August 14, 2015

TIP OF THE WEEK: USAC has now modified its account administrator creation procedure for generic email accounts (see the July 24 SL News Brief for a discussion of this issue). If you are an applicant that did not have an account administrator created because your email account was generic, look for and respond to the invitation email that USAC sent out recently.

Commitments for Funding Year 2015

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 13 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on August 21. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of August 14, FY2015 commitments total over $1.17 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 3 - Category Two Service Requests

In the July 10 SL News Brief, we included some general information about the FCC Form 470 for FY2016. We have also covered the following sections of the form:

In this issue we will cover the "Category Two Service Requests" section. You can also watch the Category Two Service Requests video on the FCC Form 470 Video Series page to see how to enter Category Two 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. 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 Requests" 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. We covered Category One last week; this week, we will cover Category Two.

To start, click "Category 2" 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.

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 Two 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 Two service requests you will be entering on subsequent pages of this form, check the box to the left of the RFP document.
  • If your RFP document does not apply to all of the Category Two 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 Two" pages for your service requests.

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

On the "Add New Service Request" screen, choose the service type from the dropdown menu. The menu choices are:

  • Internal Connections
  • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services

We cover the details for each of these service types below.

Internal Connections. To enter a service request for this service type, first click the radio button to the left of "Internal Connections." You must then choose the appropriate function from the "Function" dropdown menu. The menu choices for Internal Connections are:

  • Antennas, Connectors, and Related Components
  • Cabling
  • Caching
  • Firewall Service and Components
  • Racks
  • Router
  • Switches
  • UPS/Battery Backup
  • WAP
  • Wireless Controller

The system will then present you with the additional entries you need to provide for the function type you chose: Quantity, Unit, Manufacturer, and Installation.

  • To indicate to potential bidders the size and scope of your project, provide your best estimate of the number of items you are seeking in the "Quantity" field. Bidders are free to propose a higher or lower number in their bids based on their assessment of your needs, and you will not be held to the number you enter as an upper limit when you file your FCC Form 471.
  • The "Unit" field will automatically populate the appropriate measure depending on the choice you made in the "Function" menu.
  • In the menu choices available from the "Manufacturer" dropdown menu, note that specific manufacturer names are all followed by the words "or equivalent" so that your request is compliant with program rules.
  • 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."

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."

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.

Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. To enter a service request for this service type, first click the radio button to the left of "Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections." You must then choose the appropriate function from the "Function" dropdown menu.

  • Basic maintenance is only eligible if it is performed on eligible equipment, so the choices in the "Function" menu are the same as those in the list for Internal Connections above.
  • Because you already have the equipment, the choices in the "Manufacturer" dropdown menu do not include the words "or equivalent."
  • Provide the number of entities served by the equipment to be maintained.

To add your Basic Maintenance request, click "Add."

Managed Internal Broadband Services. To enter a service request for this service type, first click the radio button to the left of "Managed Internal Broadband Services."

  • For "Function," choose either Leased Equipment or Existing Equipment.
  • Provide the number of entities served by the managed internal broadband services.

To add your Managed Internal Broadband Services, click "Add."

Before you continue, you should review all of your service requests to make sure the information you have provided is correct and complete. Remember that you can add or delete service requests, add or remove RFP documents from a service request, and provide information as needed in the "Narrative" free-form text box for each service type.

After you have reviewed all of your service requests, click "Save & Continue."


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