E-Rate News Brief

March 16, 2023

Funding Year (FY) 2023 FCC Form 471 Filing Window Countdown

The Funding Year (FY) 2023 FCC Form 471 application filing window is now open. The application filing window will close on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Days to window close


FY2023 FCC Forms 470 filed


FY2023 FCC Forms 471 filed


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

•  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 (click Load More to view them).

•  The interim SPIN became available on March 14, 2023. If you don’t know your service provider’s SPIN or the provider has multiple SPINs and you don’t know which to use, you can enter the interim SPIN on your FY2023 FCC Form 471 application funding requests. See the February 16, 2023 E-Rate News Brief for more information.

•  If you plan to request a waiver of the FY2023 application filing window deadline, be sure to certify and submit your FCC Form 471 in EPC before you file your waiver request with the FCC. Note that you will receive an out-of-window status notification after you certify your form. If the waiver request is granted, the FCC Form 471 will be treated as timely filed during the filing window.

•  Account Administrators. Review account permissions of all users associated with your EPC account(s) and make any necessary adjustments. If you are the Account Administrator, and you are planning to leave your entity, please designate a new Account Administrator in EPC before your departure.

•  Billed Entities. Applicants, make sure your billed entity’s profile in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is up to date or it may affect your ability to receive payments. If USAC requests a Service Certification, only authorized users for the billed entity, under its BEN, may sign and confirm that the products/services on the invoice were received and installed. Signatures from unauthorized users may result in a rejection of your invoice.

UEI Requirement Coming Soon. In the second quarter of 2023, USAC will update the FCC Form 498 for all E-Rate applicants to require entities to have an active assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) to submit a new FCC Form 498 or modify their existing FCC Form 498 if they will be using the BEAR method of reimbursement. The February 16, 2023 E-Rate News Brief provides more information about this requirement.


Commitments for Funding Year (FY) 2022

FY2022. USAC released FY2022 Wave 47 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on March 9. As of March 15, FY2022 commitments total over $2.84 billion.

On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in EPC.

Extended CSC Hours for Final Days of the Application Filing Window

The Customer Service Center (CSC) will be open extended hours before the March 28, 2023 deadline for the close of the FY2023 FCC Form 471 application filing window to help applicants with last-minute questions and any issues. Call (888) 203-8100 for assistance.

Here are CSC's extended hours beginning Friday, March 24 through Tuesday, March 28 (all times are ET):

  • Friday, March 24 – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 26 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, March 27 – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 28 – 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 preparation steps for the FY2023 application filing window and FCC Form 471 tips for first-time filers. Below are additional tips to keep in mind during the last week of the FY2023 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, 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 in the My Tasks list located in the Tasks tab on your landing page, that you can use to return to the unfinished form and complete your data entry. If EPC unexpectedly times you out of the system, EPC will also create a task for you to use to return to your form.

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

If you have provided all 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 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 for certification will mean that you will no longer have access to revise the form. You are able 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
After the FCC Form 471 has been certified, use a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) modification request to make corrections on the form. This includes entity profile information and any other information on the form. You may also add or remove funding requests via a RAL 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 FY2023 begins on July 1, 2023. 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 as early as April 1 prior to the July 1 start of the funding year. Applicants are permitted to place an order for E-Rate Category Two eligible equipment (included on their FY2023 application) prior to April 1, 2023, provided that the equipment is not delivered to the applicant before April 1, 2023. 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 have a question or you realize you have a problem. CSC will be open for extended hours starting March 24 (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 28 FCC Form 470 Deadline for FY2023

February 28, 2023 was the last day that you could certify and submit your FY2023 FCC Form 470, wait the required minimum 28-day period, and then certify and submit your FY2023 FCC Form 471 before the application filing window closes on March 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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

1.    Certify and submit your FCC Form 470 for FY2023 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 waiver 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 waiver request, your FY2023 FCC Form 471 application will not be reviewed or processed by USAC.

FY2023 Training Recordings and Slides Available on Demand

USAC conducted a series of office hour webinars during the FY2023 application filing window period focused on E-Rate topics related to FCC Forms 470 and 471. You can view the recordings on the Webinars page, by clicking the Watch button next to the session.

FY2023 E-Rate Eligible Services Webinar (January 5, 2023)

USAC provided an overview of the FY2023 E-Rate eligible services and discussed the FY2023 Eligible Services List (ESL).

Competitive Bidding (FCC Form 470) Office Hour (January 19, 2023)

E-Rate subject matter experts walked through the competitive bidding process and the FCC Form 470 with a focus on the FCC Form 470 Guiding Statements Document for all experience levels.

Service Provider Selection and the FCC Form 471 Office Hour (January 24, 2023)

E-Rate subject matter experts provided an overview of how to apply for program support on the FCC Form 471 for applicants of all experience levels.

E-Rate Eligible Services Office Hour (January 26, 2023)

E-Rate subject matter experts provided an overview of FY2023 E-Rate eligible services for applicants and service providers of all experience levels.

E-Rate Pre-Commitment Office Hour Webinar (February 21, 2023)

This office hour session provided attendees with the opportunity to ask E-Rate subject matter experts questions about the competitive bidding process, Category Two budgets, and the Eligible Services List.

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 proposals (RFP), if one is issued, and any RFP documents.
  • Questions from potential bidders and your answers.
  • Copies of winning and losing bids (including any 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 of your bid evaluation.
  • 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.

To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
©1997-2023, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005