November 20, 2015

TIP OF THE WEEK: When completing the FCC Form 470, provide your best estimate wherever an exact number of items or services is required – for example, the number of routers or the number of feet of cabling. 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 exact number you provided as an upper limit.

Note that USAC will not issue an SL News Brief next Friday, November 27, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, the Client Service Bureau will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.

Commitments for Funding Years 2015 and 2014

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2015 Wave 27 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on November 30. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of November 20, FY2015 commitments total over $2.61 billion.

Funding Year 2014. USAC will release FY2014 Wave 70 FCDLs on November 25. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of November 20, 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.

Preparing for the Revised Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Payment Process

Starting July 1, 2016, applicants who choose the BEAR payment method from USAC must complete and certify a revised FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form to request direct reimbursement of their discount amounts. To prepare for this new payment process, applicants must complete an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and Contact Information Form to provide USAC with their banking account information so that USAC can electronically deposit funds in their accounts.

Applicants will access the revised FCC Form 498 through the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). This form must be submitted and processed before USAC can make direct payments. We expect the revised FCC Form 498 to be available in the near future. In order to submit this form to USAC, applicants must do the following:

Identify a company officer and general financial contact

The company officer is someone who occupies a position of authority for the applicant. The company officer would typically be a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, library director, assistant library director, county administrator, district administrator, or state education department or state library lead.

  • The company officer must be authorized to certify that the information provided in the FCC Form 498 is true, accurate, and complete.
  • The company officer cannot be a consultant.

The general financial contact is someone who is authorized to retrieve the FCC Form 498 information and obtain access to USAC's online filing system. The general financial contact will be able to complete but not certify updates to the FCC Form 498.

Verify your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

In general, schools and libraries already have a Federal EIN or taxpayer identification number. If the billed entity is not the school or library – for example, if a town or county government files program forms on behalf of a library that does not control its own finances – the EIN of the appropriate agency should be provided.

Locate or obtain your DUNS number

DUNS, or Data Universal Numbering System, is a proprietary system developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet. The DUNS system assigns a unique numeric identifier to a single business entity upon request. Applicants will be required to provide a DUNS number on the FCC Form 498.

Dun and Bradstreet will issue a DUNS number without charge to an entity required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.

  • First, check to see if you already have a DUNS number. You can check by searching the online D-U-N-S database website or by calling (866) 705-5711.
  • If you do not already have a DUNS number, you can apply for one through the Dun & Bradstreet website.

If you are applying for a number, here is the information you must have on hand:

  • Name of organization
  • Organization address
  • Name of the chief executive officer (CEO) or organization owner
  • Legal structure of the organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, proprietorship)
  • Year the organization started
  • Primary type of business
  • Total number of employees (full and part-time)

Locate or obtain your FCC Registration Number (FCC RN)

An FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) is required by all entities that do business with the FCC. If you have filed an FCC Form 471 in the last several years, you already have an FCC RN, as you have been required to provide it on the form.

If you do not yet have an FCC RN, you can apply for one on the FCC’s CORES website.

NOTE: The FCC website refers to these numbers as “FRNs.” Do not confuse this initialism with the Funding Request Number (FRN) that USAC assigns to each funding request on an FCC Form 471.

Determine which banking account you will use for direct payments

To identify the bank account which USAC will use to send direct payments, you will be asked to provide three pieces of information:

  • Bank name
  • Account number – the number assigned by your bank to identify your account
  • Routing number – a nine-digit number that identifies the specific bank.

The bank account information provided on the form cannot be for a bank account owned by a consultant.

Before you can complete the FCC Form 498, you must have all of the above information in hand.


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