February 4, 2017

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you received an invoice deadline extension for FY2015 recurring services, your invoices for these services must be submitted on or before February 27, 2017. You MUST complete your invoicing for these services by that date; USAC cannot pay invoices submitted after that date and also cannot approve a second extension request.

Commitments for Funding Year 2016

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2016 Wave 33 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on February 8. This wave includes commitments for approved applications for all service types and at all discount levels. As of February 3, FY2016 commitments total just under $2.09 billion. 

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).

FY2017 FCC Form 470 Reminders 

The FCC Form 470 for FY2017 became available in EPC on July 1, 2016. If you are ready to open a competitive bidding process for FY2017, you can file and certify an FCC Form 470 now.

For those of you who are filing the FCC Form 470 in EPC for the first time – or for those applicants who need a reminder of the differences between EPC and the legacy filing system – we are providing the following tips and reminders:

The FCC Form 470 must be filed online in EPC.

There is no longer a paper version of the FCC Form 470. Any necessary instructions are built into the online experience. There are user guides available inside EPC and on the USAC website to help applicants complete their forms along with a series of instructional videos. To review the guidance materials on the USAC website, refer to the section titled "One: Request Bids for Services (FCC Form 470)" on the Apply for E-rate page.

You no longer need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to file the FCC Form 470. By logging in to the EPC system, you have already identified yourself to us. Note, however, that you will need your PIN to file an FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form, so if you already have a PIN, keep it handy.

Before you submit your form, you can review and print a PDF version of your draft form. You can then review the PDF and make any necessary edits before the form is certified.

Some information must be completed in your organization's profile in EPC before you can file a program form.

Your billed entity information – including address and contact information, attributes for the schools in a school district or libraries in a library system, and other pertinent data – is pulled into program forms that you file from your organization's profile in EPC. You should review this information for accuracy and make any necessary changes before you file your form.

If you need help locating or creating a school in your school district or a library in your library system, call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100. Consortia should also verify that their members are featured in the consortium's profile before the consortium certifies the FCC Form 470.

If you issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or RFP documents, they must be uploaded to the FCC Form 470.

If you are issuing an RFP and/or one or more RFP documents, you are required to upload those documents to your FCC Form 470. We use "RFP" and "RFP document" generically to refer to any bidding document that describes your project and requested services in more detail than that provided in the data entry fields on the FCC Form 470. An RFP document can be a formal bidding document – for example, an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or Request for Quote (RFQ) – or it could be any document issued as part of your competitive bidding process to provide more information to potential bidders. It is not sufficient for you to upload a document that contains a link to another website where the RFP can be accessed (for example, a procurement portal). The actual RFP itself (along with all subsequent addendums) must be made publicly available through USAC's website by uploading the RFP in EPC.

In addition, RFP documents issued AFTER an FCC Form 470 is certified and posted MUST be uploaded to that certified FCC Form 470. Note that if you did not add an RFP document to your original form before it was certified, you cannot add an RFP document now – instead, to include an RFP document, you must attach the document to a new FCC Form 470 and then certify that form. Remember to comply with all competitive bidding requirements, including the Commission rule that applicants wait at least 28 days after the FCC Form 470 and/or RFP is posted to the USAC website before selecting a service provider, executing any contracts for contracted services, or signing and submitting an FCC Form 471.

To add an RFP document to a certified FCC Form 470:

  • From your organization's landing page, scroll down to the FCC Forms section and use the search function to locate your form.
  • Click the form nickname to open the form.
  • Choose "Related Actions" from the left-hand menu, then choose "Add an RFP Document."
  • If you attached an RFP document to your FCC Form 470, click the "Choose File" button from the Upload RFP section, upload your RFP document, and then associate the document to the appropriate service request(s). As above, you must upload the actual document.

Applicants certify the form online before it is posted to the USAC website.

Before FY2016, applicants could post an FCC Form 470 and start their 28-day waiting period without certifying their form. In EPC, the FCC Form 470 is not posted to the USAC website until it is certified. If the user who creates the form does not also have the necessary rights (permissions) to certify it, EPC will create a task for users within the organization who do.

  • Users with partial rights to the FCC Form 470 can complete the form but cannot certify the form.
  • Users with full rights to the FCC Form 470 can complete, edit, and certify the form in EPC.

Your receipt notification will appear in your EPC News feed shortly after you certify your form.

USAC no longer issues paper FCC Form 470 Receipt Notification Letters (RNLs). Instead, your RNL will appear in the News tab in your EPC account a short time after you certify your form. If you notice any ministerial or clerical errors you need to correct, you can submit the corrections through EPC by clicking "Related Actions" in the form as described above.

Service providers will be able to view filed FCC Forms 470 either through EPC or through the USAC website.

EPC has a search and download function that will allow service providers with accounts in EPC to search for certified FCC Forms 470. The form data from the search results can also be downloaded as a set of .CSV files.

Service providers will also be able to view PDF versions of FY2017 FCC Forms 470 along with any associated RFP documents from the appropriate FCC Form 470 tools on the Search Tools page on the USAC website. 

FCC Forms 470 filed for past funding years are still available on the USAC website. 

If you need to locate an FCC Form 470 filed for a funding year before FY2016, go to the Apply for E-rate page on the USAC website, go to the menu labeled "Previous Funding Years" under the "Start Your Form 470" button, choose "View Posted Form," and click "GO." You can then choose the appropriate funding year, click "Next>>," and enter your search criteria.

Applicants Who Need More Time to Complete Special Construction for FY2016

Applicants may only receive E-rate funding for special construction charges associated with leased dark fiber if the fiber is lit within the same funding year for which the funding request is approved (i.e., by June 30). Similarly, applicants may only receive funding for self-provisioned networks that are built and used within the same funding year. However, applicants may seek a one-year extension to light the fiber and/or use self-provisioned networks if they demonstrate that construction was unavoidably delayed due to weather or other reasons.

To request additional time, applicants file an FCC Form 500 and complete the section for a service delivery extension request. Remember that FCC Form 500 for FY2016 must be filed in EPC.

We suggest that you file this form as soon as you know that your special construction project will not be completed in time to light the fiber and/or use the self-provisioned network by June 30, 2017. Please Note: This extension is only available for projects involving special construction. Applicants only seeking support for recurring charges associated with fiber services must light the associated fiber by June 30, and may not seek an extension based on unavoidably delayed construction.

To complete and certify your request:

  • On the first page of the FCC Form 500, be sure to click the "Yes" button under the option "I want to request more time to get the services delivered and installed." You must also choose "Yes" or "No" for the other five changes you can make on the form before you can continue to the next page.
  • When you complete the Service Delivery Extension section of the form, be sure to select ALL of the FRNs to which the request applies.
  • Choose "Yes" to the statement "Was the service provider unable to complete delivery and installation for reasons beyond their control?" The answer to the following question will automatically change to "No."
  • You MUST provide an explanation of the unavoidable delay. The delay can be due to weather or other reason(s), such as receiving an FCDL too late to complete construction and light the associated fiber by June 30. Please be specific and thorough. For example, if you are seeking an extension on the basis of a late issuance of an FCDL, you should describe why the late FCDL is the reason you will be unable to complete construction in time to light the associated fiber by June 30. Relevant information may include when the FCDL was received (or that it has not yet been received), and details about the breadth and complexity of the project. The form includes a text box for you to add your explanation and also an option to upload supporting documentation.
  • After you have completed all of the entries on your form, certify the form.


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