July 8, 2016

TIP OF THE WEEK: Library and consortium applicants who started an FCC Form 471 some time ago and then recently completed and certified their form may see an "out-of-window" status displayed by the system. The form is not out of window – USAC is in the process of updating these incorrectly generated statuses.

Commitments for Funding Years 2016 and 2015

Funding Year 2016. USAC released Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 2 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on July 3. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 8, FY2016 commitments total over $32.1 million.

To learn how to generate and view your FCDLs, you can watch the FCDL videos – one for applicants and one for service providers – on the Funding Commitment Decision Letter video page. You can also follow the instructions in the June 3 SL News Brief

FY2016 wave information will be available from two of the tools on the Search Tools page on the USAC website.

  • Search Commitments for FY2016. Click the FY2016 Wave Report link in the "Funding Tools" section of the Search Tools page. Each time a wave runs, the information for that wave will appear in a new tab in the spreadsheet.
  • FY2016 FCC Form 471 "Current" View. The current view of an FCC Form 471 is created after the form goes through the commitment process. To see the current view of a form, go to the View/Download FCC Forms 471 for FY2016 tool and choose "Current" in the Form Version dropdown menu. Note that forms that have not been through the wave process will not show up in the search results.

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release FY2015 Wave 57 FCDLs on July 8. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of July 8, FY2015 commitments total over $3.31 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.

Remember that FCDLs for FY2015 will continue to be printed and mailed to applicants and service providers. Service providers who have signed up to receive electronic notifications will continue to have electronic notification files emailed to them.

Invoicing Guidance and Reminders

Now that June 30 has passed, we are providing guidance and reminders on the invoicing process for applicants and service providers. Please read through the following information carefully.

Processing of paper forms. The following forms can no longer be filed on paper for any funding year:

  • FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form
  • FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification (SPAC) Form
  • FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice (SPI) Form

USAC is finishing up the processing of the following forms already filed on paper:

  • SPI Forms and BEAR Forms filed on paper that were postmarked on or before June 30.
  • SPAC Forms filed on paper that were postmarked on or before June 30 if they were for FY2015 and previous funding years. Note that no paper SPAC Forms will be processed for FY2016.

We will be contacting both applicants and service providers who have paper forms that we cannot process and explaining to them how to file their forms online.

Service providers filing one or more SPAC Forms. As a reminder, USAC will not pay invoices for a funding year unless the service provider of record has filed a SPAC Form for that funding year. Service providers with multiple Service Provider Identification Numbers (SPINs or service provider 498 IDs) must file a SPAC Form for each SPIN.

  • Service providers now file SPAC Forms online for all funding years through the E-File System. After you log in to the system, you will see "SPAC Form" as an option in the left-hand menu.
  • As soon as you certify your SPAC Form, the appropriate funding year shows up in the "SPAC Filed" column under your SPIN in the Search for SPIN Information tool.

Applicants filing an FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form. Applicants must certify an FCC Form 498 to provide information on the bank account where USAC can deposit BEAR reimbursements before USAC can process a BEAR Form. On the FCC Form 498, the applicants also provide certain contact information.

Please note the following:

  • The person you identify as the "Remittance Contact" on your FCC Form 498 will receive the remittance statements described below after you or someone else in your organization files a BEAR Form.
  • The person you identify as the "General Financial Contact" on your FCC Form 498 is the person USAC contacts to provide verification of the bank account (e.g., a canceled check or bank statement). The General Financial Contact can also modify your FCC Form 498 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

If you need to modify the information on your FCC Form 498 – for example, if you have not identified the correct person to receive the remittance statements – proceed as follows:

  • The School or Library Official or the General Financial Contact must log in to EPC. (Your account administrator assigns rights for these two roles in the "498 Permissions" column of the "Manage User Permissions" screen in EPC.)
  • From the Records tab, locate the organization's FCC Form 498. You can search by 498 ID (the nine-digit number starting with "443-") or the form nickname.
  • To modify the form, click the "Modify FCC Form 498" button at the top of the resulting screen.
  • Go through the form and make any necessary changes.
  • When you are finished, you must certify the form.
  • The system will then create a task for you to view a PDF of your form. If you wish, you can print and/or save a copy of that PDF.
  • From the "Generated Documents" link in the left-hand menu of the form view, you can view, save, and/or print the original and current versions of your form.

Timing of direct BEAR reimbursements to applicants. For a short time, service providers will still receive BEAR reimbursements to pass on to applicants:

  • Reimbursements for BEAR Forms processed and approved by USAC on or before June 30 – whether they were filed online or on paper – will go to the service provider, who will then reimburse the applicant. We expect the last of these payments to be issued in the middle of this month.
  • Reimbursements for BEAR Forms not approved before July 1 – and all BEAR Forms certified on or after July 1 – will be reimbursed directly to the applicant. We realize that some of these applicants may not be aware of this and may not have completed an FCC Form 498. We will contact all affected applicants and explain to them what to do to receive their reimbursements.

Remittance statements to applicants. Applicants who are reimbursed directly by USAC will receive remittance statements by email.

  • The remittance statement will go directly to the Remittance Contact. This is the person the applicant identified in the "Remittance Contact Information" section of the FCC Form 498.
  • Note: If USAC asks for verification of the bank account information, the request will go to the General Financial Contact. This is the person the applicant identified in the "General Financial Contact Information" section of the FCC Form 498.
  • We have posted a sample remittance statement on the USAC website for reference.

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