October 12, 2023

Getting Ready for the E-Rate Systems Consolidation

E-Rate Tips:
•  Learn how to submit invoices in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). View the Applicant videos and e-learning modules or the Service Provider videos and e-learning modules (eLMs). Join an upcoming Office Hour session to ask any questions you have based on the eLMs.

•  Review your invoicing permissions in EPC. If you cannot see your user permissions, contact the Account Administrator for your entity. Use the Entity Search Tool to find your Account Administrator and confirm your EPC invoicing access is ready for go-live on November 7. You may have to search at the Billed Entity level to find your administrator. Applicants, view the BEAR User Permissions video. Service providers, view the Service Provider User Permissions video.

•  Submit invoices before system cutover date (by Monday, October 30 at 11:59 p.m.) or request an invoice deadline extension, if necessary.

Be Prepared for the Upcoming E-Rate Systems Consolidation Transition

In the September 2023 Systems Consolidation news brief, USAC announced that it is consolidating its E-Rate SL Legacy systems into EPC. All the E-Rate invoicing related forms – the FCC Forms 472 (BEAR), 473 (SPAC), and 474 (SPI and eSPI) – will be moved into EPC as part of this consolidation effort. The E-Rate Systems Consolidation FAQs can assist you before and after the system cutover.
System cutover from the SL Legacy systems into EPC is expected to occur between October 30 and November 7, 2023. USAC originally announced that access to EPC would be unavailable for all external users between October 30 at 11:59 p.m. and November 7.

USAC has been able to reduce the time that EPC will be unavailable. EPC will be unavailable for all users between November 3 (beginning 12 p.m.) and November 7 (to 9 a.m.), 2023.

  • The last day you can submit an invoice in the SL Legacy systems is on October 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    • Invoices for Funding Year (FY) 2016 and later that are submitted in SL Legacy systems before October 30, and not paid by the cutover date, will be migrated into EPC by USAC.
    • Invoices for FY2015 and earlier submitted in SL Legacy systems before October 30, will continue to be processed in the SL Legacy systems.
  • You must submit FY2016 and later invoices in EPC beginning on November 7 at 9 a.m. ET.
  • For FY2015 and earlier, users will need to create a customer service case in EPC and attach a fillable FCC Form 472 or 474 to process a new request for reimbursement for FY2015 and earlier funding years. USAC will provide the links to the forms and instructions on its website in the coming weeks.
  • After the consolidation is completed, the first disbursement from EPC-processed requests for reimbursement is expected to be on November 9.

The E-Rate Systems Consolidation transition period (i.e., when EPC is unavailable) affects all form and program process deadlines (e.g., FCC Form 486 deadline, appeals deadline, FCC Form 472, etc.). If you have a deadline for a FY2016 and later FRN between November 3 and November 7, 2023, please submit your form or appeal before November 3. You may also submit an appeal for any funding year via email to the Customer Service Center during this period.

For Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) FCC Form 471 reviews, if your reply deadline for a PIA inquiry falls during the transition period, you may still reply via email to your PIA reviewer or you can ask for a one-week extension to reply in EPC before November 3. Applicants will not be penalized for missing an inquiry deadline during this period.

In advance of the E-Rate SL systems consolidation transition, please submit all current E-Rate invoices in a timely manner to minimize the effect of any delays. Be sure to request an invoice deadline extension if you believe you will not meet the deadline.

Learn How to Submit EPC Invoices: Applicant and Service Provider e-Learning Modules Available

To support the transition from SL Legacy systems to EPC, USAC rolled out e-Learning modules (eLMs) for applicants and service providers so they can learn how to submit E-Rate invoices (FCC Forms 472/BEAR and 474/SPI) using EPC when the systems consolidation is complete. The eLMs are now available on the Videos page. For applicants submitting FCC Form 472, view the eLMs under Invoicing for Applicants. Service providers can view them under Invoicing for Service Providers.

You can also learn more about this rollout by viewing the E-Rate Systems Consolidation Training
Support Webinar held on October 4 (see below). USAC will offer applicant-specific and service provider-specific sessions with a focus on ensuring comprehension and retention of concepts. The eLMs are interactive, support different learning styles, and provide links to further resources available to assist applicants and service providers through the transition process.

Upcoming E-Rate Systems Consolidation Webinars

USAC hosted a series of E-Rate systems consolidation webinars in September and October to introduce the upcoming changes, prepare you for the transition, and guide you through steps you can take now to prepare for the transition from the SL Legacy invoicing systems to EPC. USAC will hosted several “Office Hour” webinars targeted to audience groups (applicants and service providers) to answer questions you may have on the E-Rate Systems Consolidation in general or answer any questions you have based on the eLMs you’ve completed.

Visit the E-Rate Webinars page to learn about training opportunities for the E-Rate SL Systems Consolidation. Below are links to register for the upcoming sessions in the series.



Applicant Sessions

Service Provider Sessions

Session 2

Oct. 18, 2023

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET

Session 3

Oct. 25, 2023

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET

Session 4

Nov. 8, 2023

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET

Session 5

Nov. 15, 2023

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET


E-Rate Systems Consolidation Webinar Recordings Available

E-Rate Systems Consolidation: Kick-off Webinar
Held September 26, 2023

E-Rate staff discussed the system changes, who is affected, the implementation timeline, and how USAC will support applicants and service providers throughout this transition.

E-Rate Systems Consolidation: Training Support Webinar
Held October 4, 2023

Learn about the different ways USAC is supporting the move from SL Legacy systems to EPC with live training sessions, self-paced learning modules, “office hour” question and answer sessions, videos, and website content.

Office Hours Webinar Sessions
The Training Support webinar announced the launch of the Invoicing eLearning modules (eLMs) for applicants and service providers, which are now available on the Videos page. These modules are focused on submitting and certifying invoices, invoice management and status, and notifications and outreach.
Visit the Webinars page to view one of the previous sessions by clicking the Watch button next to the session.

Getting to Know the EPC Invoicing Portal

The EPC Invoicing portal houses all the information on invoicing forms (FCC Forms 472/BEAR and 474/SPI) in progress or submitted and certified in the portal (note: screenshot below shows applicant view of dashboard). Applicants can see both forms and service providers can see the SPI and eSPI forms they submit and certify. The new dashboard has four tabs:

  • My Organization – Lists all your billed entities/service provider identification numbers associated with your organization.
  • My Forms and Requests – Lists all the invoicing forms (FCC Forms 472/BEAR and/or 474/SPI) in progress or submitted and certified in the portal. The page includes a dropdown to choose between the FCC Forms 472 or 474 for applicants (service providers can only see FCC Forms 474), a search by FCC Form number, and a filter to select the invoice status (note, it is called “Application Status”). The form statuses are:
    • Incomplete – These are draft forms that have been started but not yet been submitted and certified.
    • Certified – These are forms that have been submitted and certified but have not been processed yet (i.e., forms in review).
    • Processed – These are processed forms, which may have been denied, reduced, or paid in full.
    • Canceled – These are forms canceled by your organization.
  • My Pending Tasks – Lists all pending tasks such as creating an FCC Form 472/BEAR or 474/SPI or requests to upload documents.
  • My Pending Inquiries – Lists any pending inquiries from USAC invoice reviewers for invoice line items in review.

Notifications and Outreach for Applicants and Service Providers

One of the new features and benefits of moving invoicing into EPC will be that most outreach and communications will be conducted through the portal. You may already be familiar with how communications are issued in EPC but if you are not, the table below lists the types of notifications, who receives them, and how communications are sent and/or made available through tasks in EPC.

*For Funding Year 2015 and earlier invoices, the BEAR Notification Letter, BEAR Remittance Statement, and Applicant Quarterly Disbursement Report (QDR) will continue to be sent via mail.

**See the Retrieving Remittance Statements in E-File Video Tutorial for instructions on accessing SPI Remittance notifications from the E-File Portal.


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