity profile information with the Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification option.  You can file RAL Modification Requests to correct any information on the form, including editing the information you have provided on a funding request or even adding or removing a funding request.  Note that your PIA reviewer may have questions for you about the reason(s) you have for the changes you request.  To learn how to submit modification requests for your FCC Form(s) 471, view the FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter Modification Guide.

Guidance on Advance Installation of Non-recurring Services
In certain situations, non-recurring services may be installed before FY2022 begins on July 1, 2022.  Program rules permit applicants to request E-Rate program discounts for Category One non-recurring charges incurred up to six months prior to the July 1 start of the funding year (i.e., on or after January 1), provided that construction begins after selection of a service provider pursuant to a valid competitive bidding process; a Category One recurring service depends on the installation of the infrastructure; the service start date is on or after the start of the funding year; and no invoices (FCC Form 472 or FCC Form 474) are dated prior to July 1 of the funding year.

Installation of Category Two non-recurring services may begin on April 1 prior to the July 1 start of the funding year. Applicants are permitted to place an order for E-Rate Category 2 eligible equipment (included on their FY2022 application) prior to April 1, 2022 provided that the equipment is not delivered to the applicant before April 1, 2022.  No invoices (FCC Form 472 or FCC Form 474) can be certified prior to July 1 of the funding year.

Contacting the Customer Service Center (CSC)
We suggest that you open a customer service case in EPC or call CSC at (888) 203-8100 as soon as you realize that you have a question or problem.  CSC will be open for additional hours starting March 18 (see above) but the sooner you communicate your issue to us, the more quickly we can help resolve it.

What You May Do If You Missed the February 22 FCC Form 470 Deadline for FY2022

February 22, 2022, was the last day that you could certify and submit your FY2022 FCC Form 470, wait the required 28 days, and then certify and submit your FY2022 FCC Form 471 before the application filing window closes on March 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

For applicants who have not yet certified and submitted your FCC Form 470, you may still take the following steps:

  1. Certify and submit your FCC Form 470 for FY2022 as soon as you are ready.  Be sure to upload any RFP documents you have to your form.  We suggest that you review the FCC Form 470 Filing page on the USAC website for more information.
  2. Wait at least 28 days before you choose a service provider, sign a contract, and submit and certify your FCC Form 471.  If you are required to wait more than 28 days due to your state or local procurement rules or regulations, or competitive bidding requirements, be sure to follow those requirements.
  3. Certify and submit your FCC Form 471.  You will receive a notification that your form will be considered out-of-window.
  4. Request a waiver of the FCC Form 471 application filing window deadline with the FCC, providing details of the circumstances that led to your late filing.  You can refer to the Submitting Window Waiver Requests section of the FCC Form 471 Filing page on the USAC website.
  5. If the FCC approves your request, USAC will move your FCC Form 471 to an in-window status and add it to the queue for Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. If the FCC denies your request, your application will not be considered by USAC for funding.

Interim SPIN Available 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 became available on March 11 so applicants can timely file an FCC Form 471 funding request using this interim SPIN as a placeholder.  However, we encourage applicants to identify the correct SPIN on their FCC Form 471 funding requests, as soon as possible, to speed USAC's review of their application.

Applicants can then replace the interim SPIN with the actual SPIN through a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) Modification Request or during the review of their application.  To learn how to submit modification requests for your FCC Form(s) 471, view the FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter Modification Guide.

E-Rate Program Document Retention Requirements

We would like to remind applicants of the requirement to retain program documentation.

Pursuant to program rules, all program participants are required to retain receipt and delivery records relating to pre-bidding, bidding, contracts, application process, invoices, provision of services, and any other documentation demonstrating compliance with program rules for a period of at least ten years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request.

Documents to retain as part of the competitive bidding process include but are not limited to:

  • The request for proposal (RFP), if one is issued, and any RFP documents.
  • Questions from potential bidders and your answers.
  • Copies of winning and losing bids (including disqualified bids).  Note that service providers are not required to retain losing bids.
  • The final bid evaluation matrix (or matrices, if you have multiple reviewers) and any supporting documentation.
  • If there is a restriction that prevents services and costs from being made public, a copy of the precise cite to the law, statute, local rule, or court order identifying the restriction.
  • The contract, if one is signed.

Go to the E-Rate Document Retention page to learn more.

E-Rate Tribal Training - Recordings Available on Demand

We recently concluded the FY2022 E-Rate Tribal Training Series, but we will schedule more training sessions for Tribal libraries in the coming weeks during the extended application filing window.  Please continue to check the E-Rate Tribal Training page for new training opportunities.  Below are on demand recordings for the sessions focused on the FCC Form 471 (second form).  To access the recordings for the entire series, visit the E-Rate Tribal Training page.

Session 4: FCC Form 471 Walkthrough for Tribal E-Rate Applicants (The Second Form)
March 8

Overview:  This session is designed to walk applicants through an FY2022 FCC Form 471.  It includes a step-by-step demonstration of filing the form and a Q&A session.

Session 5: Office Hours for Tribal E-Rate Applicants
March 15

Overview:  This session provided an opportunity for Tribal applicants and consultants to ask the USAC E-Rate team questions regarding the FY2022 E-Rate funding application process and the recent E-Rate Tribal training sessions.

 

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