October 7, 2016

TIP OF THE WEEK: Request an invoice deadline extension if you believe you will not be able to complete your FY2015 invoice submissions on or before October 28. There is no penalty for requesting and receiving an invoice deadline extension, but there is a deadline of October 28 for submitting the request.

Commitments for Funding Years 2016 and 2015

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 16 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 10. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of October 7, FY2016 commitments total over $647.8 million. 

On the date the FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

Funding Year 2015. USAC will release FY2015 Wave 66 FCDLs on October 12. This wave includes commitments for approved requests for all service types and at all discount levels. As of October 7, FY2015 commitments total over $3.31 billion.  

The day after the wave runs, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool. FCDLs for FY2015 will continue to be printed and mailed to applicants and service providers, and emailed to service providers who have signed up to receive electronic notifications. 


After applicants have received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment and services have started for the funding year, they must file an FCC Form 486.

The FCC Form 486 is filed to accomplish the following:

  • To notify USAC that services have started and USAC can process invoices (FCC Form 472 and FCC Form 474).  NOTE: Service providers must also file FCC Form 473, the Service Provider Annual Certification Form, for the funding year before USAC can pay invoices.
  • To certify that the entities receiving services are covered by approved technology plan(s) – if required – and to provide the name(s) of the technology plan approver(s) that approved those technology plans. NOTE: Technology plans are not required for FY2015 and subsequent funding years. Technology plans were not required for Priority One services for Funding Year 2011 and later.
  • To certify the status of compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of CIPA, recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf. In this situation, the FCC Form 479 provides the information necessary for the Billed Entity to complete the appropriate CIPA certification(s) and successfully submit the FCC Form 486.

Filing an FCC Form 486

  • Starting with FY2016, applicants file FCC Form 486 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). To start a form, you can click the link labeled "FCC Form 486" at the top of your landing page in EPC.
  • For commitments from FY2015 and previous funding years, applicants currently file FCC Form 486 in the legacy system. To start a form, you can click the link in the previous sentence, or go to the Apply for E-rate page on the USAC website, scroll to the FCC Form 486 section, choose "Start Your Form (FY2015 and Prior)" from the dropdown menu, and click "GO."

For FY2016, after you go to your landing page in EPC and click the "FCC Form 486" link, you will see the following screens:

Create FCC Form 486

On the first screen, you are asked for three pieces of information:

  • Nickname – choose a nickname that will help you differentiate this form from other forms you may file.
  • Funding Year – choose 2016. Note that if you choose 2017, you will not be able to continue past the next page.
  • Contact Person – Designate the person best able to answer any questions about this form.

Click "Continue" after you have completed all of your entries.

Select FRNs

On this screen, you will see a list of all of the Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) for which you can file an FCC Form 486. Keep in mind that the list will only include funded FRNs filed by your billed entity from the funding year you specified on the previous screen.

  • Choose the FRN(s) you want to include on this FCC Form 486. First check the box to the left of each FRN. The caption on the button at the bottom of the list will change to "Add (x) FRNs" where (x) is the number of FRNs you have selected.
  • If you have a large number of FRNs, you can limit the list by specifying search criteria and performing a search.
  • You can add all of the FRNs on the list by clicking the "Add All (x) FRNs" button at the top of the list.

After you click one of the add FRNs buttons, you will see the FRNs you have selected in the Selected FRNs section at the bottom of the screen. At this point you can delete FRNs from the list you selected or add FRNs from the list above.

When you are satisfied with your list, click "Continue."

Service Information

On this screen, you specify the service start date for the FRN(s) you selected.

  • July 1, 2016 is the default for FY2016.
  • To change the default service start date, check the box next to the FRN(s) you would like to change, enter the new service start date, and click the "Update Selected FRNs Start Date" button. All selected FRNs will change to the service start date you enter, so if you have multiple service start dates, you will have to change the FRNs one at a time.
  • You cannot enter a service start date before July 1, 2016.
  • After you have provided accurate service start dates for the FRN(s) included on this form, click "Continue."

Early Filing and CIPA Waiver

Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 early – that is, before services start – if certain conditions are met. However, early filing is not permitted after July 31 of a funding year. Consequently, we will ignore a check in the early filing box if it is no longer applicable, so do not be concerned if you have already filed your FCC Form 486 and checked the box by mistake.

The CIPA waiver on this page is very specific. Applicants should only check this box if they are unable to make the certifications required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) because their state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the making of the certification(s) otherwise required.

When you are finished, click "Continue."

Certifications and CIPA Certifications

The certifications page includes a technology plan certification. Technology plan requirements have changed several times since the beginning of the E-rate program – and technology plans are no longer required – but there are not separate versions of the FCC Form 486 based on the funding year indicated on the first screen. This certification is not required for FY2016.

Along with the other program certifications, you must complete the appropriate CIPA certification. We suggest that you review your work carefully – especially the CIPA certification – as the process for canceling and resubmitting an FCC Form 486 is not automatic and may take some time.

You can now preview your form by clicking the "Preview" button.


From this screen you can preview your form.

  • If all of the information is correct and you are a full-rights user, you can certify the form by clicking the "Certify" button at the bottom of the screen. You can use the "Back" button to make corrections.
  • A partial-rights user must send the form to full-rights users for certification by clicking the "Send for Certification" button. This will create a task for all full-rights users, one of whom must accept the task and follow the steps in the bullet above.
  • Once you click the "Certify" button, you can no longer edit the information on your form.


The full-rights user who certifies the form will get a confirmation on his or her screen that the form has been certified. USAC will also create the following notifications, which will appear in the Notifications section of the organization's landing page:

  • The FCC Form 486 Certification notification can be generated shortly after the form is certified to notify the organization that the form has been received by USAC.
  • The FCC Form 486 Notification Letter can be generated after USAC has reviewed and approved the FCC Form 486. The service provider(s) for the FRN(s) will also be able to access the electronic notification (.486 CSV file).
  • The day after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter, the FCC Form 486 Service Start Date field in the FRN Status Tool will be populated with the date reported for each FRN on the FCC Form 486.

Additional information

We are currently working on some situations that affect a limited number of users.

  • Child entities that filed as parent entities. A billed entity that filed an FCC Form 471 whose status was later changed in EPC to a child entity (a non-instructional facility, an annex, an individual school in a school district, or a library branch in a library system) cannot file an FCC Form 486. Affected applicants should open a customer service case in EPC or call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 888-203-8100.
  • Filing a new FCC Form 486 for an FRN on a canceled form. While we can cancel an FCC Form 486, changing the status of the FRNs on the canceled form is a manual process and will take a bit longer to accomplish. If you have this problem, contact CSB. 
  • Multiple FCC Forms 486 can be started for the same FRN. When filing an FCC Form 486, check to make sure that you are only filing for FRNs which have not already been featured on another FCC Form 486. If you file more than one form for the same FRN, the invoicing process may be more difficult.

Last Week in "File Along with Me":

  • "File Along with Me" is a blog that covers the E-rate Program application process step-by-step, and serves as a schedule you can follow to manage your application. Ready to join us? Read the Blog


To subscribe, click here: Subscribe.
To unsubscribe, click here: Unsubscribe
Please do not reply to this email, instead, Submit a Question or call 1 (888) 203-8100.

©1997-2016, Universal Service Administrative Company, All Rights Reserved.
USAC | 700 12th Street NW | Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20005