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June 23, 2022

E-RATE TIPS:
 
•  FY2022 Invoicing Begins on July 1. After USAC has processed your FCC Form 486 you or your service provider can begin the process of invoicing USAC for the discounted share of costs for the approved eligible equipment and services. See the May 2022 E-Rate News Brief for tips on getting ready for invoicing. View the February 10, 2022 webinar slides to learn more about the invoicing process and for key reminders.

•  Invoice Training and Office Hours July 21. USAC will hold an Invoicing office hour webinar July 21 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Learn about submitting the FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) and the FCC Form 474 (SPI Form), invoice filing deadlines, invoicing reviews, and more. Register.


•  EPC Account Administrators. Please take this opportunity to review your user accounts and take action to update and deactivate accounts in EPC, as appropriate. Account administrators can add/remove user access for different forms and processes (e.g., appeals, invoicing, post-commitment) in EPC. See article below.

•  Reminder: The Summer Deferral period, which applies to USAC’s processing of program forms and requests, started May 27. If our first attempt to contact you about a program form or request is on or after May 27, and we do not receive a response to our questions, we will put your application or request on a deferred status and will continue the review after September 9. You can always contact your reviewer or respond to our pending questions to restart the review or you can designate someone to answer questions in your absence.

•  Visit our updated information including the Commitment Adjustments and Equipment Transfer web pages.

Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2022 and FY2021

FY2022. USAC released FY2022 Wave 9 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on June 16. As of June 22, FY2022 commitments total over $1.79 billion.

FY2021. USAC released FY2021 Wave 57 FCDLs on June 10. As of June 22, FY2021 commitments total over $2.64 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).

Complete and Certify Any In-Process FY2022 FCC Forms 470 by Tomorrow (June 24)

Some applicants currently have uncertified FY2022 FCC Forms 470 within the EPC system. In order to prepare for the deployment of the FY2023 FCC Form 470 on July 1, USAC must remove access to uncertified FY2022 FCC Forms 470 at the end of this month.

Any applicant who wants to rely on an uncertified FY2022 FCC Form 470 that is currently in the EPC system should certify that form no later than June 24. The FY2022 FCC Form 470 will then be posted to USAC's website and can then still be cited, for example, to open a competitive bidding process for FY2023.

Reminder: Request a Service Delivery Deadline Extension by June 30 if you will not Complete Special Construction Required to Light or Use Your Fiber

To be eligible for E-Rate program discounts for special construction charges, special construction must be completed in time for the fiber to be lit or to be in use by the end of the relevant funding year (i.e., June 30, 2022 for FY2021). This applies to leased lit fiber, leased dark fiber, or a self-provisioned network involving another technology. If this June 30 deadline is not met and you have not received an extension, the special construction charges will not be eligible for support under program rules and a waiver will be needed from the FCC.

If you sought support for special construction related to leased lit fiber, leased dark fiber, or self-provisioned networks for FY2021, you may request a one-year extension of the June 30 deadline by demonstrating that construction was unavoidably delayed due to weather or other reasons, or by the late issuance of an FCDL. You must demonstrate that the reason or reasons have unavoidably delayed special construction in a manner that prevents the fiber from being lit (or a self-provisioned network using another technology to be in use) by the June 30 deadline.

Applicants must file an FCC Form 500 by June 30 to request this one-year extension. See the FAQS: Eligible Fiber Services for additional information regarding deadlines and extensions in relation to non-recurring special construction charges.

If you need assistance, you can open a customer service case in EPC or call the Customer Service Center at (888) 203-8100.

Filing the FY2022 FCC Form 486 Early

After applicants have received an FCDL (Funding Commitment Decision Letter) with a positive funding commitment, and services have started for the funding year, they must file an FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation and Children's Internet Protection Act Certification Form). The FCC Form 486 notifies USAC that services have started and the applicant certifies the status of their compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Under certain circumstances, you can file the FCC Form 486 before the services have started. In order to file early, you must be able to accurately make all of the certifications on the form.

The following are some reminders of the certifications you must be prepared to make now if you are filing your FCC Form 486 early.

CIPA reminders
The administrative authority, the relevant authority with responsibility for the administration of the school or library, must report the status of compliance with CIPA.

  • If you are the administrative authority for the school or library and you are also the billed entity, you certify your status of CIPA compliance on your FCC Form 486.
  • If you are the administrative authority but not the billed entity – for example, if you are a member of a consortium and the consortium files for discounted services on your behalf – you certify your status of CIPA compliance on the FCC Form 479 (Certification by Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act Form) and provide a copy of that form to your consortium leader. Your consortium leader must have copies of FCC Forms 479 on file from all of its members before it can accurately make the appropriate CIPA certifications on the FCC Form 486 on behalf of its members.

You can also refer to the CIPA page on the USAC website for additional information about the requirements under CIPA.

Service start dates and contracts
You must have confirmed with your service provider(s) that the service(s) for your approved funding commitments will start on or before July 31 of the funding year. You must also confirm that those services will be provided to the eligible entities identified on the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs).
In addition, you certify that there are signed contracts covering all of the services listed on the FCC Form 486, except for those services provided under a tariff or on a month-to-month basis.

Authorization to submit
You must also certify that you are authorized to submit the FCC Form 486 on behalf of the billed entity; that you have examined the form; and that to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief, all statements of fact provided on the form are true.

You can review the text of all the certifications on the FCC Form 486 after you have completed your entries for the required information on the form. Please review the certifications carefully to make sure that you can accurately make them as of the start of the receipt of discounted services. Do not forget to check the Early Filing box.

Starting August 1, early filing no longer applies. At that point, you must wait until services have actually started before you file your FCC Form 486.

FY2023 FCC Form 470 will be Available in EPC on July 1

The FY2023 FCC Form 470, which starts the competitive bidding process, will be available July 1 in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). Applicants with long procurement cycles or other reasons for starting their FY2023 competitive bidding processes early will be able to complete and certify this form as soon as it is available in EPC. The FY2023 FCC Form 470 remains unchanged from last year.

Here are some resources on the FCC Form 470 and the competitive bidding process:

Also keep an eye on the E-Rate Webinars page for information on upcoming training on the FCC Form 470 and Competitive Bidding in July.

FCC to Decommission Legacy CORES July 15

The Federal Communications Commission Office of the Managing Director (FCC OMD) announced that it will retire its Legacy Commission Registration System (Legacy CORES) on July 15, 2022 at 6 p.m. EDT. Legacy CORES is used by entities doing business with the FCC to register for an FCC Registration Number (FRN). Please note that USAC uses the acronym FCCRN to distinguish the FCC Registration Number (FCCRN) from a Funding Request Number (FRN), which identifies requests on an E-Rate FCC Form 471 application.

The FCCRN is a 10-digit number used to identify the registrant’s business dealings with the FCC and allows users to create FCCRNs, modify FCCRNs, associate FCCRNs to different user accounts, view FCCRN financial data, and make payments.

CORES2, the updated version of CORES, has been available since 2016 and should be used to register for or to maintain an FCCRN going forward. Before accessing CORES2, users must establish an FCC username account in the FCC User Registration System by providing a valid e-mail address and creating a password. Users already registered in CORES2 can continue to manage their FCCRNs without change. New users or users still using Legacy CORES will need to register in CORES2 to gain online access and manage their FCCRN(s). After July 15, users will be unable to make any changes to their FCCRNs in the legacy system, including resetting their passwords. Go to the FCC's CORES Registration page for more information and video tutorials on registering for an FCCRN.

Recent EPC Terms and Conditions Refresh

Recently, as part of a security update, USAC completed an E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) system Terms and Conditions refresh. As part of the refresh, EPC inadvertently sent notifications to EPC account administrators for both active and deactivated EPC users who never accepted the original EPC system terms and conditions.

For any previously deactivated EPC user, account administrators do not need to take any action as the user account remains deactivated in EPC.

For EPC users who never accepted the original EPC terms and conditions, and who should not have access to the EPC system, account administrators can deactivate the EPC user accounts by navigating to the user and selecting Deactivate UserIf a user was deactivated and needs access, please follow the normal steps to grant EPC access to that user.

Please take this opportunity to review your user accounts and take action to update and deactivate accounts in EPC (Records/Users/Related Actions), as appropriate. Account administrators can add/remove user access for different forms and processes (e.g., appeals, invoicing, post-commitment) in EPC. View the EPC Account Administrator Guide for more information.

All users filing BEAR invoices should be authorized users and have access as a “Post Commitment” user in EPC (see picture below). If any of your account users no longer need access to file BEAR Forms, BEAR access can be removed by submitting a customer service case in EPC.

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