August 7, 2015

TIP OF THE WEEK: If USAC has confirmed your registration for a training session this fall, you must also make a hotel reservation if you want to reserve a room at the conference hotel. Follow the link on the Trainings & Outreach page for the training session you are attending to access the reservation information for the associated conference hotel, and email USAC Training if you have any questions.

Commitments for Funding Years 2015 and 2014

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 12 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on August 14. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of August 7, FY2015 commitments total over $1.03 billion.

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Wave 63 FCDLs on August 12. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of August 7, FY2014 commitments total over $2.27 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Completing FCC Form 470, Part 2 - Category One Service Requests

In the July 10 SL News Brief, we included some general information about the FCC Form 470 for FY2016. Going forward, we will cover each section of the online FCC Form 470 in more detail. Remember that you can only file this form through USAC's E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

In the July 31 SL News Brief, we covered the "Basic Information" section of the online form. In this issue we will cover the "Category One Service Requests" section. You can also watch the Category One Service Requests video on the FCC Form 470 Video Series page to see how to enter Category One service requests in the online form.

1. Log in to your account in EPC and access your partially completed form.

You should already have completed the "Basic Information" section of your FCC Form 470, based on the information provided in last week's SL News Brief and/or the Basic Information video from the FCC Form 470 Video Series page. As a reminder, in order to continue an FCC Form 470, you must be a full-rights or partial-rights user for the organization you represent. In other words, you must be able to create and certify forms (full-rights user), or just create forms (partial-rights user).

First, log in to EPC using your email address and password. Then, from your landing page, open the "Tasks" menu by clicking the "Tasks" tab in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. On the following screen, you will see a list of the FCC Form(s) 470 that are currently in process. Click the form you want to continue.

2. Choose your category of service.

The progress bar at the top of the FCC Form 470 page shows that you have completed the "Basic Information" section of the form and are now in the "Service Request" section. There is also a time and date stamp to indicate when the form was last saved.

Your next step is to choose the appropriate category of service for the services you will be requesting on this form.

  • Click "Category 1" to post for Internet access, telecommunications services, telecommunications, and/or voice services.
  • Click "Category 2" to post for internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and/or basic maintenance of internal connections.

If you wish, you can post for services in both categories on the FCC Form 470. For the purposes of this discussion, we will choose Category One and save Category Two for a future SL News Brief.

To start, click "Category 1" and then "Save & Continue." Note that the same four buttons we discussed last week – "Back," "Discard Form," "Save & Share," and "Save & Continue" – are all available at the bottom of the screen.

3a. Complete the first "RFPs for Service Requests" page.

If you are issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) or similar document, you must check the "Yes" button on the "RFPs for Service Requests" page and upload a copy of your document. We use "RFP" generically to refer to any bidding document that describes your project and requested services in more detail than in the fields provided on the FCC Form 470 to help potential bidders understand the scope, location, and any other requirements.

  • If you are seeking bids for dark fiber in FY2016, you must issue an RFP.

To upload your RFP, click the "Choose File" button, locate the appropriate file from your computer hard drive or other data source, and upload it. You will then see the name of the file you uploaded appear above the "Choose File" button.

  • You can upload more than one RFP document by clicking "Choose File" again until all your documents have been uploaded.
  • You can remove a document you have already uploaded by clicking the "Remove" text to the right of the file name.
  • After your FCC Form 470 is certified, you can continue to upload RFP documents, but you cannot remove any documents that were attached to your form at the time it was certified.

If you are not issuing an RFP, you can click "No" and the text to the right of the button will disappear.

When you have finished your entries on the first "RFPs for Service Requests" page, click "Save & Continue."

3b. Complete the second "RFPs for Service Requests" page if you are issuing an RFP.

After you click "Save & Continue," you must indicate on the second "RFPs for Service Requests" page whether the RFP applies to all of the Category One service requests you will be entering on this form or whether the RFP only applies to a subset of the service requests.

  • If your RFP document applies to all of the Category One service requests you will be entering on this form, check the box to the left of the RFP document.
  • If your RFP document does not apply to all of the Category One service requests you will be entering, do not check the box. On subsequent pages, you will be able to associate RFP document(s) with specific service requests after you have entered them.

4. Complete one or more "Service Requests: Category One" pages for your service requests.

To enter your first service request, click the green "Add New Service Request" button.

On the following screen, choose the Function type for the service request from the dropdown menu. The menu choices are:

  • Transport Only - No ISP Service Included
  • Cellular Data Plan/Air Card Service
  • Cellular Voice
  • Dark Fiber
  • Internet Access & Transport Bundled
  • Internet Access: ISP Service Only
  • Lit Fiber Service
  • Other
  • Self-provisioning
  • Voice Service (Analog, Digital, Interconnected VOIP, etc.)

The system will then present you with the additional entries you need to provide for the Function type you chose. The additional entries may be dropdowns, text or number fields, yes/no questions, or checkboxes.

  • If you did not check the box on the second "RFPs for Service Requests" page, you will be able to indicate which RFP document(s) apply to this service request.

When you have provided all of the required entries, click "Add." Note that in some cases you will receive a warning message if you need to complete an additional step. For example, if you are seeking bids for dark fiber, you will be reminded that you must also seek bids for broadband services (for example, lit fiber services). If you are presented with a warning message, you can click "Yes" to proceed or "No" if you want to edit your service request.

On the next page, you can see that the system has created a table of service requests with column headers. The information you just provided appears in the first line.

  • To add another service request, click "Add New Service Request."
  • You can edit a service request by checking the box to the left of the line containing that service request and then clicking the "Edit Service Request" button. On the following page, enter your changes. You can then return to the previous screen by clicking "Update" to save your changes or "Cancel" to leave your service request unchanged. 
  • You can delete a service request by checking the box to the left of the line containing that service request and then clicking "Remove Service Request."

At any point after you have completed at least one service request, you can use the free-form text box labeled "Narrative" to provide further detail about the services you are seeking. The information you provide may be especially helpful to potential bidders if you are not issuing an RFP.

Note for special construction charges: If you are seeking dark fiber services, you will be asked if you are seeking an installment payment plan for the non-discount portion of any special construction charges associated with your request(s).

  • If you are seeking an installment payment plan, choose "Yes" and provide the additional detail requested. Note, however, that service providers are not required to bid the services in the way you have requested.
  • If you are not seeking an installment payment plan, choose "No."

After you have completed the entries for all your Category One service requests, click "Save & Continue" to move on.

In next week's SL News Brief, we will cover the entry of Category Two service requests on the FCC Form 470.


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